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Nutrients. 2017 Aug 9;9(8). pii: E849. doi: 10.3390/nu9080849.

Impact of Frequency of Multi-Vitamin/Multi-Mineral Supplement Intake on Nutritional Adequacy and Nutrient Deficiencies in U.S. Adults.

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Antioxidants Research Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging and Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.
Linus Pauling Institute and Department of Biochemistry & Biophysics, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.
Nutrition Impact, LLC, Battle Creek, MI 49014, USA.
Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina, Kannapolis, NC 28081, USA.


Although >50% of U.S. adults use dietary supplements, little information is available on the impact of supplement use frequency on nutrient intakes and deficiencies. Based on nationally representative data in 10,698 adults from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) 2009 to 2012, assessments were made of intakes from food alone versus food plus multi-vitamin/multi-mineral supplements (MVMS) of 17 nutrients with an Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) and a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL), and of the status of five nutrients with recognized biomarkers of deficiency. Compared to food alone, MVMS use at any frequency was associated with a lower prevalence of inadequacy (p < 0.01) for 15/17 nutrients examined and an increased prevalence of intakes >UL for 7 nutrients, but the latter was ≤4% for any nutrient. Except for calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D, most frequent MVMS use (≥21 days/30 days) virtually eliminated inadequacies of the nutrients examined, and was associated with significantly lower odds ratios of deficiency for the examined nutrient biomarkers except for iron. In conclusion, among U.S. adults, MVMS use is associated with decreased micronutrient inadequacies, intakes slightly exceeding the UL for a few nutrients, and a lower risk of nutrient deficiencies.


NHANES; dietary supplements; micronutrient; multi-vitamin/multi-mineral; nutrient deficiencies; nutritional adequacy; nutritional supplements; vitamins

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

In addition to consulting work for the Campaign for Essential Nutrients (CFEN), the authors receive research support from USDA ARS grant 58-1950-014 (J.B.B.), NIH grant AT008754 (C.M.W.) and Nestle Nutrition (S.H.Z.). The authors serve on scientific advisory boards for AdvoCare (J.B.B.), Pfizer Consumer Healthcare (B.B.F., J.B.B.), Pharmavite (C.M.W., J.B.B.) and Metabolon (S.H.Z.). S.H.Z. is a founder of Nutrigene Sciences, LLC, a company in which he owns stock equity. V.L.F., as Senior Vice President of Nutrition Impact LLC, performs consulting and database analyses for various food and beverage companies and related entities. Neither CFEN nor its individual company members had any role in the design of this study; collection, analyses or interpretation of the data; or writing of the manuscript. The authors made the final decision to publish these findings.

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