Inserm's researchers have considered taking dietary supplements in France. They drew up the first profile type French consumer.
Unlike the United States, little information was previously available on the consumption of food supplements in France. A gap repaired with the publication of this survey from a large sample of 79,786 French-NutriNet participating in the Health study.
Women take more supplements than men
If a four surveyed took nutritional supplements at least three days per week at the time of the study, there is a real disparity by gender: 28% of women against only 15% men.
Besides the female population, the largest consumers of dietary supplements are among the most elderly, divorced, no children, a higher socio-professional category.
45% of these products are consumed by self-medication
The share of self-medication in the purchase of food supplements remains high: 45%, against 55% on prescription. A result put into perspective with the performance on the rise in 2012 of the market for self-medication.
Smokers are thus more prone to self-medication than non-smokers, a potentially dangerous practice for this population category. The supplements containing beta-carotene, and they are not recommended due to an increased risk of lung cancer and digestive cancers. Prevention messages on beta-carotene to smokers so have obviously not been heard. The researchers point out that "the long-term effects of using these products are poorly documented and could represent vis-à-vis risk of developing certain diseases."
Fight against fatigue, main motivation
The main motivations regular consumers of dietary supplements:
- fight against fatigue;
- to stay healthy ;
- fight against a particular health problem;
Fight against weight gain won only 5% of the vote.
Logically, in the forefront of consumed supplements include products containing magnesium, vitamin B6 and vitamin C.
Namely: the researchers in charge of Health NutriNet-study still need volunteers. This is to answer questionnaires about their diet. To Register, please visit the website of Inserm press "Study on the consumption of food supplements", February 26, 2013.