By Stephen Daniells, Nutra Ingredients USA
Most Americans are achieving the estimated average requirement (EAR) for a number of nutrients, with fortification and supplementation playing an important role in boosting intakes of key nutrients.
However, data from 16,110 Americans showed that between 34 and 70% have insufficient intakes nutrients, such as magnesium, potassium, and vitamins A, C, D, and E.
“Compared with intakes from naturally occurring nutrients, enrichment and/or fortification dramatically improved intakes of several key nutrients, including folate, thiamin, iron, and vitamins A and D,” report the researchers in the Journal of Nutrition.
“Dietary supplements added to the intakes of those who used them and further reduced the percentage of the population below the EAR for magnesium and vitamins A, C, and E.”
Potassium and vitamin D are among the four nutrients identified by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans as of public concern.
In addition, vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and magnesium were listed as nutrients of concern for certain population subgroups.
Healthy diet + supplements
Commenting on the study, Cara Welch, PhD, VP of scientific and regulatory affairs with the Natural Products Association (NPA) told NutraIngredients-USA that the article was an “e****lent example of why a healthy, balanced diet along with dietary supplements is necessary for the well-being of Americans”.
“The examples of folate, thiamin and iron show the benefit of both fortification and supplementation by dramatically decreasing the percentage of Americans who are deficient,” said Dr Welch.
“Hopefully, with education and proper supplementation, these examples can be expanded to the other nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, E, and D.”
Led by Victor Fulgoni III from Nutrition Impact LLC, the researchers used the National Cancer Institute method to assess intakes of 19 micronutrients in 7,250 American children (aged from 2 to 18) and 8,860 adults.
Results showed that less than 10% of the population had usual intakes vitamin B6, folate, zinc, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B12, phosphorus, iron, copper, and selenium below the estimated average requirement (EAR).
However, higher percentages of the populations – from 34 to 70% - had intakes below the EAR for vitamins A, C, D, and E, calcium, and magnesium.
“Compared with intakes from naturally occurring nutrients, enrichment and/or fortification dramatically improved intakes of several key nutrients, including folate, thiamin, iron, and vitamins A and D. Dietary supplements added to the intakes of those who used them and further reduced the percentage of the population below the EAR for magnesium and vitamins A, C, and E,” wrote the researchers.
“Intakes from enrichment and/or fortification and from dietary supplements also increased the percentage of participants whose intakes exceeded the UL for niacin, vitamin A, folate, and zinc.
“Health professionals must be aware of the contribution that enrichment and/or fortification and dietary supplements make to the nutritional status of Americans.”
Source: Journal of Nutrition
Published online ahead of print, doi:10.3945/jn.111.142257
“Foods, Fortificants, and Supplements: Where Do Americans Get Their Nutrients?”
Authors: V.L. Fulgoni III, D.R. Keast, R.L. Bailey, J. Dwyer