Associations between dietary added sugar intake and micronutrient intake: a systematic review
There is increasing concern that high intakes of added sugars might compromise intakes of micronutrients. The objectives of this systematic review were (1) to determine whether dietary added sugar intake was associated with micronutrient intakes, and if so, whether there was evidence of micronutrient dilution as a result of higher dietary added sugar intake and (2) if micronutrient dilution was present, to determine whether there was sufficiently robust evidence to support a threshold effect above which there was a significant decline in micronutrient intake or status relative to the recommended intakes. A systematic computerised literature search was undertaken, limited to studies written in English published from 1980 onwards and further studies identified through hand searching papers. Fifteen studies that assessed associations between intakes of added sugars or non-milk extrinsic sugars and micronutrients were included. Overall, there are insufficient data and inconsistency between studies in relationships between added sugars and micronutrient intakes, with no clear evidence of micronutrient dilution or a threshold for a quantitative amount of added sugar intake for any of the micronutrients investigated. The current evidence base is considerably constrained by methodological issues. Further research is required to determine which food products high in added sugars might adversely affect micronutrient intakes by displacing other food items from the diet. Analyses should take into account the magnitude of any observed associations to determine their true biological significance.