Among people who use multiple dietary supplements, fish oil/omega 3 supplements now top multivitamins in popularity, according to a recent survey conducted by ConsumerLab.com, White Plains, NY. It also showed that vitamin D use jumped 30% since last year and resveratrol use surged by 66%. The ConsumerLab.com survey was based on responses collected last November from a sampling of subscribers to the ConsumerLab.com free e-newsletter. Most respondents use multiple supplements. Among the survey’s key findings: Fish oil/omega 3 supplements were used by 74% of respondents (up from 72% in 2008), followed in popularity by multivitamins, which were used by 72% (down from 74% 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 51% last year. Calcium use fell from 55% to 51%. Vitamin D was used by 48% of respondents, up from 37% in 2008—a 30% increase, making it the fifth most popular supplement. Vitamin D use increased dramatically with age. Probiotics were used by 30% of respondents, up from 25% last year. One-third of women in the survey used a probiotic. Resveratrol was used by 19% of respondents, up from only 12% last year—a 66% increase. Men polled were 50% more likely than women to use resveratrol.
Among the places where supplements were purchased, online stores were the most popular, used by 44% of respondents. This high percentage was due to use of dedicated online retailers as well as the online extensions of merchants traditionally in other retail channels. The next most common place to purchase a supplement was a health food store (33.5%), followed by a vitamin store (27%), mail order catalog (27%), pharmacy (25%) and warehouse club (25%). The next most popular places were supermarkets, mass merchants, direct distributors and healthcare practitioners.