Calcium fortification systems differ in bioavailability

Robert P. Heaney, Karen Rafferty, M. Susan Dowell, June Bierman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


The objective of this study was to compare the bioavailability of calcium from two fortification systems used in orange juice. The design was randomized crossover, within-subject. The subjects were 25 healthy premenopausal women in an academic health sciences center. Two commercially marketed calcium-fortified orange juices, ingested in an amount providing 500 mg calcium, were taken at breakfast after an overnight fast. The two fortification systems tested were calcium citrate malate and a combination of tricalcium phosphate and calcium lactate (tricalcium phosphate/calcium lactate). The main outcome measure was the area under the curve (AUC) for the increase in serum calcium from 0 to 9 hours after ingesting the test calcium source. Statistical analyses performed were repeated measures analysis of variance, testing source, and sequence. AUC 9 was 48% greater for calcium citrate malate than for tricalcium phosphate/calcium lactate (P9 values (mean±standard error of the mean) was 148±9.0 mg and 100±8.9 mg for calcium citrate malate and tricalcium phosphate/calcium lactate, respectively. The results indicate that equivalent calcium contents on a nutritional label do not guarantee equivalent nutritional value. Nutritionists and dietetics professionals should encourage manufacturers of fortified products to provide information on bioavailability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)807-809
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of the American Dietetic Association
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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