Dietary supplements are used by more than half of adults, although the reasons motivating this use have not been previously examined across the nationâuntil now.
U.S. researchers just completed a study in which they analyzed peopleâs motivations for taking dietary supplements. They then reported on the types of products used and examined the role of physicians and health care practitioners in guiding choices about dietary supplements.
To do this, they collected data from adults enrolled in the 2007â2010 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Hereâs what they found:
â¢ The most commonly reported reasons for using supplements were to âimproveâ (45%) or âmaintainâ (33%) overall health
â¢ Women used calcium products for âbone healthâ (36%), whereas men were more likely to report supplement use for âheart health or to lower cholesterolâ (18%)
â¢ Older adults (60 years of age or older) were more likely than younger individuals to report motivations related to site-specific reasons, like heart, bone and joint, and eye health
â¢ Only 23% of products were used based on recommendations of a health-care provider
â¢ Multivitamin-mineral products were the most frequently reported type of supplement taken, followed by calcium and omega-3 or fish oil supplements
There you have itâa snapshot of the average supplement userâs lifestyle, and it seems to be a pretty healthy one. While the study doesnât specifically say if supplement use does indeed boost bone health, or joint health, or eye health, it does seem to suggest that the overall health of supplement users seems to be pretty high.
It could be that taking supplements have health benefits over and above the specific reasons for which they are being taken. Talk to your health care provider if you would like to add some supplements to your weekly nutritional intake.
Sources for Today’s Articles:
The Five Top Reasons People Take Supplements
Bailey, R.L., et al., âWhy US Adults Use Dietary Supplements,â JAMA Intern Med. February 4, 2013: 1â7.