A study published in the British Journal of Nutrition shows that soluble corn fiber (SCF) may not only boost fiber intake when added to foods, but also increase the amount of beneficial bacteria present in the gut while enhancing calcium absorption in adolescents.
SCF is a prebiotic fiber that is well tolerated and is easily incorporated into foods or beverages to boost fiber content. 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.
The researchers studied the potential effect of SCF 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 12 g/day fiber from SCF absorbed 12% more calcium than when consuming no SCF.
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.