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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Vitamin and Mineral Supplements Have a Nutritionally Significant Impact on Micronutrient Intakes of Older Adults Attending Senior Centers

Authors
item Weeden, Allisha -
item Remig, Valentina -
item Holcomb, Carol Ann -
item Herald, Tom
item Baybutt, Richard -

Submitted to: Journal of Nutrition for the Elderly
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 2, 2010
Publication Date: April 2, 2010
Citation: Weeden, A., Remig, V., Holcomb, C., Herald, T.J., Baybutt, R. 2010. Vitamin and Mineral Supplements Have a Nutritionally Significant Impact on Micronutrient Intakes of Older Adults Attending Senior Centers. Journal of Nutrition for the Elderly. 29(2):241-254.

Interpretive Summary: Older adults frequently report use of vitamin and mineral (VM) supplements. Despite possible improvements in dietary intake, concern remains over potential excessive nutrient consumption from VM supplement use. The purpose of the study was to evaluate micronutrient intakes of older adult volunteers from 35 Kansas senior centers. The volunteers were predominately white females, with an annual income of <$24,000, who reported eating a noon meal at the local senior center. Vitamins D and E, calcium and magnesium were the micronutrients most likely to be consumed below the recommended Dietary Reference Intake. VM supplement use most improved the intakes of vitamins E, D and B6, calcium and folic acid. With the inclusion of VM supplements, intakes of niacin, folic acid and vitamin A were most likely to exceed the Tolerable Upper Limit (UL). VM supplements consumed by subjects within this study significantly improved micronutrient intakes without consistently exceeding the UL.

Technical Abstract: Background: Older adults frequently report use of vitamin and mineral (VM) supplements, though the impact of supplements on dietary adequacy remains largely unknown. Despite possible improvements in dietary intake, concern remains over potential excessive nutrient consumption from VM supplement use. Objective: The purpose of the current study was to evaluate micronutrient intakes of older adults with emphasis on the identification of nutrients most improved by VM supplements, nutrients most likely to remain inadequate, and nutrients most likely consumed in excess. Design: Volunteers were recruited from 35 Kansas senior centers. A questionnaire was developed to collect demographic data, current health status, and VM supplement use. Subjects were then contacted by telephone to complete two 24-hour diet recalls and confirm VM supplement use. Subjects: Dietary intake and VM supplement use was analyzed for 263 community-dwelling subjects. The subjects were predominately white females, with and annual income of <$24,000, who reported eating a noon meal at the local senior center. Analysis: Chi-square was used to determine differences in VM supplement use by gender. Dietary adequacy was determined by comparing the ratio of mean dietary intake to the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI). The analysis was stratified by nutrient intake from diet only and diet intake + supplements. Results: Vitamins D and E, calcium, and magnesium were the micronutrients most likely to be consumed below the recommended DRI. VM suppplement use most improved the intakes of vitamins E, D, and B6, calcium, and folic acid. With the inclusion of VM supplements, intakes of niacin, folic acid, and vitamin A were most likely to exceeded the Tolerable Upper Limit (UL). Conclusions: VM supplements consumed by subjects within this study significantly improved micronutrient intakes without consistently exceeding the UL.

Last Modified: 12/21/2014
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