What is nutritional poverty?
Most Americans are consuming a diet that is rich in calories but poor in nutritive value. The idea that the standard American diet provides all of the necessary nutrients needed to maintain optimal health is untrue.
The nature of our food, and how we obtain it, has changed dramatically over the last 50 years, and consequently it’s challenging to get all of the vitamins and minerals we need from our diet. Recent findings reported in July 2015 by the Center for Disease Control demonstrate that Americans do not consume enough of the right foods to get all the essential nutrients needed to maintain optimal health.
Leading the way in educating the public about our nutritional deficiencies in the United States is Tieraona Low Dog, M.D. In her new book, “Fortify Your Life, Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and More”, Dr. Low Dog outlines the case for dietary supplements in modern times. She presents compelling evidence that widespread nutritional deficiencies exist in the United States, and nutrient depletions may result from certain prescribed medications. One common nutrient deficiency that many people are not aware of, is vitamin B6. This important vitamin plays a critical role in the production of serotonin, dopamine, and melatonin.* Vitamin B6 deficiency, associated with depressed mood, impaired cognition and memory, as well as inadequate sleep impacts 30 million Americans. Considering that there are roughly 300 million people currently living in the United States, this means that approximately one out of ten people has a vitamin B6 deficiency. That statistic does not take into account that millions more people are likely to have “less than optimal” levels but have not yet reached deficiency status.
Vitamin B6 was just one example of many nutrient deficiencies examined in Dr. Low Dog’s compelling book. She reviews other nutrient deficiencies such as vitamin B12, where the risk of deficiency increases with both age and the use of several medications, as well as vitamin B2, vitamin D, choline, iron, zinc and even vitamin C.
Clearly we are in the midst of an epidemic of nutritional poverty. Most Americans are consuming a diet that is rich in calories but poor in nutritive value. The idea that the standard American diet provides all of the necessary nutrients needed to maintain optimal health is untrue. A multivitamin plays an important role in filling the gaps. Visit MegaFood.com/multis for more information on MegaFood's new, doctor-formulated line of multivitamins.* This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
1 NHANES 2007-2010 for average intakes by age-sex group. Healthy U.S.-Style Food Patterns, which vary based on age, sex, and activity level, for recommended intake ranges.
2 The details of Dr. Tieraona Low Dog’s keynote presentation are presented in her book, Fortify Your Life, Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals and More (National Geographic Society, 2016)