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New FDA Health Claim Provides Another Reason to Enjoy Three Daily Servings of Dairy

October 1, 2008

ROSEMONT, Ill., Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ — The Food and Drug Administration released a final rule(1) for health claims this week on the relationship between calcium and vitamin D and a reduced risk of osteoporosis, in addition to calcium and a reduced risk of osteoporosis. Foods that are excellent sources of calcium and foods that are excellent sources of calcium and vitamin D can now bear claims about the relationship between these nutrients and a reduced risk of osteoporosis. Examples of claims that can be used are included in the editor’s note.*

These new health claims will help communicate the benefits of calcium and vitamin D in bone health to Americans, many of whom are falling short in consuming the recommended amounts of these key nutrients and more than 10 million of whom are already living with osteoporosis.(2) By the year 2020, half of all Americans over age 50 will have weak bones.(3)

The claims can be used on the packages of reduced-fat, low-fat and fat-free milk and yogurt varieties, as well as other food products that qualify as excellent sources (20% or more of recommended Daily Value) of calcium or calcium and vitamin D per standard serving, respectively.

While foods and beverages fortified with calcium and vitamin D can carry the claim under the new rule, these products often are higher in calories and contain less of some important nutrients than low-fat or fat-free milk. In addition to calcium and vitamin D, nutrient-rich dairy foods contain a unique package of bone-building nutrients, including magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and protein, which are recognized as important to bone health in the 2004 U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on Bone Health and Osteoporosis.(3) Per 8-ounce serving, low-fat milk or non-fat milk provides almost 4 times the amount of magnesium, 23 times the amount of phosphorus, 3.5 times the amount of potassium and 16 times the amount of protein than an orange juice drink as shown in the FDA table.

Together, milk, cheese and yogurt are the main sources of calcium and vitamin D in the diets of Americans. Three 8-oz. glasses of vitamin D-fortified milk provide 90% of the recommended Daily Value (DV) for calcium and 75% of the DV for vitamin D.(4),(5)

“Current consumption data indicate that most people aren’t getting enough vitamin D or calcium. The new health claim helps communicate the critical need for calcium, vitamin D and physical activity and their role in reducing the risk of osteoporosis,” says Dr. Frank R. Greer M.D., Chairman of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition. “Nutrient-rich dairy foods are critical for building strong bones and preventing osteoporosis later in life.”

For individuals who are lactose intolerant, the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans states that milk alternatives within the milk food group, such as yogurt and lactose-free milk, are the most reliable and easiest way to derive the health benefits associated with milk and milk products. Studies have identified simple strategies to make dairy easier to digest — drinking lactose-reduced or lactose-free milk, eating yogurt, consuming hard cheeses such as Cheddar or Swiss that are naturally low in lactose or drinking small amounts of milk at meals.

Together with six leading health professional organizations, the National Dairy Council — as part of the 3-A-Day of Dairy program — works to educate families on how to maintain good bone health at every age to help reduce the risk of osteoporosis later in life, by eating a well-balanced diet that includes three daily servings of nutrient-rich low-fat or fat-free milk, cheese or yogurt recommended in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. The American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Dietetic Association, National Medical Association, National Hispanic Medical Association and School Nutrition Association support the 3-A-Day of Dairy program.

For more information on dairy foods and bone health, visit http://www.3aday.org/ and http://www.nationaldairycouncil.org/. Or, to view the new health claim language visit http://www.fda.gov/ or http://federalregister.gov/OFRUpload/OFRData/2008-22730_PI.pdf.

   *EDITOR'S NOTE:   Per the final rule, model health claims that can be used include:    -- For foods that are excellent sources of calcium only:      -- Adequate calcium throughout life, as part of a well-balanced diet,         may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.      -- Adequate calcium as part of a healthful diet, along with physical         activity, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later life.   -- For foods that are excellent sources of both calcium and vitamin D:      -- Adequate calcium and vitamin D throughout life, as part of a         well-balanced diet, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.      -- Adequate calcium and vitamin D as part of a healthful diet, along         with physical activity, may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in later         life.      For More Information:    NDC Media Hotline    312-240-2880    ndc@dairyinfo.com    (1) Food And Drug Administration. Final Rule: 21 CFR Section 101 [Docket       No. FDA2004P0205] (9-29-08).   (2) National Osteoporosis Foundation, 2006.       http://www.nof.org/osteoporosis/diseasefacts.htm.   (3) U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Bone Health and       Osteoporosis: A Report of the Surgeon General. Rockville, MD: U.S.       Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Surgeon       General, 2004.   (4) Weinberg et al, Nutrient contributions of dairy foods in the United       States, continuing survey of food intakes by individuals, 1994-1996,       1998, Journal of the American Dietetic Association,  2004;104:895-902.   (5) Based on rounded values from USDA Nutrient Database. Release 18.       http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/foodcomp/search/  

National Dairy Council

CONTACT: NDC Media Hotline, +1-312-240-2880, ndc@dairyinfo.com

Web site: http://www.3aday.org/http://www.nationaldairycouncil.org/http://www.fda.gov/




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