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Dietary supplements and nutrient insufficiency in children

Posted on: November 7, 2012   by  Vitamin D Council


Research from the Office of Dietary Supplements published in The Journal of Pediatrics reports shocking findings that more than one-third of children failed to meet calcium and vitamin D recommendations.

The researchers analyzed data for 7,250 children ages 2-18 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 2003-2006 (NHANES).

Data revealed that supplement use was 21% for children <2 years and 42% for children 2-8 years. Calcium and vitamin D intakes were low for all children.

The researchers also found a higher incidence of inadequate intake among non supplement users for magnesium, phosphorus, and vitamin A, C, and E. The researchers do report that supplement use was associated with intakes above the recommended upper limit for zinc, folic acid, and vitamins A and C among supplement users.

Lead author of the study, Regan Bailey, PhD, RD, concludes:

“Even with the use of supplements, more than a one-third of children failed to meet calcium and vitamin D recommendations. These findings may have implications for reformulating dietary supplements for children.”


Bailey RL, Fulgoni VL, Keast DR, Lentino CV, Dwyer JT. Do dietary supplements improve micronutrient sufficiency in children and adolescents? The Journal of Pediatrics. November 2012.

Daniells S. Eye-opening data reveals reformulation opportunities for dietary supplements for children. Nutra Ingredients. Nov 2012.

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