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Typically takes a century for govts to fortify food with nutrients (like vitamin D)


Phases seem to typically be:

  1. Detect association between nutrient and a health problem
  2. Determine that the lack of the nutrient is a major cause of the health problem
  3. Individuals and companies supplement with the nutrient
  4. Government recommends a minimum daily amount (RDA) of the nutrient
  5. Government sometimes then fortifies food (milk, salt, bread, . . ) with a bare minimum amount of the nutrient
  6. Government increases the amount of fortification a half century later due to one or more of the following
    Decreased use of the food (e.g. milk, salt) - note: Switzerland is the only country to have recently increased the amount of Iodine in salt
    Decrease in other sources of the nutrient (less sunshine ==> less Vitamin D)
    Decrease in cofactors needed with the nutrient (Magnesium)

Unfortunately uniform fortification ends using so little as to only partially help about 20% of the population

Often there is a concern that too much fortification will caused problems with some drugs (increase or decrease potency), or rare health problems
Very difficult to have one-size-fits all for anything: fortification, clothing, seats, shoes, eye glass intensity, size of print, calories, hearing aids, etc.

Vitamin D home fortification- don't wait 100 years for your govt

See also VitaminDWiki


Magnesium decline

See also web

  • Pellegra and Vitamin B3 (Niacin) Dr. Heaney Nov 2013 - also took a century
  • Folic Acid History Wikipedia Dec 2013 - clips
    1920s, scientists believed folate deficiency and anemia were the same condition
    1930's Folate was identified as the corrective substance in brewer's yeast
    1948 clinical efficacy was proven by Sidney Farber
    1960, experts first linked folate deficiency to neural tube defects
    1990s (late), US scientists implemented the folate fortification program
  • Vitamin C was the focus of perhaps the first Random Controlled Trial (RCT) in 1758
  • Is Food Fortification Necessary? An Historical Perspective 2009
    1921 Clinical Trial of Iodine presented at AMA conference, 1924 Iodized salt was common
  • Micronutrient Deficiency Conditions: Global Health Issues date unknown PDF at the bottom of this page
  • Should Foods Be Fortified Even More? Science News Sept 2004
    Currently, the federal government requires that manufacturers enrich cereal-grain products with five nutrients—iron and the vitamins thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), and folate (B9). The total cost to U.S. consumers of adding calcium and vitamin D to the list should be no more than about $19 million a year, Harold L. Newmark of Rutgers University and his colleagues report in the August American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
    Calcium and Vitamin D would add an estimated 6 to 10 cents to the cost of food per person per year—or collectively some $19 million.
    The team contrasts that amount with the annual savings of averting some 300,000 fractures ($2 billion) and preventing some 27,000 cases of colon cancer (more than $1 billion).
  • Food fortification spurred by military purchases 2003
    Flour fortification was greatly boosted in the US when the Army required all their bread be fortified during WWII
Typically takes a century for govts to fortify food with nutrients (like vitamin D)        
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3377 Micronutrient Deficiency.pdf admin 13 Dec, 2013 112.94 Kb 1385