WASHINGTON — Scientists from the Council for Responsible Nutrition addressed a key group of healthcare practitioners regarding recent studies on multivitamin and multimineral supplements in the Annals of Internal Medicine through a review published in the Natural Medicine Journal, the journal of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians.
CRN’s Duffy MacKay, SVP scientific and regulatory affairs, and Andrea Wong, VP scientific and regulatory affairs, were asked by the journal to respond to three studies and an accompanying editorial published in the December issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine. “We felt compelled to write the review, given that the accompanying editorial came to conclusions that were not reflective of what the studies demonstrated," MacKay said.
None of the three studies suggested that the medical community should abandon using and recommending supplements, yet that’s what the editorial authors called for, MacKay note. The AIM editorial missed the point of why most consumers take vitamins — not for preventing chronic disease, but instead for the very real nutrient shortfalls found in most Americans’ diets.
“Recent government research shows that a large portion of Americans fall below the estimated average requirement for certain nutrients, specifically vitamins A, C, D, and E and magnesium and calcium, even when nutrient intake from diet, fortified foods, and supplements is considered,” MacKay and Wong emphasize in their review. “Intake of some nutrients is low enough to be a public health concern. These include potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D, along with iron, folate and vitamin B12 for specific population groups.”
CRN has published a fact sheet on nutrient shortfalls on its website.
“The bottom line is that Americans are not getting enough of the key nutrients they need, and supplements can help bring them closer to the levels they need for optimal health,” Wong said.