November 2018 (Volume 118, Issue 11; Pages 2162-2173
It is the position of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics that micronutrient supplements are warranted when requirements are not being met through the diet alone. Those with increased requirements secondary to growth, chronic disease, medication use, malabsorption, pregnancy and lactation, and aging may be at particular risk for inadequate dietary intakes. However, the routine and indiscriminate use of micronutrient supplements for the prevention of chronic disease is not recommended, given the lack of available scientific evidence. A few specific age and disease states that may benefit from micronutrient supplementation are discussed. The most common dietary supplements used by both children and adults in the United States contain micronutrients. Consumers may not be well informed about the safety and use of these products, and some may have difficulty interpreting product labels. Thus, the expertise of registered dietitian nutritionists and nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered, is needed to guide the safe and appropriate selection and use of micronutrient supplements. To accomplish this, registered dietitian nutritionists and nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered, must keep up to date on efficacy, safety, and the regulatory issues influencing the use of these products. This position paper aims to increase awareness of current issues relevant to micronutrient supplementation and of the resources available to assist registered dietitian nutritionists and nutrition and dietetic technicians, registered, in evaluating their potential benefits and adverse outcomes.