What are the most popular supplements?

Jennifer A. King, MD
Family Medicine
Some of the most popular supplements include: multivitamins, calcium, omega 3s or fish oil capsules, probiotics, B vitamins, and vitamins C and D. Not all people need these supplements, however, and there are blood tests which can tell you which vitamins that your are deficient.  I recommend to my patients to get a blood test first to find out what nutrients they are deficient in and then I recommend foods and supplements high in these nutrients. I will then order another blood test a few months later and make adjustments to the supplements they take as needed. I always like to recommend whole foods first before adding supplements.
Particularly popular dietary supplements include multivitamins and multiminerals, calcium supplements, folic acid supplements and vitamin D supplements. Fish oil supplements are also popular, as are glucosamine (for arthritis), echinacea (for colds and flu), and probiotics (for digestion).
Lynne Kenney
Findings from the Annual ConsumerLab.com Survey:
What are the most popular supplements among ConsumerLab.com subscribers? Which brands and merchants ranked highest in customer satisfaction?

Fish oil/omega-3 supplements were used by 74.0% of respondents (up from 71.6% in 2008), followed in popularity by multivitamins, which were used by 72% (down from 73.8% in the prior year). Among the heaviest supplement users (10 or more per day), 87% used fish oil. The percentage of people using fish oil/omega-3 remained steady among those aged 35 through 74, dropping slightly among older people.

CoQ10 became third most popular supplement with 55% using it, up from 50.9% last year. Calcium use fell from 55.3% to 51.2%, making it the fourth most popular supplement.

Vitamin D was used by 47.9% of respondents, up from 36.9% in 2008 -- a 30% increase, making it the fifth most popular supplement. Vitamin D use was seen to increase dramatically with increasing age. The next most popular supplements were B vitamins, vitamin C, herbs/extracts, minerals, and glucosamine/chondroitin.

Probiotics were used by 30.4% of respondents, up from 25% last year, making it the eleventh most popular category. One-third of women in the survey used a probiotic supplement. Next most popular were vitamin E, flaxseed/other oils, and amino acids.

Resveratrol was used by 19.4% of respondents, up from only 11.7% last year -- a 66% increase, making it the fifteenth most popular supplement. Men polled were 50% more likely than women to use resveratrol.

Continue Learning about Dietary Supplements

Dietary Supplements

Whether you're visiting the drug store, grocery or natural food shop you'll likely find an aisle where there are jars and bottles of things for you to put in your body that are neither foods nor medicines. Ranging from vitamins an...

d minerals to fiber and herbal remedies, these supplements are not regulated in the same way as either food or medicine. Some of them are backed by solid research, others are folk remedies or proprietary cures. If your diet does not include enough of certain vitamins or minerals, a supplement may be a good idea. Natural treatment for conditions like constipation may be effective. But because these substances are unregulated, it is always a good idea to educate yourself about the products and to use common sense when taking them. This is even more true if you are pregnant or taking a medicine that may be affected by supplements.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.