Soluble fibers such as inulin and FOS enhance the absorption of some minerals in the colon, namely calcium and magnesium. While researchers are trying to better understand how this occurs, it would seem that there are a couple of possibilities. First, minerals such as calcium and magnesium can bind to fibers further up in the digestive tract. Then when soluble fibers are broken down in the colon they are released and available for absorption. The creation of acids (short-chain fatty acids and lactate) when soluble fiber is broken down by bacteria decreases the pH of the colon, which in turn enhances the absorption of calcium and magnesium.
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