Washington, D.C.—The 2013 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements conducted by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) reports that two-thirds of U.S. adults take dietary supplements. In addition, 85% of adults are confident in the safety, quality of effectiveness of supplements.

Judy Blatman, CRN’s senior vice president of communications, says the results are “a testament to consumers’ understanding that the overwhelming majority of companies in this industry are dedicated to looking out for their customers,” but that the industry cannot become complacent. “We also need to find more ways to help consumers identify those companies that are in compliance with the myriad of regulations, versus those companies that give the industry a bad name,” Blatman says.

According to the survey’s results, of those who use supplements, 97% report taking vitamins and minerals. With 52% of American adults taking it everyday, the multivitamin is still the most popular supplement, followed by vitamin D (20%) and fish oil (19%). Specialty supplements were the second most used type, followed by herbs/botanicals and sports nutrition/weight management supplements, which 25% of users reported taking in the survey.

Gender differences in supplement usage were also recorded, leading CRN to find that, though a slightly greater proportion of women than men take dietary supplements (72% versus 64%), their reasons for doing so were similar. Both men and women reported taking supplements for overall health and wellness, to fill in dietary gaps and for heart health.

CRN added a few new questions to its survey, which has been conducted for 14 years. New data include the knowledge that 73% of those who take supplements began doing so in adulthood as opposed to childhood. 


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, November 2013 (online 9/29/13)