A comparison of the effect of sorbitol and glucose on calcium absorption in postmenopausal women

R. M. Francis, M. Peacock, S. A. Barkworth, D. H. Marshall

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It has been suggested that the oral administration of sorbitol promotes calcium absorption, while glucose has no effect. We have therefore compared the effect of oral sorbitol and glucose on the absorption of radiocalcium from low and high carrier loads in healthy postmenopausal women. In a control group of 20 women given neither sorbitol nor glucose, the mean ±SEM fractional radiocalcium absorption rate from a low carrier load was 0.65 ± 0.05 (fraction of dose/h). In a second group of 10 women the fractional absorption rate from the low carrier load was lower (p < 0.05) with 10 g sorbitol (0.48 ± 0.05) than with 10 g glucose (0.65 ± 0.08). Fractional absorption of radiocalcium from a high carrier load measured in a third group of seven women using two isotopes (oral 45Ca, IV 47Ca) was also lower (p < 0.001) with 10 g sorbitol (0.22 ± 0.01, fraction/3 h) than with 10 g glucose (0.29 ± 0.02). The results suggest that calcium absorption from a low carrier load is unaltered by glucose but that absorption of calcium from both low and high carrier loads is lower with sorbitol than with glucose.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)72-76
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1986


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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