The majority of Danes use some kind of dietary supplement even though most already ingest enough vitamins and minerals through their food, according to new analysis from the National Food Institute at DTU.
The analysis report (here in Danish) showed that six out of every ten Danes take a dietary supplement, and that exceeding one’s vitamin and mineral requirements can actually have adverse effects.
”Supplements always have the same high content of vitamins and minerals unlike a varied and seasonal diet. Therefore regular users of supplements can end up exceeding the upper tolerable limits for an extended period of time,” said Anja Biltoft-Jensen, a senior researcher from the National Food Institute.
“The majority of Danes do not need to take a supplement – a healthy and balanced diet and thoughtful sun exposure are the best ways to meet the need for most vitamins and minerals. If people still want to take a supplement, they should choose them wisely.”
More iron, ladies
Biltoft-Jensen went on to explain that the prolonged excess of vitamin and mineral ingestion could lead to liver damage, and that so-called mega doses can be downright dangerous for children and adults alike.
The vast majority of Danes have their vitamin and mineral requirements met via their normal diets, with vitamin D and iron being the notable exceptions. The vitamin D deficiency is down to the lack of sun in winter in Denmark, while women of childbearing age receive too little iron.
The analysis showed that 62 percent of 11 to 17 year-olds and 34 percent of adults are very likely to ingest too little vitamin D via their diets, while it also revealed that 79 percent of 14 to 17 year-old girls and 53 percent of 18 to 50 year-old women ingest too little iron.