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E. Cieslik, K. Topolska, W. Praznik, J.M. Cruz Rubio

J Aging Res Clin Practice 2012;1(2):103-108

Objective: A prevalence of chronic diseases such as osteoporosis is observed because of the increasing life expectancy coming with a backlog of elderly (especially women). In this regard, functional foods containing fructans might play an outstanding role. The aim of the study was to assess the effects of agave fructans on selected parameters of calcium metabolism and bone condition in rats. Design: 28 days, 6 rats for each feeding group. Setting: University of Agriculture in Krakow, Poland. Subjects: 36 male Wistar rats, weighing about 120 g. Intervention: The current work studies the development of Wistar rats (experiment duration: 28 days) by Ca-modulated diet (Ca 100 – recommended doses, Ca 50 – 50% deficiency of doses, Ca 25 – 75% deficiency of doses) with/without agave fructan. The commercial product “Metlin” (Nekutli) - organic fructan from agave was used. After an adaptation period, the rats were distributed into six groups and kept in steel cages under controlled conditions. Finally, the rats were anaesthetized; blood and femora were sampled. Measurements: The levels of Ca2+, inorganic phosphorous, and the activity of alkaline phosphatase in rat blood serum were performed. BMC as well as BMD of femora were determined. Right femora were also scanned with peripheral quantitative computed tomography. The following parameters were determined: cortical thickness, periosteal and endoosteal circumferences as well as polar strength strain index. Statistical analysis was carried out. The Tukey’s-test was used to determine differences between the experimental groups. Results: The level of calcium- and phosphate ions and the biochemical parameters (ICTP, ALP) in the blood are relatively constant with positive trend to higher availability of Ca2+ with agave fructan. The content of calcium in the femur increases clearly in the groups with agave fructan. Additionally the results of femora analysis show a higher stability and density of rat bone with agave fructan, particularly in the Ca 50 group. Conclusion: The results support the assumption that intake of agave fructan could provide the prevention of bone mass loss and bone weakening, what in turn could improve quality of life, by helping prevent osteoporosis.

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