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Supplement Use Associated with a Healthy Lifestyle

Supplement Use Associated with a Healthy LifestyleA nutritional study suggests the use of dietary supplements is associated with a concerted effort to develop a healthier lifestyle.

Annette Dickinson, Ph.D., and Duffy MacKay, N.D., discovered that individuals who take supplements also practice many other health-enhancing behaviors.

The investigators examined data from 20 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and found that, “overall, the evidence suggests that users of dietary supplements are seeking wellness and are consciously adopting a variety of lifestyle habits that they consider to contribute to healthy living.”

“Compiling the available data on the health habits of dietary supplement users, we gained a sharper insight into the positive lifestyle choices of this large segment — one half to two-thirds — of the American population that takes supplements,” Dickinson said.

“Evidence from numerous surveys shows that dietary supplement users are more likely than non-users to adopt a number of positive health-related habits such as consuming healthier diets, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy body weight, and avoiding tobacco products.”

The review indicated that Americans who take dietary supplements are focused on wellness for the long term. MacKay observed, “Dietary supplement users typically make healthful habits part of each day, and many stick with their supplement regimen for years. Their supplement use doesn’t appear to be something trendy, but more of a planned strategy they maintain for the long haul.”

The results of this review counter concerns that dietary supplement users are operating under a “halo effect” or are somehow short-changing themselves, eating poorly, using the remote control for exercise, and relying on a supplement alone for good health.

The data indicate that, in fact, dietary supplement users make better food choices in addition to taking supplements.

A report on the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES) calculated nutrient intakes of dietary supplement users as compared to non-users and found that people who used dietary supplements had somewhat higher intakes of most nutrients from food alone (not counting the nutrients in dietary supplements) than people who were not supplement users.

On the flip side, contrary to assertions that supplement users are eating better already and therefore don’t need the supplements they take, the NHANES data shows many Americans failed to consume the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) for many nutrients when only naturally occurring nutrients in foods were considered.

Enrichment and fortification of foods decreased the prevalence of intakes below the EAR, and the use of dietary supplements further decreased shortfalls. For example, for vitamin A and calcium, more than half of NHANES respondents fell short.

Food fortification lowered the prevalence of shortfalls to 50 percent for these nutrients. Supplementation drove the prevalence of shortfalls down even further, but 33 percent of the respondents still fell short.

“It’s important to give dietary supplement users credit for their efforts to improve their overall wellness profile with thoughtful choices,” said MacKay. “The scientific evidence indicates that they tend to incorporate these products into their lifestyles as part of a broader focus on healthy living, with supplement use just one of a constellation of smart, healthy habits.”

The new review is published in Nutrition Journal, a peer-reviewed scientific publication.

Source: The Council for Responsible Nutrition

 
Supplement bottles and pills photo by shutterstock.

Supplement Use Associated with a Healthy Lifestyle

Rick Nauert PhD

Rick Nauert, PhDDr. Rick Nauert has over 25 years experience in clinical, administrative and academic healthcare. He is currently an associate professor for Rocky Mountain University of Health Professionals doctoral program in health promotion and wellness. Dr. Nauert began his career as a clinical physical therapist and served as a regional manager for a publicly traded multidisciplinary rehabilitation agency for 12 years. He has masters degrees in health-fitness management and healthcare administration and a doctoral degree from The University of Texas at Austin focused on health care informatics, health administration, health education and health policy. His research efforts included the area of telehealth with a specialty in disease management.

APA Reference
Nauert PhD, R. (2015). Supplement Use Associated with a Healthy Lifestyle. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 22, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/news/2014/02/10/supplement-use-associated-with-a-healthy-lifestyle/65680.html

 

Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 6 Oct 2015
Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2015
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.