Other common reasons for increased supplement use are to take their health into their own hands (42%), improve their sleep (41%), and improve their mental health (34%).
‘Three in ten Americans increased their supplement use since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic are unaware of the risks and safety issues associated with their use.’
“The COVID-19 pandemic is a catalyst for increased supplement use,” said Wayne Jonas, MD, executive director of Integrative Health Programs at Samueli Foundation.
Supplements when used under the guidance of health care professionals can be beneficial for one’s health but many people are unaware of the risks and safety issues associated with their use.
More than half of Americans taking supplements (52%) mistakenly believe that most dietary supplements available for purchase have been declared safe and effective by the Food and Drug Administration, according to the June 2021 online survey of more than 2,000 U.S. adults.
Contrary to the believe, the FDA does not regulate supplements. In fact, many supplements are not identified as dangerous until after people are negatively affected by them.
Fewer than half of Americans who use supplements (47%) say they consulted with their health care provider before use, despite national guidelines that strongly recommend doing so.
Further, 46% of Americans currently taking prescription medications say they have not discussed with their health provider about the potential interactions that supplements can cause with their prescriptions.
Four in five Americans said they feel comfortable to share about their supplements with their health care provider (81%) and say it is important to tell their health care provider whether or not they are taking supplements (80%).
They also identified various barriers to discussing supplements with their health care providers such as health care provider’s disinterest, patient’s inexperience; thoughts about their health care provider’s knowledge and some are worried about the judgement them based on the supplements they are taking.
As patients are willing to discuss this topic, physician must help the patients to understand which supplements can play a safe and effective part of their overall health and well-being goals.