Published on March 19, 2019
In 2017, GrassrootsHealth expanded the supplement section on their health questionnaire to include nineteen nutrients. Today, we will provide a summary of what we found so far about supplement use among GrassrootsHealth participants.
What are the most popular supplements?
Over 90% of participants reported taking at least one nutritional supplement. The chart below shows the percent of participants who reported using a supplement containing the specified nutrient in the prior 6 months. Perhaps not surprising from GrassrootsHealth participants, vitamin D was the most popular, used by 86% of participants. The next most popular supplements were magnesium (68%) and omega-3 (65%).
How does this compare to the U.S. population?
Based on data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), which collects health information from a representative sample of individuals living in the United States, 52% of U.S. adults reported using a supplement in the prior 30 days in 2011-2012. Presented below is a chart showing supplement use among U.S. adults in 2011-2012 for the same nutrients shown above. The most commonly used supplement was also vitamin D (40%), followed by vitamin C (36%), calcium (35%), and vitamin B12 (35%). Approximately one-fourth (28%) reported using supplements with magnesium and 13% reported using omega-3 supplements.
As you can see from the charts, more GrassrootsHealth participants use nutrient supplements compared to adults in the general U.S. population. However, just ‘using’ a supplement may not enable an individual to achieve optimal nutrient status for health. It is important to take the right form (for example, D3 vs. D2) and take an amount that achieves adequate status in the body. This amount is unique to each person because there is a large amount of variability in the individual response to any specific dose. Test your levels today to know if your supplement intake allows you to obtain optimal nutrient levels for health!
How can I track my supplement use and nutrient levels?
To help you track your supplement use and nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created an online tracking system called myData-myAnswers. For each specific supplement, you can track what days you take it, how much, and many other details. This will help you know your true supplemental intake and what patterns of use work for you to reach and maintain optimum nutrient levels. Check it out today!
How Can You Use this Information for YOUR Health?
Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Measuring is the only way to make sure you are getting enough!
STEP 1 Order your at-home blood spot test kit to measure vitamin D and other nutrients of concern to you, such as omega-3s, magnesium, essential and toxic elements (zinc, copper, selenium, lead, cadmium, mercury); include hsCRP as a marker of inflammation or HbA1c for blood sugar health
STEP 2 Answer the online questionnaire as part of the GrassrootsHealth study
STEP 3 Using our educational materials and tools (such as our dose calculators), assess your results to determine if you are in your desired target range or if actions should be taken to get there
STEP 4 After 3-6 months of implementing your changes, re-test to see if you have achieved your target level(s)