Journal of American College of Nutrition’s Top Award Goes to Study Examining Dietary Supplement Use in Key Population Groups

November 10, 2015CLEARWATER, FL—A study, which determined that multivitamin supplements contribute to a greater number of Americans achieving nutrient sufficiency without exceeding upper tolerable limits, was the most frequently accessed article in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition (JACN) during 2014. The study, entitled “Multivitamin/Mineral Supplement Contribution to Micronutrient Intakes in the United States, 2007–2010” ( was conducted by Dr. Taylor C. Wallace, PhD, CFS, FACN, of the popular food and nutrition blog and the Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA; Michael McBurney, PhD, FACN, DSM, Nutritional Products North America, Parsippany, NJ; and Victor L. Fulgoni, III, PhD, Nutrition Impact, Battle Creek, MI. 

For their efforts the researchers will be awarded the Charles A. Ragus Annual Award for Best Scientific Research Paper. The award is presented annually by JACN during the annual meeting of the American College of Nutrition (ACN). This year’s meeting will be held Nov. 11-15, 2015 in Orlando, FL.

Study Methodology 
The authors used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007–2008 and 2009–2010, a cross-sectional survey of U.S. residents administered and collected by the National Center for Health Statistics. The combined sample included 16,444 participants who had completed and provided 24-hour dietary intake data. NHANES participants were asked to complete two dietary recall interviews, with the first collected in person by trained interviewers and the second dietary recall interview was completed by telephone 3–10 days after the health examination.

Information on the use of multivitamins over the 30 days prior to the dietary recall interview was collected as part of the dietary supplement questionnaire. Detailed information was obtained for each reported multivitamins, including frequency of consumption, duration of use, and amount normally taken per day on days it was taken over the 30-day period. Average daily intakes obtained from multivitamins were calculated using the number of days use reported, the reported amount taken daily, and the serving size unit from the Supplement Facts Panel.

This is the first study indicating that over half the U.S. population (51%) consumes multivitamins, at least sporadically. Overall, the authors found that multivitamin supplements are responsible for a greater number of individuals meeting their recommended intake of most micronutrients, and may be beneficial when food sources are insufficient.

Micronutrient sufficiency is not currently being achieved through food solutions in large portions of the population, according to the researchers. “Nutrient-dense foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, nonfat dairy products and lean meats are the preferred means of obtaining recommended intakes of micronutrients.” 

The Council for Responsible Nutrition provided financial support for the study. 


About the Journal of the American College of Nutrition
The Journal of the American College of Nutrition (JACN) publishes original and innovative research articles, commentaries, and other data about nutrition which is of interest to researchers, physicians, nutrition professionals and other health and wellness practitioners. The journal is published six times per year by the American College of Nutrition (ACN).

About the American College of Nutrition
The mission of the American College of Nutrition is to advance the science of nutrition in order to prevent and treat disease. To reach its goal the ACN supports nutrition research and peer-reviewed publication, and fosters nutritional knowledge among clinicians, researchers, and the public. The College accepts no funding from for-profit organizations.  


NOTE TO EDITORS: The article is available online. For more information please email us.

Keywords: Multivitamin mineral, dietary supplement, Ragus Award, Journal of the American College of Nutrition, JACN, American College of Nutrition, ACN, nutrition, health