Are your multivitamins and supplements providing needed micronutrients?

October 13, 2015

Multivitamin/Mineral Supplement Contribution to Micronutrient Intakes in the United States, 2007–2010 has been selected as the 2015 Ragus Award Winner as Best Article from the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the official publication of the American College of Nutrition.

Multivitamin/mineral (MVMM) supplements are the most common dietary supplements consumed in the United States. This analysis assesses the contributions of to usual dietary intakes as derived from MVMM supplements. Micronutrients are needed in minuscule amounts and they enable the body to produce enzymes, hormones and other substances essential for proper growth and development. While necessary in very small amounts—the consequences of their absence are severe. In this research article, the contribution of micronutrients derived from MVMM supplements is compared to the intakes for US residents aged ≥ 4 years according to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2010 (n = 16,444).

The analysis points out that in large proportions of the population, micronutrient sufficiency is currently not being achieved through food solutions for several essential vitamins and minerals. Results showed that 51% of Americans consumed MVMM supplements containing 9 or fewer micronutrients. Also, large portions of the population had total usual intakes (food and MVMM supplement use) below the estimated average requirement for vitamins A (35%), C (31%), D (74%), and E (67%) as well as calcium (39%) and magnesium (46%).

Nevertheless, MVMM supplements contribute to a greater number of individuals meeting their recommended intakes of almost all micronutrients measured by NHANES. Use of age- and gender-specific MVMM may serve as a practical means to increase the micronutrient status in subpopulations of Americans while not increasing intakes above the tolerable upper level intake.

Explore further: Increasing calcium intake unlikely to boost bone health or prevent fractures, say experts

More information: Taylor C. Wallace et al. "Multivitamin/Mineral Supplement Contribution to Micronutrient Intakes in the United States, 2007–2010," Journal of the American College of Nutrition (2014). DOI: 10.1080/07315724.2013.846806

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