Mr. Ramos

Writing for the Sciences

4/22/2015

Foods, Fortificants, and Supplements: Where Do Americans Get Their Nutrients?

The study begins by addressing the fact that many Americans aren’t receiving the proper amount of micronutrients as laid out by the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. There are a total of 19 micronutrients being assessed, including dietary fiber, vitamin D, calcium, vitamin A, B, C, K and magnesium. Foods sold in America are usually always enriched with nutrients to increase the American’s intake. For example, bread is enriched iron and riboflavin. Furthermore, Americans tend to consume dietary supplements to acquire their nutrients. This study aims to determine usual nutrient intake of all 19 micronutrients from all sources, something that has never been recorded. There were a total of 18,000 participants who completed a 24-hr dietary intake recording. The study first looked at dietary intake from food and found that a large chunk of the food was enriched. However, the study was able to determine the amount of enriched nutrients being consumed using USDA guidelines. The intake of dietary supplements was recorded as well as the frequency of consumption. This gave an estimate for the total amount of micronutrients consumed by the participants. The estimation of usual intake for the 19 micronutrients was obtained using the National Cancer Institute Method. The study found that for some vitamins (D, K), the usual intake met the estimated average requirement (EAR). However, for vitamins A, B, C, and E, the intake was lowering that EAR. The study also found that many of these micronutrients obtained from food sources were due to the enrichment of the food product. In conclusion, most Americans met the usual intake, however there was a percentage that was low on some nutrients, but dietary supplements and enriched food aided with those who had low intakes.