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Study Shows Fish Oil, Multis Most Popular Supplements

February 16th, 2009

Thousands of supplement users were asked about products and brands they use.

Thousands of supplement users were asked about products and brands they use.

Last November, a nationwide survey of over six thousand supplement users identified changes in the popularity of different brands and supplement types.  Fish oil supplements (71.6 %) have become just about as popular as multivitamins (73.8%).  In fact, among heavy users of supplements (those who use 10 or more supplements a day) fish oil is even more popular ( 84.8%) than multis (75.5%).

Do the heavy users know something the others don’t?

Yes. It’s this: omega 3 fatty acids, the nutrients supplied by fish oil, are actually harder to get from diet than any vitamin or mineral in any multi, so in that sense omega 3′s can be considered more important than a multi.  If you eat a good, varied diet (fruits and vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, leafy greens, 100% whole grains) you’ll get most of your vitamins and minerals. But even if you do eat that Proverbial Good Diet, there are still some nutrients you’re not going to get in optimal amounts, foremost among them the omega 3 fatty acids.

So for a heavy supplement user, who’s already taking a handful of capsules and tablets each day, if it comes down to using either a multi or a fish oil, most would opt for the fish oil.

Vitamin D and Co-Q 10 have also both spiked in popularity, especially among older adults. Like fish oil,  you can’t depend on diet or your multi to cover these important bases.

These are positive trends we expect and hope will continue. Multis will always be among the most popular, and will always be important, but it’s great that supplement users are shifting to focus on harder-to-obtain nutrients and giving them equal priority.

In an upcoming post, we’ll discuss what the study had to say about supplement brands.


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