Objectives: Provision of calcium-fortified foods may represent an important component of improving the calcium intake of children. We sought to determine whether the addition of calcium to cereal would have a net positive effect on calcium absorption without decreasing iron absorption. Methods: Twenty-seven children, 6 to 9 years of age, were provided two servings per day (30 g of cereal per serving) of either a low (39 mg/serving) or fortified (156 mg/serving) calcium-containing cereal product for 14 days. Calcium absorption was measured by using stable isotopes added to milk (extrinsically labeled) and to the calcium-fortified cereal (intrinsically labeled). Results: Fractional calcium absorption from the fortified cereal was virtually identical to that from milk. Fractional absorption of calcium from milk did not differ significantly when given with enriched or low-calcium-containing cereal. Total calcium absorption increased from 215 ± 45 mg/d to 269 ± 45 mg/d with the addition of the calcium-fortified cereal (P < .001). Iron absorption was similar when children received the calcium-fortified cereal or unfortified cereal. Conclusions: The addition of a moderate amount of calcium to a cereal product was beneficial to calcium absorption and did not interfere with iron absorption. Use of calcium-fortified food products may be considered a practical approach to increasing the calcium intake of children.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health