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    Who uses supplements?

    How many people use vitamins and supplements each year? Which ones are most popular? Do doctors use them? Here’s a rundown of some important supplement statistics, based on the best available data.

    • Number of Americans who use dietary supplements each year: 150 million.
    • Total amount of U.S. supplement sales in 2006: $22.46 billion.
    • Approximate percentage increase in U.S. supplement sales between 1996 and 2006: 100%.
    • Percentage of adults who consider themselves regular users of supplements: 52%.
    • Amount of money spent on supplements each year by a “heavy consumer” -- someone who buys four or more supplements a month: $576.
    • Percentage of doctors who recommend supplements to patients: 79%.
    • Percentage of doctors who actively counsel their patients on how to use supplements: 25%.
    • Percentage of doctors who use supplements themselves: 72%.
    • The top five selling supplements in 2007: 1) Multivitamins, 2) calcium, 3) vitamin C 4) Fish oil 5) Vitamin E.
    • Supplement with the fastest sales growth in 2006: fish and animal oils, for which sales increased 36%.
    • Percentage of Americans who consider vitamins and supplements safe: 84%.
    • Percentage of Americans who do not realize that supplements are not tested or approved by a government agency -- like the FDA -- before they are sold: 52%.
    • Percentage of Americans who do not realize that advertising claims made by the manufacturer of a supplement are not preapproved by the government: 63%.
    • Most common place that doctors and nurses store their own supplements: the kitchen.
    • Percentage of Americans who take both prescription medicine and dietary supplements: 16%.
    • Percentage of Americans who would rather treat themselves than see a doctor: 73%.

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