Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

CDC Study Shows Women, Blacks, and Hispanics Don't Get Enough Iodine, Iron, or Vitamin D

April 2, 2012 -- Most Americans are getting recommended amounts of vitamins, iron, and other essential elements in their diets, but women and some racial and ethnic groups may be low in certain key nutrients, a new government report shows.

The new report, from the CDC, measured 58 essential nutrients -- including vitamins, iron, folate, and iodine -- in the blood and urine of thousands of people who are participating in the ongoing National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) at two different time points, from 1999 to 2002 and from 2003 to 2006.

Less than 10% of people in the study had any nutritional deficiencies.

When researchers narrowed their focus, however, they did find some trouble spots.

Vitamin D

“The highest deficiencies we found were for vitamin D,” says researcher Christine M. Pfeiffer, PhD, chief of the nutritional biomarkers branch at the CDC.

Vitamin D is important for strong muscles and bones, and it may help protect against certain cancers and type 2 diabetes.

Vitamin D is found in fortified dairy products and fatty fish, but few of us get enough D from these sources alone.

Instead, most vitamin D comes from sunlight after it’s processed by the skin. The CDC study found that nearly one-third of African-Americans and 12% of Hispanics have levels of vitamin D that are considered low by scientific standards, compared to 3% of whites.

Whether that’s a problem or simply the result of a one-size-fits-all standard is a matter of debate.

Blacks and Hispanics have lower rates of osteoporosis than whites do, leading experts to wonder if everyone needs the same level of vitamin D.

“Blacks have better bone health, less fractures, stronger bone. It’s interesting to see that they can maintain that, the good bone health, even though they have much lower levels than the other groups,” Pfeiffer says.


Iodine deficiency, a problem that hasn’t been widespread in the U.S. since the 1920s, when the element was first added to table salt, may be making a comeback.

As a group, women between the ages of 20 and 49 appear to have iodine levels so low they border on deficiency.

Healthy Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.

Top searches: Chicken, Chocolate, Salad, Desserts, Soup

Heart Rate Calculator

Ensure you're exercising hard enough to get a good workout, but not strain your heart.

While you are exercising, you should count between...