IADSA Releases Scientific Publication on Role of Food Supplements in Worldwide Micronutrient Deficiency


The publication details the role of food supplements in ensuring micronutrient adequacy for vulnerable groups around the world.

Source: International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations

The International Alliance of Dietary/Food Supplement Associations this week released a scientific publication detailing the role of food supplements in ensuring micronutrient adequacy for vulnerable groups around the world.

Drafted for IADSA by Professor David P Richardson, Scientific Advisor to the UK Council for Responsible Nutrition, in cooperation with IADSA’s Scientific Group, the publication aims to promote better awareness of the potential role of food supplements in supporting a varied and balanced diet and to help improve the nutritional status of populations around the world.

It covers micronutrient sufficiency for women at various life stages as well as children and adolescents, iron deficiency and the worldwide prevalence of anaemia, micronutrient status and immune responses in the elderly, adequacy of dietary intake of Vitamin A and nutritional status, and outcomes and food supplement interventions relating to Vitamin D insufficiency.

The publication also gives selenium and iron case studies relating to risk-benefit analysis, details safety aspects of vitamins and minerals in terms of balancing the risk of deficiency with the risk of overconsumption, and clarifies the functional benefits of vitamins and minerals.

“Eating a healthy, balanced diet is the best way to achieve appropriate intakes of vitamins and minerals, however, national surveys around the world continue to demonstrate areas of nutritional concern and population groups at risk,” said Professor Richardson. “The purpose of this publication is to review the evidence-based information on the benefits of micronutrients, intake status, safety and nutritional risk analysis in order to develop consistent public health advice about food supplements that can sit logically alongside advice on healthy eating, especially for the vulnerable groups and for consumers who find it difficult to make dietary changes.”

Professor Richardson highlighted the need for the scientific evidence of the use of food supplements to be translated into economic and healthcare benefits as growing attention is paid to the impact of dietary and lifestyle patterns on health and wellbeing.

“Many governments and international agencies around the world already recognise the need for supplementation in certain vulnerable groups,” he said. “However, significant proportions of the general population are failing to achieve adequate intakes of several micronutrients. Much more could be done to give consistent advice regarding the role of food supplements so that they form part of the strategic advice for dietary intervention for vulnerable groups and can contribute beneficially to help control costs of healthcare and promote the health and quality of life of people globally.”

The publication, titled “Ensuring micronutrient adequacy for vulnerable groups around the world: the role of food supplements”, is available for free download on the IADSA website, www.iadsa.org.

IADSA brings together over 50 dietary supplement manufacturer associations and distributors from across the world, working to ensure a greater exchange of information about the science and regulation of dietary supplements and ingredients among industry, scientists, regulators and consumers.

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