New Survey Finds: Most US Adults and A Third of Children Take Dietary Supplements

New Survey Finds: Most US Adults and A Third of Children Take Dietary Supplements

Most American adults and more than a third of children use dietary supplements, according to a new study from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study focused on supplement usage between 2017 and March 2020, and findings indicated that the numbers have either remained stable or increased. Additionally, experts suggest that the actual usage is likely higher at present, given the surge in supplement use during the Covid-19 pandemic. This increase was particularly observed before the availability of vaccines and treatments when individuals sought to enhance their immunity through various means.

The global market for dietary supplements has been experiencing growth for over ten years.

To conduct the study, researchers utilized data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, which consists of surveys representative of the entire US population. When asked about their supplement consumption in the past month, 58.5% of adults reported using at least one supplement, while 34.8% of children and adolescents did the same.

The recent study revealed certain demographic patterns in supplement usage. Women tended to use dietary supplements more than men, and there was a correlation between higher levels of education and income with an increased likelihood of using supplements. Additionally, supplement use tended to increase with age.

Among the surveyed individuals, multivitamins were widely consumed, with nearly a quarter of children and almost a third of adults reporting their use. Following multivitamins, vitamin D was the second most popular supplement, taken by over 18% of adults.

Vitamin D is believed to be beneficial for bone health as it aids in the absorption of calcium and phosphorous in the body. While sunlight exposure provides a natural source of vitamin D, individuals with darker skin tend to have lower levels due to the presence of melanin, which acts as a natural shade. Moreover, older individuals may have difficulty absorbing vitamin D from sunlight. Sunscreen and windows can also block the absorption of vitamin D.

To obtain sufficient vitamin D, people can include foods such as salmon, tuna, fortified drinks like orange juice and milk in their diet. However, surveys indicate that many individuals fail to meet the minimum daily recommendation of vitamin D intake, which is 10 micrograms (mcg) for infants up to 1 year of age, 15 mcg for individuals up to age 70, and 20 mcg for adults aged 71 and older.

Pregnant women consume a daily supplement containing 0.4 to 0.8 milligrams (400 to 800 micrograms) of folic acid to reduce the risk of neural tube birth defects, according to recommendations from the task force.


Risks and potential downsides of taking supplements

Dietary supplements in the United States are subject to relatively loose regulation by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and are not held to the same rigorous standards as medications.

This limited regulation has led to investigations over the years that have uncovered instances of contamination or discrepancies between the actual content of supplements and what is indicated on the label.

Experts recommend purchasing supplements with either the USP or ConsumerLab label, indicating that the product has undergone testing by the independent nonprofit organizations US Pharmacopoeial Convention Dietary Supplement Verification Program or A verified product guarantees freedom from harmful contaminants such as heavy metals or microbes and verifies the accuracy of the product’s claims.

It is important to inform your doctor about any vitamins or supplements you are taking when providing a medication list during your visit, according to CNN Health.

2 thoughts on “New Survey Finds: Most US Adults and A Third of Children Take Dietary Supplements”

  1. Pingback: Supplements That May Help Manage or Prevent Osteoporosis - The Diet of the Common Sense

  2. Pingback: These Are The Most Popular Vitamins and Supplements - The Diet of the Common Sense

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