Food fortification for bone health in adulthood: a scoping review

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Food fortification can deliver essential micronutrients to large population segments without modifications in consumption pattern, suggesting that fortified foods may be formulated for populations at risk for fragility fractures. This scoping review determined the extent to which randomized controlled studies have been carried out to test the impact of fortified foods on bone outcomes, searching PubMed for all studies using the terms ‘fortified AND bone’, and ‘fortification AND bone’. Studies were restricted to English language, published between 1996 and June 2015. From 360 articles, 24 studies met the following criteria: human study in adults ≥ 18 years (excluding pregnancy or lactation); original study of a fortified food over time, with specific bone outcomes measured pre- and post intervention. Six studies involved adults ≥ 50 years; 18 involved adults < 50 years. Singly or in combination, 17 studies included calcium and 16 included vitamin D. There were 1 or 2 studies involving either vitamin K, magnesium, iron, zinc, B-vitamins, inulin or isoflavones. For adults <50 years, the four studies involving calcium or vitamin D showed a beneficial effect on bone remodeling. For adults ≥50 years, n = 14 provided calcium and/or vitamin D, and there was a significant bone turnover reduction. No consistent effects were reported in studies in which addition of vitamin K, folic acid or isoflavone was assessed. Results from this scoping review indicate that up to now most studies of fortification with bone health have evaluated calcium and/or vitamin D and that these nutrients show beneficial effects on bone remodeling.

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