The usage of dietary supplements among the elderly individuals in Taiwan.Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2005; 14(3):230-7.AP
This study describes dietary supplement consumption practices among the Taiwanese population over the age of 65. Data for the analyses were derived from the Elderly Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan (1999-2000) which was carried out from 1999-2000. Data from a total of 1937 participants (970 men and 967 women) were collected in the study to delineate patterns of supplement usage. The results indicated that the percentage of women taking supplements was 34.9%, which was higher than 30.1% for men. About 50% of male and female supplement takers took only one type of supplement. The numbers of people taking supplements decreased as the total number of supplement types chosen increased. The top five types of supplements consumed from highest to lowest were: multivitamins and minerals, calcium, vitamin E, vitamin C and fish oil. The elderly residing in the first stratum in the northern areas of Taiwan had the highest rate of taking supplements compared to other locations. In contrast, the elderly residing in mountain areas, eastern areas, and the third stratum in the central areas of Taiwan had a significantly lower rate of supplement ingestion. In addition, elderly people with the following characteristics had a significantly higher rate of taking supplements: higher education, higher monthly income, sufficient disposable income, higher scores in nutrition knowledge, daily ingestion of vitamin or mineral supplements, awareness of nutritional knowledge, regular ingestion of health-enhancing medicines, a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, good understanding of their own health status, and frequent exercisers.