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J Nutr. 2000 May;130(5S Suppl):1367S-73S.

Zinc intake of the U.S. population: findings from the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988-1994.

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National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Hyattsville, MD 20782, USA.


National survey data for 29,103 examinees in the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were used to estimate mean and percentile distributions of dietary and total zinc intakes based on 24-h dietary recalls and vitamin/supplement use. Mean daily total intakes ranged from 5.5 mg in non-breast-feeding infants to 13 mg in adults and were higher in adolescent and adult males than in females (P <0.01). Mean total zinc intakes (22 mg) were approximately 10 mg higher in pregnant and lactating females than in nonpregnant, nonlactating females of the same age. Mean total zinc intakes were 0. 7 mg higher in adolescents (11.1 mg) and 2.5-3.5 mg higher in adults (13 mg) compared with mean dietary intakes, indicating the average contribution of supplements to total zinc intake. Mean total zinc intakes were significantly higher in non-Hispanic whites than in non-Hispanic blacks (P<0.01) and Mexican Americans (P<0.01) for men and women aged 51-70 y and > or =71 y due to higher zinc supplement use. The prevalence of zinc-containing supplements use ranged from 0. 1% in infants to 20.5% in adults. "Adequate" zinc intake in this survey population was 55.6% based on total intakes of >77% of the 1989 recommended dietary allowance. Young children aged 1-3 y, adolescent females aged 12-19 y and persons aged > or =71 y were at the greatest risk of inadequate zinc intakes.

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