Nutritional Supplement Survey

The results of a nationwide telephone survey of 1,010 adults, asking them about their knowledge of nutritional supplements, were published in Harris Interactive Health Care News. Here are some selected findings:

Government regulation and labeling of vitamins, minerals and food supplements sold in supermarkets, pharmacies and health food stores:
  • 68% believe that the government requires that supplement labels include warnings about potential side effects or dangers.
  • 59% believe that supplements must be approved by a government agency like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they can be sold to the public.
  • 55% believe that supplement manufacturers are not allowed to make claims for their safety unless there is solid scientific evidence to support them.
  • 13% believe that supplements are safe because they are natural substances.
The impact that certain lifestyle, diet and nutritional supplements have on slowing the aging process "a lot".
  • Regular exercise (75%)
  • Not smoking (73%)
  • Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables (68%)
  • Not being overweight (66%)
  • Having close relationships with friends and family members (64%)
  • Eating a low fat diet (49%)
  • Vitamin supplements (23%)
  • Mineral supplements (13%)
  • Herbs and herbal supplements (12%)
  • Hormone or estrogen replacement therapy (10%)
  • Drinking alcohol in moderation (11%)
  • Hormonal therapies such as growth hormone, testosterone or DHEA.
    Nutritional supplement use:
    • 69% of respondents take vitamins, minerals, or food supplements
    • The median number of pills, vitamins, etc. taken in the last 30 days was 30 (i.e. one per day).
    • Older people and women were more likely to take supplements.

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