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Recent survey shows that among heavy supplement users, supplement use is down

Posted on: February 15, 2014   by  Vitamin D Council


A recent report published by ConsumerLab.com shows that among frequent supplement users, the use of supplements like fish oil, calcium and vitamin C have declined while use of probiotics has increased in the past year. Vitamin D supplementation has remained about the same.

The report is based on results from the annual Survey of Vitamin and Supplement Users. This survey, sent out to all of those that subscribe to ConsumerLab.com’s email newsletter, gathered responses from over 10,000 participants. These participants are frequent supplement users with an average intake of 6.6 different daily supplements, much higher than the national norm. The survey began in 2008 and has been conducted every year since then.

Compared to the 2012 survey, the results from 2013 showed that fish oil supplement use declined by 4.5%, calcium use declined by 6.3%, and vitamin C declined by 4.2%. The use of vitamin D, multivitamins, and B vitamins showed a minor decline of 1.7%, 1.6%, and 1.1%, respectively. Magnesium and CoQ10 use showed no change. Finally, probiotic use increased by 3.4%.

“In the past, probiotics were marketed mainly to women and for irritable bowel syndrome, but are now finding a wider audience due to expanded treatment applications, including antibiotic-related diarrhea, diverticular disease and even anxiety,” stated president of ConsumerLab.com, Dr. Tod Cooperman.

“Meanwhile, too much calcium has been shown to pose increased risk of cardiovascular disease, while high-dose vitamin C appears to increase the risk of kidney stones and cataracts.”

Despite these statistics, the supplements showing the biggest declines were still the most popular. Fish oil was the most popular supplement and was used by 67.2% of the survey takers. Vitamin D was reported to be used by 53.8% of respondents and calcium by 42.1%.

“The changes in supplement use seem to reflect research findings that made headlines this past year, as well as a shift in promotional emphasis for some of these supplements,” said Dr. Cooperman.


Calcium, Vitamin C, and Fish Oil Supplements Drop in Use, Probiotics Rise. HealthNewsDigest.com, 2014.

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