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Total estimated usual nutrient intake and nutrient status biomarkers in women of childbearing age and women of menopausal age

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Prasad P Devarshi, LeeCole L Legette, Ryan W Grant, Susan Hazels Mitmesser. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, nqaa392,

Published: 10 February 2021



Women of childbearing age (WCBA) and women of menopausal age (WMENO) have distinct nutritional needs. Understanding nutrient intake and status in these life stages is critical for tailoring dietary recommendations.Objectives

The objectives of this study were to evaluate total estimated usual nutrient intakes from food and food plus supplements and to compare these to established recommendations for WCBA and WMENO life stages and examine associations between self-reported estimated usual intakes and nutrient status biomarkers.Methods

Twenty-four-hour dietary recall data from 2011–2016 NHANES were used to estimate usual intake of nutrients from food and food plus supplements for WCBA (aged 15–44 y, n = 4,134) and WMENO (aged 40–65 y, n = 3,438). Estimates of mean usual intake were derived and compared across clinically defined nutrient biomarker categories.Results

Both young (aged 15–30 y) and older (aged 31–44 y) WCBA had intakes from food below the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for calcium (49% and 44%, respectively), magnesium (62%, 44%), and vitamins A (50%, 44%), C (47%, 46%), D (>97%, >97%), and E (92%, 88%). Similarly, perimenopausal (aged 40–50 y) and menopausal (aged 51–65 y) women had intakes from food below the EAR for calcium (48% and 74%, respectively), magnesium (50%, 49%), and vitamins A (44%, 37%), C (44%, 41%), D (>97%, >97%), and E (88%, 86%). Nutrient gaps decreased with supplement usage. For folate, vitamins D and B-12, and DHA, women in the lowest biomarker category (indicating increased risk of deficiency) had significantly lower intake from food (315.2 ± 25.9 compared with 463.8 ± 5.2 µg dietary folate equivalents, 3.5 ± 0.1 compared with 4.2 ± 0.1 µg, 3.6 ± 0.2 compared with 4.3 ± 0.1 µg, and 0.037 ± 0.005 compared with 0.070 ± 0.006 g, respectively; P < 0.01) of the corresponding nutrient compared with the highest biomarker category.Conclusions

Substantial percentages of WCBA and WMENO are not meeting recommendations for multiple nutrients, whereas supplement usage partially fills nutrient gaps. Dietary intake was positively associated with most nutrient status biomarkers. Specific guidance is needed to ensure adequate nutrient intakes and the nutrient status during these critical life stages.

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