Supplementing food with soluble corn fibre at two critical times in a woman’s life – adolescence and post-menopause – can help build and retain calcium in the bones, two studies have found. “We are looking deeper in the gut to build healthy bone in girls and help older women retain strong bones during an age when they are susceptible to fractures,” said Purdue University Professor Connie Weaver, who was associated with both the studies. “Soluble corn fibre, a prebiotic, helps the body better utilise calcium during both adolescence and post-menopause. The gut microbiome is the new frontier in health,” Weaver noted. A prebiotic fibre passes through the gut for the microbes in the lower gut to digest.
Both 10 grams and 20 grams led to improved calcium absorption by 12 percent for female adolescents, which would build 1.8 percent more skeleton a year, the study said. In both studies, gastrointestinal symptoms were minimal and the same for the control groups, as well as in those who consumed soluble corn fibre. “We found this prebiotic can help healthy people use minerals better to support bone health,” Weaver said. The post-menopause findings were published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, and the adolescent findings appeared in the Journal of Nutrition.