90% of Americans fall short in obtaining even the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) or Adequate Intake (AI) for at least one vitamin or mineral (micronutrients) in their diet
Among individuals 4 years of age and older, 94% and 89% consume less than the EARs for vitamins D and E, respectively; and 100% and 92% consumed less than the Adequate Intake Is for potassium and choline, respectively, from food alone.
The EAR and AI are a lower “nutritional bar” compared to the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) or Daily Value that is affixed to vitamin and mineral supplement facts boxes.
More frequent use of multivitamins is associated with marked achievement of suggested nutrient intake.
Though not unexpected, multivitamin users were less likely to take vitamin and mineral supplements to make up for poor dietary habits as they generally ate a nutrient-dense diet already.
Dietitians and many physicians continue to mistakenly assert Americans should meet their nutritional needs through foods, but 80% of the food sold in grocery stores are sugarized or processed so they don’t provide the nutrients they did in raw form. This is called high-calorie malnutrition.
Then there is the problem of poorly formulated multivitamins, those $6.99/month Centrum or One-A-Day brands (which funded the above mentioned study) that simply do not meet the nutritional needs of adults who may take nutrient- depleting drugs or medicines that reduce nutrient absorption (antacids are a major example) or (b) do not make sufficient stomach acid in the latter years of life to absorb most B vitamins, vitamin C and minerals.
Even taking a multivitamin frequently (25+ days/month), 28% of Americans were still not reaching the Estimated Average Requirement or Adequate Intake level for vitamin K and 18% were not reaching the EAR or AI for magnesium. Even these numbers are misleading as they only address intake levels of nutrients, not absorbed amounts (blood levels).