Are You Getting Enough Vitamins and Minerals? Research Shows that Most Americans Aren’t

By Kulani Mahikoa
Executive Vice President
Kirkman Group, Inc.
 

After years of cajoling by the food and nutrition industry to eat a balanced diet to get the nutrition we need to stay healthy – we aren’t.

What Nutrients Aren’t We Getting?

Whether because of our busy lives, ignorance or personal preference, Americans aren’t making healthy food choices, consequently we can’t rely on food to provide us with adequate nutrition.

Studies show, for example that about 75% of the US population (ages ≥1 year) do not consume the recommended intake of fruit, and more than 80% do not consume the recommended intake of vegetables[1]. Intakes of whole grains[2] are also well below current recommendations for all age groups, and dairy intake is below recommendations for those ages 4 years and older[3].

The most recent US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which surveyed 16,444 individuals four years and older, showed that 94.3% of the US population did not meet the daily requirement for vitamin D, 88.5% for vitamin E, 52.2% for magnesium, 44.1% for calcium, 43.0% for vitamin A, and 38.9% for vitamin C. For the nutrients in which a requirement has not been set, 100% of the population had intakes lower than the allowable intakes for potassium, 91.7% for choline, and 66.9% for vitamin K. The prevalence of inadequacies was also low for all the B vitamins and several minerals, including copper, iron, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, and zinc.  This survey also confirmed that we love sugar and salt too much – and we consume way more than what’s good for us.

A Role for Dietary Supplements

The data points to the important role that dietary supplements can have in helping us get the daily vitamins and minerals we need[4].

We recommend that you start with a multi-vitamin that offers a broad spectrum of vitamins and nutrients.  Kirkman® offers a wide variety of multi-vitamin/mineral products as well most vitamins and minerals in several forms (capsule, tablet, powder or liquid) and various strengths.

To develop a more targeted personal nutritional program, we recommend that you start with a nutritional status lab test that will tell you exactly what are your nutrient levels.  You can either ask your doctor to prescribe the lab test or buy a home test kit.  They are readily available on the Internet.  This will give you great information on what vitamins and minerals you personally need to address.  Kirkman® also offers a wide selection of both single vitamins and minerals to address specific nutrient shortfalls that you may need to address.


[1] US Department of Health and Human Services and US Department of Agriculture. 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans December 2015. Available at: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/. Accessed 4/23/18.

[2] Whole Grains. (2019, January 2). Retrieved from https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/whole-grains

[3] Bailey RL, Fulgoni VL, 3rd, Keast DR, Dwyer JT. Examination of vitamin intakes among US adults by dietary supplement use. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012;112(5):657-663 e654.  (PubMed)

[4] Micronutrient Inadequacies in the US Population: an Overview. (2019, June 14). Retrieved from https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/micronutrient-inadequacies/overview

About Kulani Mahikoa

Kulani Mahikoa is Vice President and Marketing Director of Kirkman Group, Inc. She has had successful careers both as a journalist and as an entrepreneur.
This entry was posted in All, Vitamins, Minerals, and Nutrition. Bookmark the permalink.

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