Mike Wakeman, a researcher from the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing at the University of Sunderland, evaluated the associations between nutrient intakes and health.
Micronutrient data was collected from the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey Rolling Programme (NDNS-RP) and people’s health status was taken from the Health Survey for England (HSE).
Published in The Journal of Virology and Mycology, the review reveals a disturbing downward trend in the intake of vital nutrients over the past nine years.
In particular, people of all ages have micronutrient intakes below the Lower Reference Intake (LRNI) for the following nutrients:
- Vitamin A
A lack of calcium can lead to osteoporosis in later life or osteomalacia.
Magnesium is a mineral that turns the foods we eat into energy. And it also makes sure the parathyroid glands – responsible for bone health – work properly.
Iodine helps to make thyroid hormones, which help to keep cells healthy, as well as the metabolic rate – the speed at which chemical reactions take place in the body.
Selenium is another nutrient that helps to keep the immune system working properly. It also helps to prevent damage to cells and tissues.
Zinc is responsible for making new cells and enzymes within the body. It also helps with wound healing.
Moreover, zinc processes carbohydrates, fat and protein in the foods you eat.
GP Dr David Edwards comments on the findings: “Good nutrition is crucial to healthy ageing.
“Nutrient deficiencies impair brain function. Of the 20 leading risk factors for chronic disease, disability and death, several are nutrition-related.
“[Nutritional deficiencies] may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and certain types of cancer.”
And Dr Edwards noted that “people over 65 years are the fastest-growing group in the population”.
Observing the data, Wakeman adds: “These low levels of micronutrients are associated with many health challenges: bone health, brain health, cardiovascular health, digestive health, eye health and immune function.”
To combat such a startling trend, Wakeman recommends taking “a supplement containing recommended intakes of all micronutrients, as well as omega-3 fatty acids”.
One supplement which may be beneficial is the Alive! range from Nature’s Way, which has been specifically formulated to “plug nutrimental gaps”.
The Alive! Ultra Wholefood Plus supplement contains a unique blend of 26 fruits and vegetables.
The ingredients are: blueberry, orange, carrot, pomegranate, plum, strawberry, apple, beetroot, cherry, pear, tomato, cauliflower, raspberry, acai, asparagus, banana, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cranberry, cucumber, grape, pea, pineapple, pumpkin, spinach.
Additionally, each capsule contains berry fruits – rich in polyphenols (micronutrients).