Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/1/2000
Publication Date: 1/1/2001
Citation: Hunt, J.R., Dwyer, J. 2001. Position of the American Dietetic Association: Food fortification and dietary supplements. Journal of the American Dietetic Association. 101:115-125.
Technical Abstract: Dietary supplement users differ from nonusers in their demographic and socioeconomic status, attitudes, beliefs, and lifestyles, including their food choices, making it difficult to ascertain the true health effects of supplements without controlled clinical trials. Nevertheless, for certain nutrients and some individuals, fortification, supplementation, or both are desirable in addition to other food sources. Dietary assessment and planning should include evaluation of food selections as well as nutrient intakes from all sources. Vitamin or mineral intakes exceeding the recommendations of the National Academy of Sciences have no demonstrated benefit. Caution is needed with fortification or supplementation practices that exceed these recommendations because neither efficacy nor long-term safety have been scientifically demonstrated, because these sources may upset the balance of healthful constituents in foods, and because government regulation of health claims are relatively weak for supplements compared to foods. It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that the best nutritional strategy for promoting optimal health and reducing the risk of chronic disease is to choose wisely from a wide variety of foods. Under a number of circumstances and in appropriate amounts, additional vitamins and minerals from fortified foods and/or supplements can help some people in meeting science-based nutritional guidelines. Many constituents of foods that may have health effects are not characterized. Therefore good food selection, using tools such as the USDA's food guide pyramid and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, continues to be the corner stone of good nutrition.