U.S. residents get high marks for vitamins

Overall, the U.S. population has good levels of vitamins A and D and folate in the body, but some groups still need to increase their levels of vitamin D and iron, according to the Second National Report on Biochemical Indicators of Diet and Nutrition, released this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.The report offers a limited but generally favorable review of the nation's nutrition status although the findings do not necessarily indicate that people consume healthy and balanced diets. CDC's Division of Laboratory Sciences in the National Center for Environmental Health measured these indicators in blood and urine samples collected from participants in CDC's National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Data are presented for the years 1999-2006, with emphasis on newly available data for 2003-2006. "These findings are a snapshot of our nation's overall nutrition status," said Christopher Portier, Ph.D., director of CDC's National Center for Environmental Health. "Measurements of blood and urine levels of these nutrients are critical because they show us whether the sum of nutrient intakes from foods and vitamin supplements is too low, too high, or sufficient." The report also found that deficiency rates for vitamins and nutrients vary by age, gender, or race/ethnicity and can be as high as 31 percent for vitamin D deficiency in non-Hispanic blacks.

********** Published: April 12, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 52