Total Usual Micronutrient Intakes Compared to the Dietary Reference Intakes among U.S. Adults by Food Security Status

Nutrients. 2019 Dec 22;12(1):38. doi: 10.3390/nu12010038.


This study examined total usual micronutrient intakes from foods, beverages, and dietary supplements (DS) compared to the Dietary Reference Intakes among U.S. adults (≥19 years) by sex and food security status using NHANES 2011-2014 data (n = 9954). DS data were collected via an in-home interview; the NCI method was used to estimate distributions of total usual intakes from two 24 h recalls for food and beverages, after which DS were added. Food security status was categorized using the USDA Household Food Security Survey Module. Adults living in food insecure households had a higher prevalence of risk of inadequacy among both men and women for magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, B6, B12, C, D, E, and K; similar findings were apparent for phosphorous, selenium, and zinc in men alone. Meanwhile, no differences in the prevalence of risk for inadequacy were observed for calcium, iron (examined in men only), choline, or folate by food security status. Some DS users, especially food secure adults, had total usual intakes that exceeded the Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for folic acid, vitamin D, calcium, and iron. In conclusion, while DS can be helpful in meeting nutrient requirements for adults for some micronutrients, potential excess may also be of concern for certain micronutrients among supplement users. In general, food insecure adults have higher risk for micronutrient inadequacy than food secure adults.

Keywords: DRI; NHANES; dietary supplement; food security; micronutrients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Food Supply*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Micronutrients / administration & dosage*
  • Minerals
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Nutritional Requirements
  • Nutritional Status
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances
  • United States
  • Vitamins


  • Micronutrients
  • Minerals
  • Vitamins