Fructooligosaccharide consumption enhances femoral bone volume and mineral concentrations in rats.
We examined whether the enhanced mineral absorption resulting from fructooligosaccharide (FOS) consumption affects femoral bone structure and mineral concentrations, using histomorphometrical and X-ray microanalysis. Male Wistar rats (n = 16; 42 d old) were divided into two groups, a control group (n = 8) and a FOS group (5 g/100 g FOS in the diet, n = 8). After a 3-d adaptation period, constant amounts of calcium (95 mg/d) and magnesium (8 mg/d) were fed to the rats in each group, using a pair-feeding protocol. At age 60 d, a 3-d metabolic study was initiated. Calcium and magnesium absorptions were calculated. The rats were then killed, and the right femur was embedded in polyester resin. The distal metaphysis was sagittal-sectioned, and the middle of the diaphysis and neck were cross-sectioned. Calcium, magnesium and phosphorus concentrations in the three samples were then measured. Calcium and magnesium absorptions were significantly greater in FOS-fed rats. Trabecular bone volume at the metaphysis and bone volume at the neck of the femur in FOS-fed rats were also significantly greater than those in control rats. The mineral concentration (Ca, Mg and P) in each region of the bone surface was greater in FOS-fed rats. There was a significant relationship between absorbed calcium and calcium concentrations in bone (r = 0.722, P < 0.001), and a similar relationship was found for magnesium (r = 0.720, P < 0.001). These results suggest that the enhanced calcium and magnesium absorption due to FOS consumption might enhance femoral bone volume and mineral concentrations.