Amway's Nutrilite Health Institute today presented preliminary global phytonutrient research findings which suggest that people around the world may lack different key phytonutrients in their diets due to low global fruit and vegetable intakes. The results were presented by Nutrilite scientist, Yumei Lin, PhD, before members of the International Union of Nutrition Science during the 20th International Congress of Nutrition in Granada, Spain. These findings begin to unravel phytonutrient gaps worldwide and add to previous Nutrilite research which revealed shortfalls in phytonutrient consumption in Korea and the United States.
Phytonutrients, compounds found in colorful fruits and vegetables, and which research suggests may provide a range of health benefits, are increasingly recognized as important components of a healthy diet. Yet research conducted in Korea in 2012 and the U.S. in 2010 - both published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics - indicates that phytonutrients are limited in many diets and come from a limited variety of food sources. For example, the largest gap in Korea was found in lycopene and ellagic acid, commonly found in watermelon and tomatoes, while Americans showed the largest gap in quercetin which is often contained in apples and onions and allicin which can be found in garlic.
The research presented today by Amway's Nutrilite Health Institute staff suggests that phytonutrient intake gaps are not relegated to Korea and the U.S. alone, rather, we are likely facing global phytonutrient shortfalls, which may vary regionally due to different diets.
"Our parents and doctors have always told us to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and while we may make every effort to do so, what is also critically important is eating a variety of these foods. Doing so results in consuming a variety of phytonutrients, and that can lead to better overall health," said Dr. Lin.
"The research we presented today furthers the growing conversation around how, where and why we should include phytonutrients in our diets. As the world's number one selling brand of vitamins and dietary supplements, Nutrilite is dedicated to understanding global phytonutrient needs. Research is revealing that no matter where we live, we are all well-served by finding more ways to bring a variety of phytonutrients into our diets," said Dr. Lin. While building a diet rich in whole fruits and vegetables first is the ideal goal, Dr. Lin recommends natural, plant-based supplements like those made by Nutrilite to help fill phytonutrient gaps.
Nutrilite supports ongoing research to better understand the role of phytonutrients in our health, as well as supplementation trends and the best ways to deliver optimal health for every lifestyle.
Publication of the complete findings from Nutrilite's global phytonutrient research is anticipated in 2014.