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Could fructan sources in strawberry matrix be more effective as a tool for improvement of bone structure than these compounds added to diet alone? – Study on osteopenic rat model

Topolska K1Radzki RP2Filipiak-Florkiewicz A1Bieńko M2Florkiewicz A3Cieślik E1.

Ann Agric Environ Med. 2020 Mar 17;27(1):19-28. doi: 10.26444/aaem/108656. Epub 2019 Apr 25.




Osteoporosis, a disease associated with ovarian hormone deficiency following menopause, is the most common cause of age-related bone loss. Although an optimal intake of Ca is vital – both bone accretion during growth and maintenance in adult life – a great percentage of the population consumes far below the recommended amounts of this mineral. On the other hand, there are evidences that fructans enhance not only Ca absorption, but bone calcium as well.


In the knowledge that estrogen deficiency and insufficient Ca in the diet during postmenopause cause serious problems with resultant osteoporosis, the aim of this study is to assess the effects of a diet enriched in fructan-containing sources alone, or in the «strawberry matrix», on the structure of bone in OVX rats under calcium hypoalimentation.


Experimental animals were female Wistar rats, sham-operated or ovariectomized. The treatment with Ca-restricted diets also contained one of the sources of fructan (Jerusalem artichoke, yacon, Beneo Orafti Synergy1), in the amount providing 8% of fructans. Femur architecture of rats was assessed by tomography and Ca content by the AAS method.


Ovariectomy led to a significant decrease in femoral Ca content, total mineral content and bone density of rats. This study shows that a diet containing inulin-type fructan (especially as a component of strawberry product) improved bone quality (i.e. increase in Ca content in femur, total density in middle part of bone, as well as decrease of endosteal circumference) in OVX rats under calcium hypoalimentation.


These findings suggest that a fructan-enriched diet could be potentially useful for postmenopausal osteoporosis. It is important to determine an optimal dietary level of fructan with the long-term goal of developing a dietary strategy in osteoporosis prevention.