Vitamin D use increased 52% in past two years.
Subject: Health attitudes (Surveys)
Dietary supplements (Surveys)
Pub Date: 04/01/2012
Publication: Name: Townsend Letter Publisher: The Townsend Letter Group Audience: General; Professional Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 The Townsend Letter Group ISSN: 1940-5464
Issue: Date: April, 2012 Source Issue: 345
Product: Product Code: 2834730 Nutrient Preparations NAICS Code: 325412 Pharmaceutical Preparation Manufacturing SIC Code: 2833 Medicinals and botanicals; 2834 Pharmaceutical preparations
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 286257187
Full Text: Among people who use dietary supplements, the most popular products at the end of 2010 were fish oil, multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium, and CoQ10, according to a survey by Use of vitamin D surged in 2010 to 56.2% of those surveyed, up from 47.9% in 2009 and 36.9% in 2008 - a 52% increase over the two-year period. Fish oil continued its rise in popularity, used by 75% of those surveyed, up from 74% in 2009. Meanwhile, multivitamin use declined to 70.1% last year from 72.0% in 2009 and 73.8% in 2008. The survey is conducted each November and is based on more than 6000 responses from a sampling of subscribers to the free e-newsletter. Most respondents in the survey use multiple supplements. Among the 2010 survey's other key findings:

* Women were much more likely than men to have taken vitamin D, calcium, or probiotics. Men were more likely than women to have taken CoQ10, herbs and extracts, glucosamine/chondroitin, vitamin E, resveratrol, amino acids, nutrition drinks and powders, and several other supplements.

* Younger adults were more likely to have used a multivitamin than older adults: 73.0% of people aged 35 to 44 used a multivitamin, compared with 67.9% of those aged 75 to 84. Younger adults were also more likely than older adults to have used amino acids, nutrition/protein drinks and powders, green tea, nutrition bars, iron, and several other supplements.

* Older adults were more likely than younger adults to have used vitamin D, calcium, CoQ10, vitamin C, vitamin E, resveratrol, vitamin K, and red yeast rice. For example, 64.9% of those aged 77 to 84 used vitamin D, compared with 48% of those 35 to 44

* Calcium was the fourth most popular supplement, used by 55.3% of respondents, up from 51.2% last year.

* Use of CoQ10, the fifth most popular supplement, fell in use from 55% to 53% of respondents.

* Other than among the top five supplements, the largest changes since 2009 in the use of the other 26 types of supplements covered in the survey were the use of herbs and extracts (down from 44% to 37.6%) and glucosamine/chondroitin (down from 38.5% to 35.3%).

* Among 10 types of merchants from which people purchased their supplements, the most common was online stores, used by 46.5% of respondents - up from 44.1% in 2009 and 39.9% in 2008. The increase was offset by small declines in the use of vitamin stores, mass merchants, and direct distributors.

* Respondents also rated 1356 brands and 1186 merchants that they used. Among these, 70 brands and 33 merchants each received at least 100 to 1707 consumer ratings. Those receiving the highest rating on overall consumer satisfaction within their specific market segment are listed on the ConsumerLab website.(1)

Tod Cooperman, MD, president of, said: "We originally began the annual survey to direct our product testing toward supplement categories and brands of greatest interest to members. It has evolved into an excellent barometer of the nutrition marketplace."

ConsumerLab. corn's survey findings are available in the comprehensive, 129-page 2012 Survey of Vitamin and Supplement Users Report. The report examines the use of 31 specific types of supplements and nutritional products. It also analyzes and compares consumers' satisfaction with 90 popular brands of supplements and 36 supplement merchants. Results are analyzed by respondent age, gender, and level of supplement use. The report is available for purchase and custom analyses are available.

For more information or to purchase the report, go to; or contact Lisa Sabin, vice president for business development, at lisa.sabin@ . Subscription and access to's test reports, covering more than 60 types of popular supplements, is available online at is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. The company is privately held has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.


(1.) Top-rated vitamin and supplement brands and merchants on consumer satisfaction for 2011 [Web page],
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