Calcium fortification systems differ in bioavailability

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

43 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 1 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Nutrition and Dietetics

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