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Providing perspectives on recent research into vitamins and nutritionals


Improving Nutrition to Maintain Health: Food and Supplement Choices

By Michael McBurney

One of the most effective ways to improve public health is to improve nutrition. A new review by Dwyer and colleagues with the support of the North American Branch of the International Life Sciences Institute examines the impact of food fortification.

Enrichment and fortification are key contributors to intakes of vitamins A, C and D, thiamin, iron, and folate (Fulgoni et al, 2011). Without eating these processed foods, many Americans would have much poorer nutrient status. Dietary supplements further reduce the micronutrient gap.

According to the Council for Responsible Nutrition most recent survey, 68% of US adults use dietary supplements (See infographic).The number one reason for using supplements is ‘overall health and wellness (54%) followed by ‘to fill nutrient gaps in my diet’ (36%). is that they are trying to eat a balanced diet. 97% of them use a multivitamin supplement.  46% use a fish oil/omega-3 supplement and 29% take vitamin D. Most people keep their supplements in a kitchen cabinet (40%) followed by a kitchen counter (21%), bathroom cabinet (20%),  bedside table (13%) and last but not least, bathroom counter (8%). Most people started using dietary supplements in adulthood. We trust our physicians for reliable information and base our purchases on price.

Finally, most consumers are in good company because research shows that doctors and nurses are increasingly choosing dietary supplements. (Kim et al, 2013)

Main Citation

Dwyer JT, Woteki C, Bailey R, Britten P, Carriquiry A, Gaine PC, Miller D, Moshfegh A, Murray MM, Smith Edge M. Fortification: new findings and implications. 2014 Nutr Rev doi: 10.1111/nure.12086

Other Citations

Fulgoni VL, Keast DR, Bailey RL, Dwyer J. Foods, fortificants, and supplements: Where do Americans get their nutrients? 2011 J Nutr doi: 10.3945/jn.111.142257

Kim HJ, Giovannucci E, Rosner B, Willett WC, Cho E. Longitudinal and secular trends in dietary supplement use: Nurses’Health Study and Health Professionals Follow-up Study, 1986-2006. 2013 J Acad Nutr Diet doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2013.07.039