Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Are Americans Getting Enough Vitamins?

There is nothing I hate more than contradictory findings, and in the world of health, contradiction is everywhere. For example, does the average American get enough vitamins in his diet? According to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald that advocates taking multivitamin tablets, Americans do not get enough vitamins in their diets:

Given the medical profession's history of damning vitamin supplements, the last thing you'd expect in a medical journal is advice urging all adults to take a daily multivitamin pill.

That's exactly what appeared in the June 2002 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association, when doctors from Harvard Medical School concluded that the diets of most Americans were inadequate, and contributed to so much chronic disease that all adults needed a supplement to plug the gap.

However, according to an article that attacks Vitamin Water, most Americans do in fact have enough vitamins in their diet:

A vitamin-fortified drink may sound like a swell idea, but there are two caveats to keep in mind. First, most Americans aren’t vitamin-deficient, according to Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University. A government survey in 1999 showed that the median American adult man or woman already consumes more than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamins thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6 and B12, and three-quarters of the RDA of vitamins C, B9 and A (including carotenes).

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