New Study Shows That Overall Healthy Individuals Use Supplements

In response to the publication of a study, “Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Use by Children and Adolescents in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey,” published in the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), the leading trade association representing the dietary supplement industry, issued the following statement:

Statement from Douglas MacKay, N.D., vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, CRN:

“It comes as no surprise that those individuals who use vitamin and mineral supplements also engage in other healthy behaviors, such as trying to eat a well-balanced diet and being physically active. Studies show that healthy individuals tend to engage in many healthy habits—not just one healthy habit—but an overall approach to wellness. Vitamin supplements are one component of a total health package and cannot be teased out of the overall wellness equation.

It is also important to point out that the researchers rely on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) but fail to point out that other data from the same survey show that many Americans, including children and adolescents, fail to consume recommended amounts of vitamins E, C, and A, as well as calcium and magnesium. A daily multivitamin could affordably and safely help fill these nutrient gaps.

The supplement industry agrees with the authors that the underserved population could benefit from a multivitamin. The supplement industry supports the need for vitamins to be available to all individuals, including those of a lower socioeconomic status, through a number of initiatives, including through organizations such as Nourish America and Vitamin Angels, who help provide vitamins to those in need. In addition, the dietary supplement industry has long lobbied for legislation to include multivitamins with folic acid in the Food Stamp Provision of the Farm Bill, as well as passage of bills that allow purchase of supplements through flexible spending accounts or health spending accounts, to ensure that all consumers have access to vitamins that can positively impact their overall health and wellness.

Finally it is important to point out an error in the study authors’ comments. The fact is that dietary supplements, including children’s vitamins, are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.”

About Douglas MacKay, N.D.: Douglas “Duffy” MacKay, N.D., is vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs for CRN. Dr. MacKay is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and was a co-owner and practitioner in a family-owned New Hampshire complementary and alternative medicine private practice for seven years. In addition to his hands-on experience as a practitioner in the field of integrative medicine, he spent eight years working as a medical consultant for two companies in the dietary supplement industry, including four years with Nordic Naturals, where he served as vice president, clinical research. He previously served as senior technical advisor for Thorne Research. Dr. MacKay has published articles in peer-reviewed journals, and previously served as a senior editor of the peer-reviewed clinical journal Alternative Medicine Review. Dr. MacKay earned his B.S. in Marine Sciences from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his N.D. from the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon. Dr. MacKay is licensed in the state of New Hampshire.

Note to Editor: The Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), founded in 1973, is a Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing dietary supplement manufacturers and ingredient suppliers. In addition to complying with a host of federal and state regulations governing dietary supplements, CRN members also agree to adhere to voluntary guidelines for manufacturing, marketing and CRN’s Code of Ethics. Visit

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