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Br J Nutr. 2016 Feb 28;115(4):637-43. doi: 10.1017/S0007114515004766. Epub 2015 Dec 2.

Consumption of a calcium and vitamin D-fortified food product does not affect iron status during initial military training: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

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1Military Nutrition Division,United States (US) Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine,Natick,MA 01760,USA.
2Military Performance Division,United States (US) Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine,Natick,MA 01760,USA.
3Initial Military Training Center of Excellence,Fort Eustis,VA 23604,USA.


Ca/vitamin D supplementation maintains bone health and decreases stress fracture risk during initial military training (IMT); however, there is evidence that Ca may negatively affect the absorption of other critical micronutrients, particularly Fe. The objective of this randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial was to determine whether providing 2000 mg/d Ca and 25 µg/d vitamin D in a fortified food product during 9 weeks of military training affects Fe status in young adults. Male (n 98) and female (n 54) volunteers enrolled in US Army basic combat training (BCT) were randomised to receive a snack bar with Ca/vitamin D (n 75) or placebo (snack bar without Ca/vitamin D; n 77) and were instructed to consume 2 snack bars/d between meals throughout the training course. Circulating ionised Ca was higher (P0·05) in markers of Fe status between placebo and Ca/vitamin D groups. Collectively, these data indicate that Ca/vitamin D supplementation through the use of a fortified food product consumed between meals does not affect Fe status during IMT.


BCT basic combat training; Bioavailability; Calcium/vitamin D supplementation; DMT1 divalent metal transporter 1; IMT initial military training; Iron deficiency; Minerals

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