Effect of supplementation with short-chain fructo-oligosaccharide and calcium on bone mineral density and bone turnover markers in postmenopausal women: a 24 month double blind randomized controlled study.
Public trials registry http://www.controlled-trials.com (ISRCTN63118444)
Short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides (scFOS¨) have been shown to enhance calcium (Ca) absorption which may be beneficial to postmenopausal women in maintaining bone mineral density (BMD). This 24 month randomized, double-blind, controlled trial aimed to examine if supplementation with scFOS¨ (NutraFlora¨), taken in conjunction with a natural marine-derived multi-mineral supplement rich in Ca (Aquaminª), has a beneficial effect on BMD and bone turnover markers (BTM) in postmenopausal women. A total of 300 non-osteoporotic postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to daily supplements of 800mg Ca with 3.6g scFOS¨ (CaFOS) or 800mg Ca (Ca, as Aquamin) or maltodextrin. BMD (g/cm2) and BTM were measured pre and post intervention. Intention to treat ANCOVA analysis identified that those supplemented with CaFOS had significantly less reduction in total body BMD compared. A significant decline in the bone resportion markers, osteocalcin and CTx, were observed in those supplemented with CaFOS and Ca compared to maltodextrin. In exploratory sub-analyses, women classified with osteopenia and taking CaFOS had significantly less reduction in spinal BMD compared to the Ca group (p = 0.022). Furthermore, osteopenic women supplemented with CaFOS had significantly less reduction in total body BMD (p = 0.032) and spinal BMD (p = 0.025) compared to maltodextrin. In conclusion, scFOS¨ (NutraFlora¨) in combination with Aquamin may play a role in slowing bone loss in postmenopausal women and warrants further investigation.