Vitamins and minerals:
dietary sources, supplements and deficiencies
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|Key Reviewers:||Dr Lisa Houghton, Lecturer: Department of Human Nutrition, University of Otago|
|Barbara Cormack, Paediatric Dietitian, Auckland City Hospital|
The New Zealand National Nutrition Survey in 1997 indicated that half of adults consumed a vitamin or mineral supplement in the past year, with 28% doing so regularly and 23% occasionally.1
In the US in 2006, it was reported that the highest users of multivitamin supplements were women, elderly people, those who are better educated, wealthier, have a healthier lifestyle, disease survivors, chronic disease sufferers and people with lower BMI. Smokers, African Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans used the least.*
The quality of clinical trials for most vitamin and mineral supplements is poor. There is presently no conclusive evidence that supplementation of a single nutrient or combination of nutrients is significantly effective in reducing the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease or neurological syndromes. Some in fact may increase risk.
The following article focuses on the necessity for use of four common vitamins and minerals.
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