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Soluble corn fiber may boost calcium absorption

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Soluble corn fiber may boost calcium absorption in adolescents says new research, "Soluble maize fiber affects short-term calcium absorption in adolescent boys and girls: a randomized controlled trial using dual stable isotopic tracers," appearing online since May 2014 and published in print in the August 2014 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition. The study suggests that soluble corn fiber may boost calcium absorption. The new research shows soluble corn fiber (SCF) may not simply boost fiber intake when added to foods, but can also increase the amount of beneficial bacteria present in the gut, while enhancing calcium absorption in adolescents. Soluble corn fiber, (SCF) is a prebiotic fiber.

The difference between a prebiotic and a probiotic is that a prebiotic is a specific type of fiber that nourishes the friendly, "good" bacteria that live in your 'gut' known as your digestive system. A probiotic (friendly bacteria) lives in your digestive system. Some of these friendly bacteria can also be found in yogurt or supplements.

Your digestive system balances the good bacteria known as probiotics with any unhealthy bacteria that gets into or lives in your digestive system. Probiotics help to keep the number of unhealthy bacteria in check. The goal is balance. What upsets the balance includes stress, poor diet and certain medications that give the bad/harmful bacteria the opportunity to multiply.

Around the globe, fiber and calcium intakes are below the levels recommended by experts contributing to potential long-term public health implications. Researchers added soluble corn fiber used in the study to fruit snacks provided by Tate & Lyle, a global provider of high-quality, specialty ingredients. Among other sweets and snacks, Tate & Lyle also makes SPLENDA® sucralose.

The innovative ingredient may offer one solution for helping adolescents to improve status of two nutrients currently lacking in their diets. Around the globe, fiber and calcium intakes are below the levels recommended by experts contributing to potential long-term public health implications.

Soluble corn fiber (SCF) is a prebiotic fiber that is well tolerated, and is easily incorporated into foods or beverages to boost fiber content

The latest results of the new research is showing that the prebiotic fiber known as soluble corn fiber (SCF) can enhance calcium absorption are significant because during adolescence, a critical time for bone growth, dairy intake tends to decrease, resulting in inadequate calcium intake which is a vital mineral for building and maintaining strong bones.

Researchers studied the potential effect of soluble corn fiber (SCF) also known as prebiotic fiber, on calcium absorption and retention in adolescent children with a usual diet that was low in fiber. In a controlled dietary study, adolescent girls and boys who consumed 12g/day fiber from SCF absorbed significantly more calcium (a 12% increase versus a control) than when consuming no SCF.

Can soluble corn fiber improve calcium absorption and retention in adolescents on diets usually low in fiber?

Additionally, the researchers found that when the adolescents consumed SCF, there was an increase in specific strains of beneficial gut bacteria, namely the phylum Bacteroidetes, and these increases were positively correlated with increases in calcium absorption. These results indicate that moderate daily intake of SCF may increase beneficial gut bacteria and also short-term calcium absorption in adolescents who are consuming less than recommended amounts of calcium.

"A decrease in milk consumption among adolescents has led to an increase in deficiency of calcium in the diet, leaving researchers with a particular interest in finding functional foods that can help increase calcium absorption,' stated Connie Weaver, PhD, according to the July 14, 2014 news release, New research suggests soluble corn fiber may boost calcium absorption. "Dietary factors that enhance bone density and bone mineral content have the potential to contribute to reduced risk of bone fracture later in life." Weaver is with Purdue University and lead researcher of the study.

If the adolescents in this study had continued to consume SCF, allowing for increased calcium absorption, the researchers estimated that this would lead to additional 41.4 mg/day retained calcium and if persistent over a year would account for an additional 15.1 g of calcium, or about 1.8% of total body calcium

"On average, people aren't meeting their fiber or calcium intake goals with the foods they currently consume. Adding fibers with functional health benefits to already consumed foods is a realistic and simple way to help address this global public health concern among key age groups," said Michael Harrison, PhD, according the news release. Harrison is a Senior Vice President of New Product Development at Tate & Lyle. "Tate & Lyle has consistently shown a commitment to investing in research that leads to the production of high quality ingredients that allow people to live well and improve their health."

About Tate & Lyle

Tate & Lyle is a global provider of ingredients and solutions to the food, beverage and other industries, operating from over 30 locations worldwide. Tate & Lyle operates through two global divisions, Specialty Food Ingredients and Bulk Ingredients, supported by its Innovation and Commercial Development Group.

The Group's strategy is to become a leading global provider of Specialty Food Ingredients through a disciplined focus on growth, and by driving Bulk Ingredients for sustained cash generation to fuel this growth. Specialty Food Ingredients consists of three platforms: Texturants, which includes specialty starches and stabilizers; Sweeteners, which comprises nutritive sweeteners and the company's range of no-calorie sweeteners including SPLENDA® Sucralose; and its Health and Wellness portfolio which includes specialty fibers and its salt-reduction offering. Additionally, the company's Food Systems business provides a wide variety of blended ingredient solutions.

Tate & Lyle Bulk Ingredients includes bulk sweeteners, industrial starches and fermentation products (primarily acidulants). Corn co-products from both divisions are primarily sold as animal feed.

For further information, you may wish to check out studies such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010.

Also some noteworthy references include: Spiller GA (ed.) CRC Handbook of Dietary Fiber in Human Nutrition, 3rd Edition. CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, Fla. 2001; Wang Y, Li S. Worldwide trends in dairy production and consumption and calcium intake: Is promoting consumption of dairy products a sustainable solution for inadequate calcium intake? Food Nutr Bull. 2008;29:172; studies by Fulgoni VL, Keast DR, and Auestad N.; Quann EE. Nutrients from dairy foods are difficult to replace in diets of Americans: food pattern modeling and an analyses of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003. Nutr Res. 2011.

Or see the study by authors, Whisner CM, Martin BR, Nakatsu CH, McCabe GP, McCabe LD, Peacock M, and Weaver CM. This study uses the British spellings such as fibre for fiber, "Soluble maize fiber affects short-term calcium absorption in adolescent boys and girls: a randomized controlled trial using dual stable isotopic tracers," appearing online since May 2014 and published in print in the August 2014 issue of the British Journal of Nutrition.

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