New study outlines benefits of nutritional supplement use in college students

January 24, 2014

Habits acquired during young adulthood are crucial in fostering lifelong health. Unfortunately, some college students fall into nutrient-deficient diets that leave them at risk for developing chronic disease later in life. Researchers at the University of Connecticut sought to test the role of dietary supplement use in addressing nutritional deficiencies among this population. Their findings are presented in "Assessment of Nutrient Adequacy with Supplement Use in a Sample of Healthy College Students," currently available in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the official publication of the American College of Nutrition, and a publication from Routledge.

60 students with healthy lipid profiles and BMIs (Body Mass Index) were recruited for the study, 44 of whom were eligible for nutritional evaluation after excluding for misreporting. Subjects submitted detailed food records at the end of every day for 30 consecutive days. 39% of participants were supplement users, defined as adding one or more vitamin, mineral, herb/botanical, amino acid, concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or any combination thereof to his or her diet.

All nutrient intakes except for vitamin A were significantly higher in supplement users than non-users. In addition, supplement users had significantly higher average dietary intakes of protein, folate, niacin, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc. Overall, both male and female college student supplement users were shown to avoid many of the common among their larger population. Future research involving a large scale study on nutrient adequacy, supplementation, and lifestyle factors associated with college students is suggested.

Explore further: Monitoring the population's food and supplement intakes

More information: "Assessment of Nutrient Adequacy with Supplement Use in a Sample of Healthy College Students." Catherine Davis Ouellette, Meng Yang, Ying Wang, Caroline Yu, Maria Luz Fernandez, Nancy R. Rodriguez, Ock K. Chun. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Vol. 31, Iss. 5, 2012. DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2012.10720424

Related Stories

Monitoring the population's food and supplement intakes

March 8, 2012

Collecting data on what the U.S. population actually consumes is a key nutrition monitoring step. Nutritionists then translate "foods eaten" into "nutrients consumed." This snapshot of the population's food-nutrient intakes ...

Dietary supplement use among older persons

December 6, 2013

Many older people are ingesting too much magnesium and vitamin E in the form of dietary supplements. This was discovered by scientists of the Helmholtz Zentrum München in a population-based study; their results have been ...

Most clinical studies on vitamins flawed by poor methodology

December 30, 2013

Most large, clinical trials of vitamin supplements, including some that have concluded they are of no value or even harmful, have a flawed methodology that renders them largely useless in determining the real value of these ...

Recommended for you

Higher intelligence score means better physical performance

August 14, 2015

New research reveals a distinct association between male intelligence in early adulthood and their subsequent midlife physical performance. The higher intelligence score, the better physical performance, the study reveals. ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.