a1 Groupe Ostéoporose, U3M, INRA Theix, 63 122 Saint-Genès Champanelle, France
If the primary role of diet is to provide sufficient nutrients to meet the metabolic requirements of an individual, there is an emerging rationale to support the hypothesis that, by modulating specific target functions in the body, it can help achieve optimal health. Regarding osteoporosis prevention, since Ca is most likely to be inadequate in terms of dietary intake, every strategy targeting an improvement in Ca absorption is very interesting. Actually, this process may be susceptible to manipulation by fermentable substrates. In this light, inulin-type fructans are very interesting, even if we need to gather more data targeting bone metabolism before health professionals can actively advocate their consumption to prevent senile osteoporosis. Besides targeting the prevention of postmenopausal osteoporosis, inulin-type fructans still remain a source for putative innovative dietary health intervention. Indeed, given in combination with isoflavones, they may have a potential for maintaining or improving the bone mass of human subjects, by modulating the bioavailability of phyto-oestrogens.