Use of Health Supplements Varies By Age Group Interview with:

Elizabeth D. Kantor, PhD MPH Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center NY, NY

Dr. Elizabeth D. Kantor

Elizabeth D. Kantor, PhD MPH
Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center
NY, NY What is the background for this study?

Response: Prior studies show that use of supplements increased between the 1980s and mid-2000s, and despite much research conducted on the health effects of supplements, we know little about recent trends in use.

Given this gap, we decided to create an up-to-date, comprehensive resource on the prevalence and trends of supplement use among US adults using nationally representative data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). Data were collected over seven continuous cycles (from 1999-2000 to 2011-2012). What are the results?

Response: Among US adults, use of any supplement products has remained stable over the period from 1999-2012, with 52% reporting use in 1999-2000 and 2011-2012. This trend varied by population subgroup. For example, while use of supplements increased among older adults, ages 65 and older, use decreased or remained stable among younger age groups.

We also observed differences in trends by type of supplement. For example, use of multivitamin/multimineral supplement products decreased over the study period, with 37% reporting use in 1999-2000 and 31% reporting use in 2011-2012. Use of other supplements increased; for example, 1.3% of adults reported use of fish oil in 1999-2000 and 12% reported use in 2011-2012. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: We hope that the results of this study can be used to inform future research. One area of future research might focus on the health effects, both intended and unintended, of supplements that have increased in popularity. Thank you for your contribution to the community.


Trends in Dietary Supplement Use Among US Adults From 1999-2012
Elizabeth D. Kantor, PhD1; Colin D. Rehm, PhD2; Mengmeng Du, ScD1,3; et al
JAMA. 2016;316(14):1464-1474. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.14403

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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