Legislation introduced this week in the U.S. Senate by Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND) would expand health savings accounts (HSA), health reimbursement arrangements and flexible spending accounts (FSA) to cover dietary supplements, according to the Natural Products Association.
The effort is part of a broader effort by the Natural Products Association (NPA) to expand access to nutritional supplements for underserved communities through programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), the NPA says.
Mounting evidence suggests a link between vitamin D deficiency and serious COVID-19 illnesses, and experts in the U.S. and around the world have urged policymakers to consider the benefits of vitamin D supplements to help support immune systems and prevent serious illnesses.
“We need to do more to ensure that our most vulnerable communities have access to nutritional supplements to support their health during this pandemic,” said Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., president and CEO of NPA. “This common sense solution is something that will benefit everyone, not only as we turn the corner in this pandemic but also in the long run. Thank you to Senator Cramer and his staff for their support and wanting to expand choices for hundreds of millions of Americans who use supplements to stay healthy in this challenging time.”
Research has shown that zinc deficiency can compromise immune function and increase the risk of infection, affecting an estimated 30% of the global population.
According to available data, 95% of adults and 98% of teens have an inadequate vitamin D intake and 61% of adults and 90% of teens do not get enough magnesium.
More than 23 million Americans, including 6.5 million children, live in food deserts — areas that are more than a mile away from a supermarket.
To read more go to npanational.org/news/new-legislation-expands-access-to-nutritional-supplements.