Fortification of Orange Juice With Vitamin D(2) or Vitamin D(3) Is as Effective as an Oral Supplement in Maintaining Vitamin D Status in Adults

Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 Jun;91(6):1621-6. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.2009.27972. Epub 2010 Apr 28.


Background: Vitamin D has been added to calcium-fortified orange juice. It is unknown whether vitamin D is as bioavailable from orange juice as it is from supplements.

Objectives: The objective was to compare the bioavailability of vitamin D(2) and vitamin D(3) from orange juice with that from vitamin D(2) and vitamin D(3) supplements. A secondary aim was to determine which form of vitamin D is more bioavailable in orange juice.

Design: A randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind study was conducted in healthy adults aged 18-84 y (15-20/group) who received 1000 IU vitamin D(3), 1000 IU vitamin D(2), or placebo in orange juice or capsule for 11 wk at the end of winter.

Results: A total of 64% of subjects began the study deficient in vitamin D (ie, 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D]) concentrations <20 ng/mL). Analysis of the area under the curve showed no significant difference in serum 25(OH)D between subjects who consumed vitamin D-fortified orange juice and those who consumed vitamin D supplements (P = 0.084). No significant difference in serum 25(OH)D(3) was observed between subjects who consumed vitamin D(3)-fortified orange juice and vitamin D(3) capsules (P > 0.1). Similarly, no significant difference in serum 25(OH)D(2) was observed between subjects who consumed vitamin D(2)-fortified orange juice and vitamin D(2) capsules (P > 0.1). No significant overall difference in parathyroid hormone concentrations was observed between the groups (P = 0.82).

Conclusion: Vitamin D(2) and vitamin D(3) are equally bioavailable in orange juice and capsules.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Beverages*
  • Biological Availability
  • Calcium / blood
  • Cholecalciferol / administration & dosage*
  • Cholecalciferol / blood
  • Cholecalciferol / pharmacokinetics
  • Citrus sinensis*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Ergocalciferols / administration & dosage*
  • Ergocalciferols / blood
  • Ergocalciferols / pharmacokinetics
  • Female
  • Food, Fortified*
  • Fruit*
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / blood
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / diet therapy*
  • Vitamin D Deficiency / metabolism
  • Young Adult


  • Ergocalciferols
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Cholecalciferol
  • Calcium