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Nutrients. 2018 Feb 22;10(2). pii: E248. doi: 10.3390/nu10020248.

The Evolving Role of Multivitamin/Multimineral Supplement Use among Adults in the Age of Personalized Nutrition.

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Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, Tufts University, 711 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111, USA.
Department of Nutrition Science, Purdue University, 700 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, 900 Commonwealth Avenue East, 3rd Floor, Boston, MA 02215, USA.
Huntsman Cancer Institute and Department of Population Health Sciences, University of Utah, 2000 Circle of Hope, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA.


Micronutrient deficiencies occur in segments of the adult population in the United States. Multivitamin/multimineral supplements (MVMS) are widely used by this population, which reduces inadequacies in micronutrient intake, but the potential for exceeding tolerable upper intake levels in others should be considered. There are concerns associated with the excessive intake of certain nutrients, particularly folic acid, and potential untoward consequences. The advent of nutrigenomics and the enhanced ability to directly study the interactions between nutrition and genetic variants and expression will allow for the conduct of more targeted studies with specific endpoints and may ultimately lead to progress in the field of personalized nutrition. The role of MVMS in health maintenance and chronic disease prevention remains controversial. Conducting studies in this area has been hampered by, among other factors, inconsistent definitions of MVMS, ranging from as few as three vitamins to broad-spectrum products containing more than two dozen vitamins and minerals. Results from some observational studies and large-scale, randomized, controlled trials suggest that MVMS may reduce the risk of some forms of cancer and, potentially, cardiovascular disease. The ongoing COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS) is expected to build on this research and provide additional insights into these areas.


deficiency diseases; dietary supplement; micronutrients; multivitamin; nutrigenomics; nutrition

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare no conflict of interest. JBB acts as a consultant to companies that manufacture or market dietary supplements, including service on the Nutrition Advisory Committee at Pfizer Consumer Healthcare. HDS declares that he has received investigator-initiated grant support from the Council for Responsible Nutrition Foundation and from Mars Symbioscience and Pfizer Inc. (including donations of study pills) for the COcoa Supplement and Multivitamin Outcomes Study (COSMOS). CMU and RLB declare no conflict of interest. The funding sponsors had no role in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, and in the decision to publish.

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