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Contribution of base diet,voluntary fortified foods and supplements to micronutrient intakes in the UK

The objective of the present study was to evaluate the contribution of voluntary fortified foods and supplements to reducing micronutrient shortfalls in the UK population. A secondary analysis of the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey was conducted (2012/13โ€“2013/14, N 2546, 1ยท5โ€“95 years). Micronutrient intakes were derived from food consumption intake data and food composition data and calculated as the proportion below or above the Dietary Reference Values for males and females of different age groups, for those on a base diet only, users of fortified foods but no supplements and users of fortified foods and supplements. Of the population consuming a base diet only, 21โ€“45 % and 5โ€“29 % fell below the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for minerals and vitamins, respectively. About 3โ€“13 % fewer consumers of fortified foods fell below the EAR for vitamins and minerals. Supplements barely reduced the prevalence of intakes below the EAR. Among supplement non-users and users, 99 and 96 % failed to meet the reference intakes for vitamin D. More women than men were at risk of inadequacies of micronutrient intakes. The prevalence of inadequacies declined with increasing age. Voluntary fortified foods but not supplements made a meaningful contribution to intakes of vitamin and minerals, without risk of unacceptably high intakes. These insights may help the UK to define approaches to address micronutrients of concern in vulnerable groups.

Authors: Julia K. Bird, Rebecca Barron, Sandrine Pigat and Maaike J. Bruins

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