Fortification of orange juice with vitamin D: a novel approach for enhancing vitamin D nutritional health

Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jun;77(6):1478-83. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/77.6.1478.


Background: Fortification of milk with vitamin D may not be adequate for satisfying the vitamin D requirement because of variability in vitamin D content after fortification and because many persons have milk allergy or lactose intolerance. Additional foods need to be fortified with vitamin D.

Objective: We determined whether vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin, is bioavailable in orange juice and skim milk, 2 nonfat beverages.

Design: On 3 separate occasions, 18 adults ingested 25 000 IU vitamin D(2) in 240 mL whole milk or skim milk or in 0.1 mL corn oil applied to toast. A separate, double-blind, randomized, controlled trial investigated whether the consumption of orange juice fortified with vitamin D(3) would increase serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] concentrations: 14 subjects ingested 240 mL orange juice fortified with 1000 IU vitamin D, and 12 subjects ingested a control orange juice daily for 12 wk.

Results: Peak serum vitamin D(2) concentrations did not differ significantly after the ingestion of vitamin D(2) in whole milk, skim milk, or corn oil on toast. After subjects consumed orange juice fortified with 1000 IU vitamin D(3) daily for 12 wk, serum 25(OH)D(3) concentrations increased by 150%, and serum parathyroid hormone concentrations decreased by 25% compared with baseline; control subjects had a seasonal increase of 45% in 25(OH)D and no significant change in serum parathyroid hormone.

Conclusions: The fat content of milk does not affect vitamin D bioavailability. Vitamin D fortification at 1000 IU/240 mL orange juice for 12 wk safely increased 25(OH)D(3) concentrations in adults.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Animals
  • Beverages*
  • Biological Availability
  • Bread
  • Calcifediol / blood
  • Cholecalciferol / pharmacokinetics
  • Citrus*
  • Corn Oil
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Ergocalciferols / pharmacokinetics
  • Food, Fortified*
  • Health*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Milk
  • Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Vitamin D*


  • Ergocalciferols
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Vitamin D
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Corn Oil
  • Calcifediol