Author Topic: Looking for help assessing a cited study  (Read 232 times)

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Offline clutzyninja

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Looking for help assessing a cited study
« on: June 28, 2019, 10:19:16 AM »
So someone linked this study (and by linked I mean I had to copy it from a jumbled mess of an infographic) about vitamin deficiency, and it flies in the face of what I've always heard.
Namely, I am under the impression that most people do not need multivitamins, and that your doctor will tell you on the off chance you are deficient.  This study claims a much higher rate of deficiency, and I was wondering if anyone smarter than me could assess it and see if there's any red flags:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24724766

I don't see anything that screams at me, but I don't claim to know enough to be able to fully analyze it either.  Thanks for any help.

Online CarbShark

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Re: Looking for help assessing a cited study
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2019, 10:48:22 AM »
You can be far below the RDI for numerous micronutrients without having any diagnosable medical condition or even deficit detectable in testing.

So your doctor may examine you and  look at your test results and say you’re well nourished, but a dietician May look at your food intake and say the opposite.

 


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Offline jt512

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Re: Looking for help assessing a cited study
« Reply #2 on: June 28, 2019, 12:56:37 PM »
You can be far below the RDI for numerous micronutrients without having any diagnosable medical condition or even deficit detectable in testing.

So your doctor may examine you and  look at your test results and say you’re well nourished, but a dietician May look at your food intake and say the opposite.


The paper gives the proportion of the population estimated to have intakes below the EAR, which is defined to be the intake level adequate for only half the population.  That is, roughtly speaking, if your intake is exactly at the EAR, it has a 50% of being inadequate.  Most people with inadequate intake of a nutrient will not have frank deficiency disease, but rather will be at increased risk for chronic disease related to the nutrient (e.g., osteoporosis for inadequate intake of calcium or vitamin D).

The paper cited was funded and written by the Council for Responsible Nutrition, which is, unsurprisingly, the trade association for the US supplement industry, which raises an eyebrow.  But the results, IMO, look pretty reasonable.  They show that people who take a multivitamin supplement have higher vitamin and mineral intakes than those who don't, but that is practically a foregone conclusion.  They also show that the proportion of the population with inadequate intakes are lower among multivitamin users than non-users—another practically foregone conclusion.  However, the results also show that even among multivitamin users, inadequate intake remains very prevalent.  In short, the claims being made in the paper are quite modest.  I don't see anything in the way of exaggeration of the benefits of multivitamin use.

Recently the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), a diviion of the CDC found that inadequate intake of calcium (eg, below the EAR) ranged from 20% to 80%, depending on age and sex.  The paper cited by the OP found 40% among the total age 4+ population, which seems quite reasonable in comparison.
« Last Edit: June 28, 2019, 12:59:46 PM by jt512 »
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