Routine supplements to prevent chronic disease not advised

Routine supplements to prevent chronic disease not advised

(HealthDay)—Routine use of vitamin and mineral supplements to prevent chronic disease is not recommended, according to an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics position paper published in the November issue of the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The academy created the position paper to increase awareness of current issues relevant to supplementation and of the resources available to assist registered dietitian nutritionists and nutrition and dietetic technicians in evaluating their potential benefits and adverse outcomes.

Citing a lack of available scientific evidence, the academy recommends against the routine use of micronutrient supplements for prevention of chronic disease. However, micronutrient supplementation may be beneficial for requirements secondary to growth, specific chronic disease states, medication use, malabsorption, pregnancy and lactation, and aging. The academy is concerned that consumers may not be well informed about the safety and use of micronutrient products and some may have difficulty interpreting product labels.

"The dietary intakes of many Americans are inadequate in some micronutrients, so micronutrient supplements can be used to help individuals meet a nutrient requirement or to treat a diagnosed deficiency," the authors write. "There was insufficient evidence to determine whether taking multivitamin was beneficial for preventing chronic disease in generally healthy people."

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