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Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Feb;83(2):310-6.

Absorption of calcium from milks enriched with fructo-oligosaccharides, caseinophosphopeptides, tricalcium phosphate, and milk solids.

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  • 1Institute of Food Research, Norwich, United Kingdom.



Adequate intakes of calcium are required for optimal bone health and protection against chronic disease. Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium.


The absorption of calcium from a range of fortified milks was measured in humans with the use of stable isotopes.


Fifteen volunteers participated in a randomized, controlled, double-blind crossover study. Five types of semi-skimmed (1.9% fat) milk drinks were administered with a light breakfast: standard milk (control milk); milk enriched with calcium from milk solids and tricalcium phosphate [(TCP) MSS milk]; milk enriched with calcium from concentrated milk (CON milk); milk with added fructo-oligosaccharides [(FOSs) FOS milk]; and milk with added caseinophosphopeptides [(CPPs) CPP milk]. All the milks were labeled with 42Ca as CaCl2. The MSS milk was also labeled with 44Ca as TCP. The quantity of calcium in each drink was kept the same by varying the volume given.


Calcium absorption did not differ significantly between the control milk and the calcium-fortified milks (MSS and CON milk) or the FOS and CPP milks. However, calcium absorption from the TCP added to the MSS milk was significantly higher than that from the control milk (27.5 +/- 7.6% and 24.5 +/- 7.3%, respectively; P = 0.003).


Calcium-enriched milks are a valuable source of well-absorbed calcium. Absorption of added calcium as TCP was higher than that of calcium from the control milk, but the addition of FOSs or CPPs did not significantly increase calcium absorption. Further research is needed to ascertain the cost-effectiveness and public health benefits of consuming fortified milks.

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