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J Am Coll Nutr. 2012 Oct;31(5):301-10.

Assessment of nutrient adequacy with supplement use in a sample of healthy college students.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-4017, USA.



Limited information is available on the nutritional status and the impact of supplements on nutrient adequacy in college students. This study aimed to assess nutritional status and evaluate the contribution of supplement use to overall nutrient adequacy in a sample of healthy college students.


Sixty subjects (40 women and 20 men) were randomly recruited from those attending the University of Connecticut. Food records were collected over 30 consecutive days for each subject. In addition, health and lifestyle information was collected at the beginning and end of the study period.


After excluding misreporting, only 44 subjects were eligible for assessing nutritional status. More than 40% of female students had intakes below the estimated average requirements for vitamins D and E, calcium, and magnesium. Supplement users had significantly higher average intakes than nonusers from dietary sources for protein, folate, niacin, vitamin E, magnesium, and zinc (p < 0.05). With the addition of supplements, supplement users consumed significantly more for all nutrient intakes except vitamin A than nonusers (p < 0.05). Nutritional adequacy of supplement users was significantly higher for vitamins D and E and magnesium compared with nonusers (p < 0.05).


Overall, men and women were consuming intakes below adequacy for most nutrients, and supplement usage increased nutrient intake and adequacy levels in this young adult population.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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