Vitamin D fortification more effective in water or milk than in juice: Danish study

Vitamin D fortification is more effective in water or milk than in juice, a new study by researchers in Denmark has revealed.

Vitamin D deficiency is a global health problem, linked with multiple health issues, including the immune response to COVID-19.

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Estimates show that as much as 40% of the European population could be suffering from vitamin D deficiencies, with 13% potentially suffering from severe vitamin D deficiency.

Fortification is emerging as an alternative solution to supplementation but knowledge is sparse on whether fortification of various food items affects the bioavailability differently.

It is generally assumed that ingesting vitamin D with a fatty meal improves the bioavailability of vitamin D while complex formation with whey protein isolate may enhance the stability of vitamin D and thereby improve bioavailability.

A group of Danish researchers conducted a randomized trial on 30 postmenopausal women aged 60-80 with vitamin D deficiency.

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The study aimed to measure immediate changes in blood concentrations in response to the consumption of various food items containing 200 g D3.

In random order, 500 mL of water, milk, juice, and juice with vitamin D bound to whey protein isolate as well as 500 mL of water without vitamin D (placebo) were presented to the study participants.

Vitamin D3 supplementation is a cost-effective way of reducing deficiency in later life and particularly among the most ‘at-risk’ 70-plus age group, according to Irish researchers.

The study revealed that whey protein isolate in apple juice did not enhance the maximum concentration of D3 compared to juice without it.

However, compared to juice, D3 concentrations were significantly higher in response to the intake of milk and water.

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While no difference was observed between milk and water, the study concluded that vitamin D fortification works better in water or milk than in juice.

Dr. Rasmus Espersen of Aarhus University in Denmark said: “One aspect that surprised me was the fact that the results seen in the water and milk groups were equal. This was quite unexpected given the fact that milk contains more fat than water.”  

This new study follows a report from BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health journal that revealed that vitamin D3 supplementation was most beneficial for the over-70s, reducing their risk of mortality, while also being cost-effective.

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