Tags: fish | oil | popular | supplement

Fish Oil: America's Most Popular Supplement

By    |   Thursday, 12 February 2015 03:50 PM

Fish oil is the nation’s most popular natural supplement, according to a new survey that shows the use of such products in the United States has shifted since 2007 — with some becoming more popular and others less so.

Overall, natural products — dietary supplements other than vitamins and minerals — are the most common alternative or complementary health approach, according to the survey developed by the National Institute of Health’s National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 
The health questionnaire is administered every 5 years as part of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), an annual study in which tens of thousands of Americans are interviewed about their health- and illness-related experiences.
 
To identify trends in Americans' use of certain supplements, the latest survey data were compared with versions of the survey fielded in 2002 and 2007. Among the findings:
  • Fish oil was the top natural product among adults.
  • Adults' use of fish oil, probiotics or prebiotics, and melatonin increased between 2007 and 2012.
  • Adults' use of glucosamine/chondroitin, echinacea, and garlic decreased between 2007 and 2012.
  • Fish oil was the top product among children (replacing echinacea, which was first in 2007).
  • Melatonin was the second most used natural product by children. Its use increased substantially from 2007 to 2012.
"While [NIH] does not assess why shifts in use occur, some of the trends are in line with published research on the efficacy of natural products," said Josephine P. Briggs, M.D., director of NCCIH.

"For example, the use of melatonin, shown in studies to have some benefits for sleep issues, has risen dramatically. Conversely, the use of echinacea has fallen, which may reflect conflicting results from studies on whether it's helpful for colds. This reaffirms why it is important for NIH to study these products and to provide that information to the public."
 
The center's research priorities also include the study of other complementary approaches — such as spinal manipulation, meditation, and massage — to manage pain and other symptoms that are not always well-addressed by conventional treatments.

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Fish oil is the nation's most popular natural supplement, according to a new survey that shows the use of such products in the United States has shifted since 2007.
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2015-50-12
Thursday, 12 February 2015 03:50 PM
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