Micronutrient Malnutrition

HUMANS REQUIRE AT LEAST 50 NUTRIENTS TO LIVE HEALTHY AND PRODUCTIVE LIVES

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.