Cereal Grains Should be Fortified with Vitamin D, Calcium
PISCATAWAY, N.J.-- Vitamin D and calcium should be a part of mandatory cereal grain fortification to help reduce the prevalence of osteoporosis and colon cancer and for overall improvement in health, according to a commentary published in the August issue of The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (80, 2:264-270, 2004) (www.ajcn.org).
The scientists, from Rutgers University, noted mean dietary intakes of vitamin D and calcium in the U.S. adult population are far below the adequate intake (AI) values recommended by the federal government. These dietary deficiencies are responsible for elevated risks of osteoporosis and colon cancer in the United States, the authors of the commentary said.
The current Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, allows for optional addition of moderate amounts of calcium and vitamin D to cereal grain products, but the practice is not widespread.
According to the Rutgers researchers, fortification of cereal grain products with vitamin D and calcium would result in increases of 400 mg calcium and greater than or equal to 50 International Units (IU) or 200 IUs of vitamin D. Therefore, they concluded, cereal grain fortification with vitamin D and calcium would result in a significant reduction in the incidences of osteoporosis and colon cancer and an overall improvement in public health, with little risk.