According to a recent survey by Consumberlab.com, the use of calcium, vitamin C and fish oil decreased and the use of probiotics increased during 2013. The survey of more than 100,000 dietary supplement users found that calcium use decreased most among women, vitamin C use decreased among men and fish oil decreased in use by both men and women. Probitotic use increased by nearly seven percent in men and women. The results are based on the responses to ConsumerLab.com's Survey of Vitamin and Supplement Users, conducted every November since 2008 among readers of ConsumerLab.com's e-newsletter. Respondents are predominantly heavy supplement users who, on average, take 6.6 different supplements per day and actively seek supplement information.
"The changes in supplement use seem to reflect research findings that made headlines this past year, as well as a shift in promotional emphasis for some of these supplements," says Tod Cooperman, M.D., president of ConsumerLab.com. "In the past, probiotics were marketed mainly to women and for irritable bowel syndrome, but are now finding a wider audience due to expanded treatment applications, including antibiotic-related diarrhea, diverticular disease and even anxiety. Meanwhile, too much calcium has been shown to pose increased risk of cardiovascular disease, while high-dose vitamin C appears to increase the risk of kidney stones and cataracts. The benefits of fish oil now seem largely limited to people who don't eat fish or have high triglycerides."
The most popular supplements based on the percentage of respondents who reported use them were fish oil, multivitamins, CoQ10 (including ubiquinol), vitamin D, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, probiotics and vitamin C. Respondents to the survey also identified where they purchase supplements.
ConsumerLab.com is a provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products used in the health and nutrition market. Membership to ConsumerLab.com is available on the website, giving access to reviews of more than 1,000 products from more than 400 brands.