MINNEAPOLIS, Mar 2, 2009 — Many middle-aged and older Americans are not getting adequate nutrition, even with the assistance of dietary supplements, U.S. researchers said.
Pamela J. Schreiner of the University of Minnesota and colleagues found that potassium intake was very much below the recommended daily allowances whether supplements were taken or not. This could point to a need to reformulate supplements to deliver higher potassium doses.
The researchers used data drawn from the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis — a prospective cohort study designed to investigate the prevalence, correlates and progression of subclinical cardiovascular disease — to examine more than 6,200 participants from four ethnic groups, Caucasian, African-American, Hispanic and Asian.
Dietary intakes were determined from food frequency questionnaires that included data using label information from their supplements.
More than half of the population took supplements. The study, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, found supplement users were more likely to be older, women, Caucasian and college-educated. Calcium and vitamin C supplements were most common.
However, for calcium, 15 percent of high-dose supplement users exceeded the upper intake levels compared to 1.9 percent of multivitamin users and 2.1 percent of non-users.