U.S. Supplements Usage Ticks Up to 69%


Compared to the 69% of adults who in 2011 said they used supplements, 66% did in 2010, 65% in 2009, and 64% in 2008.

Sixty-nine percent of U.S. adults take dietary supplements-a percentage that has trended steadily upward over the last several years. The number comes courtesy of the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s (CRN) annual survey, sponsored by CRN and conducted online by Ipsos Public Affairs between August 25 to 29, 2011, on 2,015 adults ages 18 and over.

Compared to the 69% of adults who in 2011 said they used supplements, 66% did in 2010, 65% in 2009, and 64% in 2008.

Consumer confidence in the safety, quality, and efficacy of supplements is also rising, with 84% of adults saying they are confident, compared to 82% who said the same in 2010 and 84% who did in 2009.

“As more consumers are educated about the role vitamins and other supplements play in their overall health and wellness, they are incorporating them into their lives along with other healthy practices such as trying to eat a healthy diet and getting regular exercise,” commented Judy Blatman, CRN’s senior vice president of communications.

Other findings from the survey include:

  • Consumers take a variety of supplements: While most supplement users take “vitamin/mineral supplements” (67%), sizeable percentages also report taking “specialty supplements” (35%), “herbals/botanicals” (23%), and “sports nutrition supplements” (17%).

  • Among “specialty supplements,” the use of omega-3/fish oil supplements increased by 2%, from 21% in 2010 to 23% in 2011. The next two most popular in the category were glucosamine and/or chondroitin (8%) and fiber (8%).

  • More consumers are taking their letter vitamins: Vitamin D (22% versus 19% in 2010), vitamin C (22% versus 19% in 2010), and vitamin B/B complex (17% versus 14% in 2010).

  • Multivitamins are still the most popular category: 71% of supplement users take a multivitamin; while 53% report taking a multivitamin daily. Overall, 49% of all adults report taking multivitamins.

  • Reasons for taking a supplement? It’s part of a healthy lifestyle. Consumers ranked “overall health/wellness benefits” as the main reason why they take supplements (40%), followed by “fill in nutrient gaps in my diet” (29%).

  • When it comes to supplements, the survey noted that women are more likely to be supplement users than men (74% versus 64%, respectively).

  • Supplements use grows with age: While 60% of adults ages 18 to 34 take supplements, the percentage increases to 69% among those ages 35 to 54, and to 78% among those 55 and over.
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