Micronutrient intakes from food and supplements in Australian adolescents
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Objective: Low micronutrient intakes in adolescents are frequently reported. We assessed micronutrient intakes in adolescents to determine whether supplement use optimises intakes. Methods: Dietary intake was assessed using a food frequency questionnaire in 17 year old participating in the Western Australian Pregnancy Cohort (Raine) Study (n = 991). We calculated median daily micronutrient intakes in supplement users and non-users (from food sources only and from food and supplements), along with the percentage of adolescents meeting the Estimated Average Requirements (EAR) or Adequate Intake (AI) where appropriate. Results: Intakes of calcium, magnesium, folate and vitamins D and E from food only were low. Although supplements significantly increased micronutrient intakes in supplement users, more than half of supplement users failed to meet the EAR or AI for some key micronutrients. Compared with non-users, supplement users had higher micronutrient intakes from food sources with the exception of vitamins D and B12 and were more likely to achieve the EAR or AI for many micronutrients from food only. Conclusions: Intakes of some key micronutrients were low in this population, even among supplement users. Those facing the greatest risk of micronutrient deficiencies were less likely to use supplements.
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