Health Supreme by Sepp Hasslberger

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March 25, 2004

Millions lacking key vitamins

Millions 'lacking key vitamins' was the title of a recent article on BBC News telling us about a Unicef report made in conjunction with The Micronutrient Initiative, "a not-for-profit organization specializing in addressing micronutrient malnutrition" proposing food fortification and supplementation, in conjunction with multinational food and pharmaceutical companies.

This initiative is especially interesting in connection with a report published in The Independent in April 2000 and archived here, according to which the "Green Revolution" of the 60's and 70's introduced new varieties of common grains that were much higher yield than traditional varieties but less nutritious, in that they did not take up minerals as well as their poorer bretheren had done for millennia before.

If we further consider that rice, once said to be God's greatest gift to human society has all but become property of Syngenta, a chemical and agrotechnology giant in the process of patenting and commercially exploiting the genome of the oryza sativa plant, the picture becomes more worrying.

Are the same multinational interests that brought on the "Green Revolution" now saying "you need more nutrients but not to worry - we will just add them to your flour"? Was it not their intervention that caused the micronutrient shortages in the first place?

Says Venkatesh Mannar, president of The Micronutrient Initiative:

"Resources and technology to bring vitamin and mineral deficiencies under control do exist. What we need is the will and the effort and the action to fix this problem."


Millions 'lacking key vitamins'

First published on BBC News

One in three people around the world are not getting enough vitamins and minerals, a report suggests.

Officials say it is preventing millions of people from meeting their physical and intellectual potential.

The report, by Unicef and The Micronutrient Initiative, calls for urgent action to tackle the problem.

It says efforts to eradicate poverty, reduce child mortality and improve maternal health all hinge on ensuring better access to vitamins and minerals.

Range of problems

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can cause a range of problems ranging from lower IQs to weak immune systems.

A lack of iodine, for instance, is estimated to cause as many as 20m babies to be born with mental impairments.

A lack of vitamin A is believed to cause as many as 1m deaths in children under the age of five every year because of poor immunity.

A study, published on Monday, found one in five people around the world are not getting enough zinc in their diet, increasing the risks of diarrhoea and pneumonia.

In more severe cases, vitamin and mineral deficiencies can lead to anaemia and blindness.

The report calls on the food industry to consider adding key vitamins to staple foods to tackle the problem.

It also calls for supplements to be made available to millions of people in developing countries.

In addition, it urges governments to do more to fight diseases like malaria, measles and diarrhoea which can prevent people from absorbing vitamins and minerals properly.

"The overwhelming scope of the problem makes it clear that we must reach out to whole populations and protect them from the devastating consequences of vitamin and mineral deficiency," said Carol Bellamy, executive director of Unicef.

"All children have the right to a good start in life," said Kul Gautum, its deputy executive director.

"With nearly a third of the planet affected in some way by a problem for which a clear solution exists, anything less than rapid progress is unconscionable."

Venkatesh Mannar, president of The Micronutrient Initiative, a not-for-profit organization which is trying to boost vitamin uptake in developing countries, urged the international community to work together.

"Resources and technology to bring vitamin and mineral deficiencies under control do exist.

"What we need is the will and the effort and the action to fix this problem." 

Here is a wave of press reports (4 April 2004) on a UN report about loss of mental capacity because of a lack of vital nutrients...

Nations losing mental capacity because of nutrient shortage

Entire countries losing mental capacity because of nutrient shortage, UN warns


posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Thursday March 25 2004
updated on Wednesday December 8 2010

URL of this article:


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Readers' Comments

It would not surprise me if high-tech farming reduced the nutritional content of food. I have searched high and low for evidence of same, and have found some articles supporting this view which I've posted, but there is not much research on this topic that I can see. The Independent article that you cite is provocative but not wholly convincing as to its methods and reliability.

As a side note, we should not hypothesize that there was a 'good old days' where people ate healthy, locally-grown and organic produce and where everyone was healthy and fit. That may exist in the future, but the past was often about famine, malnutrition and early death. I worked on the National Nutrition Survey for Papua New Guinea back in the 80s. I was astounded at how many people lived day after day solely on cao-cao (a tuber). These were rural dwellers generally.

Posted by: Bob W on March 26, 2004 05:12 PM




This company is also featured in the PDR (Physicians Desk Reference) which is a main resource manual Medical Doctors use. The products are also balanced, this means that the products are in the best potent antioxidant or mineral combinations you can have (because of the research).
Balanced means: Vitamin C is the best antioxidant in the plasma, and it regenerates vitamin E. Vitamin E is the best antioxidant within the cell membrane. Glutathione, along with its supporting nutrients selenium, riboflavin, niacin, and N-acetyl L-cysteine, form together to make the most important antioxidant system functioning within the cell itself. Beta-carotene and the mixed carotenoids are very important free radical scavengers. Alpha Lipoic acid is both fat-soluble and water-soluble and is able to work within both the plasma and the cell wall.
All of these antioxidants need the so called antioxidant minerals selenium, manganese, copper, and magnesium available in adequate amounts in order to perform their job. All of these ingredients are tested and ratioed so that they will work together to help and protect a persons body the best-short term and long term.

Posted by: BOB AND NORMA on January 4, 2006 11:44 PM


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