Report: About half of people use vitamins and supplements in U.S.
Consumption of multivitamins, calcium and other popular nutritional supplements has increased among American adults, and more than half of them use one supplement per day on an average, finds a new government study.
Dietary supplements, containing huge amounts of certain nutrients, are used to treat the deficiency of nutritional elements in a person's diet.
Moreover, usage of these supplements is not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
About half of all Americans take supplements relentlessly
The study, backed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics, mainly focused on the usage of vitamin D, calcium and folic acid supplements.
More than 40 percent of adult population in the United States has been found to use supplements from 1988 to 1994, and nearly 50% has started taking vitamins from 2003 to 2006.
Jaime Gahche, a nutritional researcher with the National Center for Health Statistics as well as the lead author of the study said, "Although we were not surprised, it is interesting to note that not only did supplemental calcium use and vitamin D use increase for all women aged 60 and over from 1988 to 1994 to 1999 to 2002, but there was also an increase from [between] 1999 [and] 2002 to 2003 to 2006”.
The study also finds that multivitamins are the most well-liked supplements.
However, incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into diet is more helpful to meet the nutritional demand rather than taking dietary pills or supplements, say experts.
Healthy diet is better than supplements
According to Dr. Darwin Deen, clinical professor in the department of family and social medicine at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, "People are looking for help with what they believe is a problem but trying to solve it the wrong way. Our diet contains too many processed foods that do not have the nutrients we need to keep us healthy -- soda and chips -- so people respond by taking vitamins."
But, people should ask their doctors for advice before taking such supplements.
Individuals often think that taking nutritional supplement is nothing but just an easy alternative to get essential nutrients, though it is not true always, said Dr. Donald Hensrud, associate professor of preventive medicine and nutrition at Mayo Clinic.