The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that nutritional deficiencies in the U.S. population vary by age, gender, and race/ethnicity, and could be as high as nearly one third of certain population groups. Based on nationally representative data in 10,698 adults from National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) primarily from 2009-2012, assessments were made of race/ethnic differences in the impact of dietary supplements on nutrient intake and prevalence of inadequacies. Compared to food alone, use of any dietary supplement plus food was associated with significantly higher intakes of 14 to 16 of 19 nutrients examined in all race/ethnic groups; and significantly (p < 0.01) reduced rates of inadequacy for 8/17 nutrients examined in non-Hispanic whites, but only 3-4/17 nutrients (calcium, and vitamins A, D, and E) for other race/ethnic groups. Across race/ethnic groups an increased prevalence of intakes above the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) was seen for 1-9/13 nutrients, but all were less than 5% of the population. In conclusion, use of dietary supplements is associated with increased micronutrient intake, decreased nutrient inadequacies, and slight increases in prevalence above the UL in all race/ethnicities examined, with greater benefits among non-Hispanic whites.
Keywords: Hispanic; NHANES; micronutrients; non-Hispanic Asian; non-Hispanic Black; non-Hispanic white; vitamin/mineral supplement.