TABLE 1 Defining Dietary Suppements

Products intended to supplement the diet that contain a vitamin, mineral, amino acide, herb OR;

Dietary substances for use to supplement the diet by increasing the total dietary intake OR;

Concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combination of any ingredient above; AND

Intended for ingestion as a capsule, powder, softgel, or gelcap, and not a conventional food or sole item of a meal or the diet.

scribes the current state of the supplements industry (Table 2). It shows that there are, first of all, many different products marketed as dietary supplements. They include vitamins, the herbals and botanicals, sports nutrition products, meal supplements as well as minerals. Together, in 1996, those five classes of products had annual sales of $10 billion that had grown in the year 2000 to be $15 billion.

The traditional vitamin supplements and multivitamin supplements comprise about half of the market. Closely behind, are the herbals and botanicals, constituting about a third of the sales.

Who is taking these supplements? In a review of the many different surveys conducted over the last 10 to 15 years, Janet Gregor summarized the results of several population surveys. Contrary to popular opinion, the typical dietary supplement taker is a woman. She tends to be of college or higher-level education, higher income, white, and older.

Other characteristics of individuals taking dietary supplements are those that tend to believe in health promotion practices and incorporate them, or at least report that they incorporate them, into their daily activities. They tend to be non-smokers; if they drink alcoholic beverages, they

TABLE 2 Dietary Supplement Sales and Market Share, 1996

Product

Sales ($m)

% of market

Vitamins

4,900

48

Herbals & botanicals

3,000

28

Sports nutrition products

927

9

Meal supplements

618

6

Minerals

309

3

Total

10,372

100



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