Should calcium and vitamin D be added to the current enrichment program for cereal-grain products?

Harold L. Newmark, Robert P. Heaney, Paul A. Lachance

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Mean dietary intakes of calcium and vitamin D in the US adult population are far below the adequate intake (AI) values recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, and thus substantial segments of the American population have inadequate intakes and elevated risks of osteoporosis and colon cancer. The current Code of Federal Regulations, Title 21, sets standards for the optional addition of moderate amounts of calcium and vitamin D in the enrichment of cereal-grain products, a provision that is essentially not used. We propose that the addition of calcium and vitamin D to currently enriched cereal-grain products be mandated in the United States: this would result in an increase in mean daily dietary intakes in the United States of ≈400 mg Ca and ≥50 IU (or possibly >200 IU) vitamin D. The benefits would be a significant reduction in the incidences of osteoporosis and colon cancer over time and overall improvement in health, with little risk and a modest financial cost because of the ability to capitalize on existing technology. We suggest a full scientific review of cereal-grain enrichment with calcium and vitamin D.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)264-270
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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