Introduction: Fructans, such as inulin and fructooligosaccharides (FOS), have several effects on human health owing to their prebiotic character, including anti-microbial and anti- cancer effects, and to their influence on the absorption of minerals, which is very important in childhood and adolescence.
Objective: Our aim was to review the role of some fructans in the absorption of vitamins and minerals in children and adolescents.
Methods: We conducted a narrative review of the absorption of nutrients with fructans. We collected quantitative data for our thematic analysis, which was performed using the electronic databases Medline, Lilacs, Web of Science, and Scopus from January 2000 and January 2019. This review comprises a total of 10 articles.
Results: Few studies were found regarding the use of prebiotics and nutrient absorption in children. Studies on calcium, iron, magnesium, and vitamin D were the most prevalent. Some studies reported that FOS appears to increase calcium uptake in the gut and stimulates the growth of bifidobacterium in the colon, reducing iron intake by enteric
pathogens, and increasing the absorption of these minerals. Others reported an improvement in the absorption of vitamin D and E with inulin.
Conclusion: Consumption of fructans improves the health of the microbiota, altering the absorption of some nutrients