Micronutrient Intake among Children in Puerto Rico: Dietary and Multivitamin-Multimineral Supplement Sources

Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2015 Dec;85(5-6):329-339. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000252. Epub 2016 Jul 20.


Background: Micronutrients are critical for healthy growth and development of children. Micronutrient intake from dietary sources is inadequate among some children and may be improved by use of multivitamin and multimineral (MVMM) supplements.

Objective: To assess micronutrient intake from dietary and MVMM supplement sources among 12-year-old children in Puerto Rico.

Methods: A representative sample of 732 children enrolled in an oral health study in Puerto Rico, who completed dietary and MVMM assessments through one 24-h recall, were included in this analysis. Micronutrient intake sources were described and compared to the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) using the Estimated Average Requirement when available (used Adequate Intake for vitamin K and pantothenic acid). Micronutrient profiles of MVMM users and non-users were compared using t-tests.

Results: Mean intakes of vitamins A, D, E, and K, pantothenic acid, calcium, and magnesium from food and beverage sources were below the DRIs. From food and beverage sources, MVMM users had higher intakes of riboflavin and folate compared to non-users (p < 0.05). When MVMM supplements were taken into account, users had higher intakes of all nutrients except vitamin K. With the help of MVMM, users increased intake of vitamins E, A, D, and pantothenic acid to IOM-recommended levels but calcium, magnesium, and vitamin K remained below guidelines.

Conclusion: Micronutrient intake from diet was below the IOM-recommended levels in the total sample. MVMM use improved intake of selected micronutrients and facilitated meeting recommendations for some nutrients. Public health measures to improve micronutrient intake among children in Puerto Rico are needed.

Keywords: Children; Hispanics; Puerto Rico; dietary supplements; micronutrient intake.