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Micronutrient Malnutrition Print E-mail


The Medical Research Council (MRC) in South Africa has stated that the following deficiencies have been noted:
• “33% (1,8 million) of children under six years of age suffer from subclinical vitamin A deficiency, while 21% (1,2 million) are anaemic...

• Although information on zinc deficiency in South Africa is lacking, a study carried out by NIRU showed that 27% of preschool children and 34% of primary school children in a rural community in KwaZulu-Natal are zinc deficient.
• In spite of mandatory iodisation of table salt there is still evidence of iodine deficiency in the country.”

“In 1995, the Economic Research Service published a report showing it cost the US economy over a quarter of a trillion dollars every year to treat diet-related diseases such as cancer, stroke, heart disease, diabetes and osteoporosis, as well as in lost worker productivity. Obesity in the US alone kills around about 300 000 people a year at a cost of around $117 million. Figures for South Africa probably follow the same trend.

Humans require at least 50 nutrients to live healthy and productive lives. Given the minute amounts of these nutrients – parts per million – needed, it is incredible that deficiencies in dietary intake can occur. Micronutrient malnutrition (such as iron, iodine, selenium, zinc, Vitamin A and others) afflicts over three billion people – over half of the world’s population.”

Source: Dr Gert van der Linde – Farmer’s Weekly 13th January 2006.

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