Micronutrient Intake and the Contribution of Dietary Supplements in Hispanic Infants

J Diet Suppl. 2018 Mar 4;15(2):129-139. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2017.1330300. Epub 2017 Jun 12.


To calculate micronutrient adequacy among infants and toddlers and to determine the contribution of dietary supplements to this adequacy, micronutrient intake was assessed using two nonconsecutive 24-hour recalls in a sample of 296 infants aged 0-24 months. Micronutrient intake was calculated from foods and beverages and from supplements and compared between nonusers and users of supplements. Percentages of children below the Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) and above the tolerable upper limit intake (UL) were also compared between groups. A total of 241 participants had complete data. The prevalence of dietary supplement use among the sample was 15%. Mean intake of all micronutrients from foods and beverages was similar between nonusers and users of supplements (p > .05) but significantly higher for the following vitamins when supplements were included: D, E, B1, B2, B3, and B6 (p < .05). From foods only, the nutrients with highest percentage of children below the DRI were vitamins D and E and potassium. When supplements were included, this percentage significantly decreased among users compared to nonusers (p < .05) for vitamins D and E. From foods, the UL was exceeded for magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B3. These were similar when supplements were added. Supplements significantly increased the intake of some vitamins. Vitamins D and E had the highest percentage of children below the DRI, which was partly corrected with the use of supplements. The UL was exceeded for magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B3 in many children. It is important to understand these patterns as they may be indicative of future nutritional deficiencies and excesses.

Keywords: Hispanic; adequacy; dietary supplements; infants; micronutrient intake.

MeSH terms

  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Hispanic Americans
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Nutritional Physiological Phenomena*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage*
  • Nutrition Assessment
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances
  • Surveys and Questionnaires


  • Micronutrients