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QJM. 1995 Dec;88(12):895-8.

Safety and efficacy of increasing wintertime vitamin D and calcium intake by milk fortification.

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  • 1Metabolism Laboratory, St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin, Ireland.


We studied the safety and efficacy of milk fortified with vitamin D3 and calcium. Over the winter, we conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of fortified milk (12 micrograms vitamin D3 and 1525 mg calcium per litre) compared to unfortified milk (0.3 micrograms vitamin D3 and 1270 mg calcium per litre) in 102 adults (aged 17-54 years). Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D], ionized calcium, and creatinine were measured at baseline and after intervention. Fortification reduced the seasonal decline in serum 25(OH)D concentrations by > 50%. In the fortified group, serum 25(OH)D decreased by 15 nmol/l from 77 +/- 35 nmol/l to 62 +/- 26 nmol/l (p < 0.001). In the control group, serum 25(OH)D fell by 31 nmol/l from 85 +/- 38 nmol/l to 54 +/- 25 nmol/l (p < 0.001). We suggest that milk enriched with vitamin D be provided in high-latitude European countries to diminish the wintertime fall in serum 25(OH)D.

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