By Lydia Wheeler – 07/18/16 11:16 AM EDT
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a rule that will allow food producers to add vitamin D to milk and soy milk.Under the rule, a safe amount of vitamin D 2 can be added to soy milk, soy-based beverages, soy-based butter and soy-based cheese substitutes, and higher levels of vitamin D 3 is allowed to be added to milk.
The agency said vitamin D is essential for human health. It maintains the proper amount of calcium and phosphorus in the blood by enhancing the absorption of these minerals in the small intestine.
“Vitamin D deficiency can lead to abnormalities in calcium and bone metabolism, such as rickets in children or osteomalacia [a softening of the bones] in adults,” FDA said in its rulemaking.
The Texas-based Dean Foods Company and Colorado-based WhiteWave Foods Company petitioned FDA for the rulemaking. The rule takes effect on Monday.