Dietary Supplements Don’t Prevent Chronic Disease

by: Diana Swift

As the US nutritional and dietary supplements market remains robust — an estimated $41.1 billion in sales in 2016 — the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is cautioning against the routine and indiscriminate use of these dietary add-ons.

In an updated position paper, published online November 20 in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the academy states that while single- and multiple-vitamin and mineral supplements may benefit the many Americans whose diets are lacking in micronutrients, there is no scientific evidence to warrant their regular use for preventing chronic disease in healthy individuals.

This conclusion is based on evidence reviews by a number of bodies, including the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF).

“Those with increased requirements secondary to growth, chronic disease, medication use, malabsorption, pregnancy and lactation, and aging may be at particular risk for inadequate dietary intakes,” write Melissa Ventura Marra, PhD, an assistant professor of human nutrition and foods at West Virginia University in Morgantown, West Virginia, and Regan Bailey, PhD, MPH, an associate professor of nutrition science at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.

About a third of US adults use a multivitamin-mineral supplement, the authors note. Prudently used, supplements may help close gaps in deficient diets; a previous analysis of data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey show 25% to 70% Americans have low dietary intake of calcium, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, D, and E. Micronutrient supplements may specifically benefit women intending to conceive or already pregnant, babies primarily breast-fed, alcohol-dependent individuals, and those with age-related macular degeneration, according to the AHRQ statement….

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Source; Medscape