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Americans like their vitamins

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Not only do more than two-thirds of Americans take vitamins and dietary supplements, but the vast majority also trusts in them, according to research by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN).

vitamins shelf_Walgreens_featuredThe 2015 CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, conducted by Ipsos Public Affairs, found that 68% of the more than 2,000 U.S. adults polled take dietary supplements, and 84% are confident in the safety, quality and effectiveness of supplements.

The vitamins and minerals category had the highest usage. Of those surveyed, 98% said they take vitamins and/or minerals, compared with 45% for specialty supplements, 31% for herbals and botanicals, and 25% for sports nutrition and weight management.

Between 2014 and 2015, use of vitamins and minerals and specialty supplements remained steady, while use of herbal/botanical products and sports nutrition/weight management products grew by 5% or more in 2015.

The top five vitamins and mineral supplements by usage were multivitamins (78%), vitamin D (32%), vitamin C (27%), calcium (24%) and vitamin B/B complex (18%).

Among specialty supplements, the most cited items in terms of usage by survey respondents included omega 3/fatty acids (19%), fiber (13%) and probiotics (12%).

Protein (14%), energy drinks/gels (8%) and hydration drinks/gels (5%) were the most used products in the sports nutrition and weight management segment. The top herbal/botanical products by usage were green tea (12%), cranberry (8%), and garlic and ginseng (6%).

In terms of confidence, vitamins and minerals came out well on top among supplement categories, with 85% of respondents expressing confidence in their in safety, quality and effectiveness. Yet there was a noticeable drop-off in confidence for the other categories: specialty supplements (63%), herbals/botanicals (60%) and sports nutrition/weight management (56%).

The survey found similar percentages of overall usage of supplements between men and women of younger generations (Generation X and Generation Y). However, CRN noted, there appear to be larger gaps in overall usage between men and women of older generations — those considered “boomers” or “elders” — as women reported noticeably higher levels of supplement use.


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