J Nutr. 2007 Nov;137(11 Suppl):2527S-2533S.
In humans, there is increasing evidence that the colon can absorb nutritionally significant amounts of calcium, and this process may be susceptible to dietary manipulation by fermentable substrates, especially inulin-type fructans. Inulin-type fructans can modulate calcium absorption because they are resistant to hydrolysis by mammalian enzymes and are fermented in the large intestine to produce short-chain fatty acids, which in turn reduce luminal pH and modify calcium speciation, and hence solubility, or exert a direct effect on the mucosal transport pathway. Quite a few intervention studies showed an improvement of calcium absorption in adolescents or young adults by inulin-type fructans. In the same way, a positive effect has been reported in older women.