Prevalence of leading types of dietary supplements used in the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 1988--94.Adv Data. 2004 Nov 09AD
This report presents the prevalence of the leading types of dietary supplements taken during the third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III), 1988-94. Approximately 40 percent of the U.S. population 2 months of age and older reported taking some type of dietary supplement in NHANES III, and the leading supplements taken were multivitamin/multiminerals (22 percent), multivitamins plus vitamin C (15 percent), vitamin C as a single vitamin (13 percent), other dietary supplements such as herbal and botanical supplements (7 percent), and vitamin E as a single vitamin (6 percent). To some extent, the leading types of supplements and order changed after stratifying the results by sex and age groups. Other major contributors were multivitamins with iron or fluoride taken by children, iron taken by adolescent and young adult females, and calcium taken by middle-aged and elderly females. There was also a high prevalence of use of potassium among middle-aged and elderly adults but this probably reflects its use as a medication rather than as a dietary supplement. Collecting information on dietary supplement use is an important part of monitoring the nutritional status of the U.S. population.