Thursday, February 25, 2016

DGA Call to Action: Supplemental Nutrients Needed

The 2015/2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans identified potassium, dietary fiber, choline, magnesium, calcium, and vitamins A, D, E, and C as shortfall nutrients. That is, nutrients that are consumed by many individuals in amounts below the Estimated Average Requirement or Adequate Intake levels. More specifically, the guidelines identified calcium, potassium, dietary fiber, and vitamin D as “nutrients of public health concern because low intakes are associated with health concerns,” and suggested supplementing with vitamin D, “especially when sunshine exposure is limited due to climate or the use of sunscreen.”

While the current formulation of the guidelines is big step up for the official recognition of the importance of dietary supplements, especially those supplying significant levels of essential nutrients. The issue for other important nutrients, specifically the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA is a little less clear cut. The guidelines addressed EPA and DHA specifically in a section discussing targets for the consumption of seafood. Americans in general fall woefully short of what is considered healthful intake levels.

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