Slevin MM, Allsopp PJ, Magee PJ, Bonham MP, Naughton VR, Strain JJ, Duffy ME, Wallace JM, Mc Sorley EM. - 45159 N - J Nutr 2014 ; 144(3) : 297-304.

Supplementation with calcium and short-chain fructo-oligosaccharides affects markers of bone turnover but not bone mineral density in postmenopausal women

This 24-mo randomized, double-blind, controlled trial aimed to examine whether supplementation with a natural marine-derived multi-mineral supplement rich in calcium (Ca) taken alone and in conjunction with short-chain fructo-oligosaccharide (scFOSs) has a beneficial effect on bone mineral density (BMD) and bone turnover markers (BTMs) in postmenopausal women. A total of 300 non-osteoporotic postmenopausal women were randomly assigned to daily supplements of 800 mg of Ca, 800 mg of Ca with 3.6 g of scFOS (CaFOS), or 9 g of maltodextrin. BMD was measured before and after intervention along with BTMs, which were also measured at 12 mo. Intention-to-treat ANCOVA identified that the change in BMD in the Ca and CaFOS groups did not differ from that in the maltodextrin group. Secondary analysis of changes to BTMs over time identified a greater decline in osteocalcin and C-telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX) in the Ca group compared with the maltodextrin group at 12 mo. A greater decline in CTX was observed at 12 mo and a greater decline in osteocalcin was observed at 24 mo in the CaFOS group compared with the maltodextrin group. In exploratory subanalyses of each treatment group against the maltodextrin group, women classified with osteopenia and taking CaFOS had a smaller decline in total-body (P = 0.03) and spinal (P = 0.03) BMD compared with the maltodextrin group, although this effect was restricted to those with higher total-body and mean spinal BMD at baseline, respectively. Although the change in BMD observed did not differ between the groups, the greater decline in BTMs in the Ca and CaFOS groups compared with the maltodextrin group suggests a more favorable bone health profile after supplementation with Ca and CaFOS. Supplementation with CaFOS slowed the rate of total-body and spinal bone loss in postmenopausal women with osteopenia-an effect that warrants additional investigation. This trial was registered at as ISRCTN63118444.