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Study of the consumption of food supplements

26 Feb 2013 | By INSERM (Newsroom) |


Very little information is currently available in France about the consumption of food supplements and the associated behavioural factors, in particular in population groups such as smokers for whom, according to researchers, the taking of certain supplements could represent an increased risk in relation to certain diseases. The relative proportion of people who are self-medicating as the purchasing motivation for these supplements is also little known by professionals. As part of the NutriNet-Santé study, researchers studied the link between the consumption of food supplements and the associated socio-demographic, behavioural and dietary factors. In an article published in the British Journal of Nutrition an analysis was performed of the type of people who take food supplements, on the basis of a wide sample of 79.786 French adults who participated in the NutriNet-Santé study. According to the results from this specific study of the taking of supplements:

    • 15% of the men and 28% of the women who participated in the study take supplements on at least three days a week, mostly products containing magnesium and vitamins B6 and C.
    • These were prescribed/advised by a doctor in 55% cases, meaning that 45% are the result of self-medication.
    • More women take supplements and they tend to be older, divorced, childless, having completed a higher level of studies and/or in a higher socio-occupational category.
    • Smokers take fewer food supplements than non-smokers (19% versus 25%), but their consumption remains significant and they are more inclined to self-medicate (55%).

For more information, contact Mathilde Touvier, head of INSERM research – Unit 557 “Nutritional Epidemiology”- Coordination team for the NutriNet-Santé study.

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Researcher Contact

Mathilde TOUVIER  Chercheur INSERM, Unité de Recherche en Epidémiologie Nutritionnelle, U557 Inserm / Inra / Cnam / Université Paris 13 01 48 38 89 54 / 06 12 23 75 26 rf.31sirap-vinu.hbms.neru@reivuot.m


Sociodemographic, lifestyle and dietary correlates of dietary supplement use in a large sample of French adults: results from the NutriNet-Santé cohort study

Camille Pouchieua1 c1, Valentina A. Andreevaa1, Sandrine Péneaua1, Emmanuelle Kesse-Guyota1, Camille Lassalea1, Serge Hercberga1a2 and Mathilde Touviera1