Evidence-based decision making on micronutrients and chronic disease: long-term randomised controlled trials are not enough

Comment: Of course, everyone would agree that all persons should be encouraged to eat a good diet, but we are far from achieving this goal, especially among the poor. In most cases, a simple way to improve micronutrient status is to take an MVM. However, even if one eats an ideal diet and takes an MVM, some vitamins can remain below recommended concentrations in some subgroups. For example, the efficiency of absorption of vitamin B-12 decreases with age, and supplements containing more than the Recommended Dietary Allowance are needed to correct the deficiency. The ability of the skin to use ultraviolet light to synthesise vitamin D3 also decreases with age and is inefficient in dark-skinned people. Because dietary sources of vitamin D3 are not plentiful, supplements are recommended for those groups.

Ames BN, McCann JC, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC. Evidence-based decision making on micronutrients and chronic disease: long-term randomized controlled trials are not enough. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Aug;86(2):522-3 View Letter

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