Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #331864

Research Project: Improving Cardiovascular Health with Diet

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Dietary supplements and disease prevention — a global overview

Author
item Rautiainen, Susanne - Brigham & Women'S Hospital
item Manson, Joann - Brigham & Women'S Hospital
item Lichtenstein, Alice - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Sesso, Howard - Brigham & Women'S Hospital

Submitted to: Nature Reviews Endocrinology
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2016
Publication Date: 5/6/2016
Citation: Rautiainen, S., Manson, J.E., Lichtenstein, A.H., Sesso, H.D. 2016. Dietary supplements and disease prevention — a global overview. Nature Reviews Endocrinology. 12(7):407-420. doi: 10.1038/nrendo.2016.54.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Dietary supplements are widely used and offer the potential to improve health if appropriately targeted to those in need. Inadequate nutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are prevalent conditions that adversely affect global health. Although improvements in diet quality are essential to address these issues, dietary supplements and/or food fortification could help meet requirements for individuals at risk of deficiencies. For example, supplementation with vitamin A and iron in developing countries, where women of reproductive age, infants and children often have deficiencies; with folic acid among women of reproductive age and during pregnancy; with vitamin D among infants and children; and with calcium and vitamin D to ensure bone health among adults aged >/= 65 years. Intense debate surrounds the benefits of individual high-dose micronutrient supplementation among well-nourished individuals because the alleged beneficial effects on chronic diseases are not consistently supported. Daily low-dose multivitamin supplementation has been linked to reductions in the incidence of cancer and cataracts, especially among men. Baseline nutrition is an important consideration in supplementation that is likely to modify its effects. Here, we provide a detailed summary of dietary supplements and health outcomes in both developing and developed countries to help guide decisions about dietary supplement recommendations.