According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) at least 40% of Americans routinely consume a diet that contains only 60% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of each of ten selected nutrients. This means that nearly half the population suffers from a deficiency of at least one important nutrient, which includes vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. A poll of 37,000 Americans conducted by Food Technology concluded that:
- 50% were deficient in vitamin B6
- 42% did not consume enough calcium
- 39% had insufficient iron intake
- 25 – 39% did not get enough vitamin C
In addition, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vitamin D deficiency is now recognized not only as an American problem but as a global pandemic as well. The National Institutes of Health (NIH) reports that overall vitamin D deficiency in the U.S. is 42%. The highest deficiency rates were seen in African Americans at 82% and Hispanics at 69%. Aging, medications and medical conditions, menstruation, poor or very strict diets, and heavy alcohol consumption can all contribute to nutrient deficiencies.