Report: Science supports supplement use for micronutrient adequacy

October 17, 2011

The International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations (IADSA) this week released a scientific publication detailing the role of food supplements in ensuring micronutrient adequacy for vulnerable groups around the world.

Drafted for IADSA by David Richardson, Scientific Advisor to the U.K. Council for Responsible Nutrition, the publication aims to promote better awareness of the potential role of food supplements in supporting a varied and balanced diet and to help improve the nutritional status of populations around the world.

The report—“Ensuring micronutrient adequacy for vulnerable groups around the world: the role of food supplements”—covers micronutrient sufficiency for women at various life stages as well as children and adolescents, iron deficiency and the worldwide prevalence of anemia, micronutrient status and immune responses in the elderly, adequacy of dietary intake of vitamin A and nutritional status, and outcomes and food supplement interventions relating to vitamin D insufficiency.

The publication also gives selenium and iron case studies relating to risk-benefit analysis, details safety aspects of vitamins and minerals in terms of balancing the risk of deficiency with the risk of overconsumption, and clarifies the functional benefits of vitamins and minerals.

“Eating a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to achieve appropriate intakes of vitamins and minerals, however, national surveys around the world continue to demonstrate areas of nutritional concern and population groups at risk,” said Richardson. “The purpose of this publication is to review the evidence-based information on the benefits of micronutrients, intake status, safety and nutritional risk analysis in order to develop consistent public health advice about food supplements that can sit logically alongside advice on healthy eating, especially for the vulnerable groups and for consumers who find it difficult to make dietary changes.”