Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Vitamin D Fortification of Complementary Foods
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Provision of the bone minerals and vitamin D as fortificants in food or as dietary supplements designed for older infants and toddlers in Latin America is likely to be beneficial and safe. Currently available data are inadequate to establish the precise amounts of these nutrients that would be required for such a supplement. These amounts would vary according to the local base diet. However, reasonable estimates can be made on the basis of current dietary recommendations as well as existing data on bioavailability and customary intake. The strongest case can be made for calcium and vitamin D supplementation. Because excessive dietary calcium can reduce zinc absorption as a result of interactive effects within the intestine, an appropriate ratio of calcium to zinc should be used, even if this means adding zinc as a fortificant or supplement. Magnesium supplementation may be appropriate in some circumstances but it cannot be routinely advocated at present. It is unlikely that phosphorus supplementation is needed for most population groups because of the relatively high usual dietary phosphorus intakes, primarily from phosphate salts added to carbonated beverages and as food preservatives.
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