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Transcript Supplements

Knowledge of Dietary Supplement Regulation and Use among College Students
Michael Sandlin and Judy Sandlin Texas A&M University
Rosanne Keathley
Sam Houston State University
While dietary supplements (DSs) are
currently a multi-billion dollar business
in the US, preliminary research suggests
that consumers know little about their
regulation. DSs contain a vitamin,
mineral, herb, amino acid, or other
botanical and are intended to
complement one’s diet. The purpose of
this study was to examine the knowledge
of DS regulation and DS use among
college students
Participants were 377 college students at
a large, public university. Each was asked
to respond to the 27-item Dietary
Supplement Knowledge Questionnaire.
Subjects indicated moderate knowledge
about DS regulation. The average
knowledge of DS regulation was 10.71
(SD=2.07) out of 15.
Participants most frequently missed
questions related to “a DS label is a 100%
true and accurate indicator of the
contents of the product” (75.1% missed),
whether DSs are “regulated by the FDA”
(53.5% missed), and DSs are “not
intended to treat, cure, mitigate, or
prevent any disease” (53.2% missed).
Just over one-third (35.5%) of the
participants reported currently
consuming supplements with 23.3%
reporting that a physician recommend
the use of DSs.
Multivitamins and specific vitamins (C,
B, and D) were the most frequently
reported DSs used (85%) followed by
muscle building products such as protein
powders and creatine (10%). Most
users of the muscle building products
were males (98%) who received
information about such products from
their friends.
Educational efforts to teach college
students about proper nutrition and the
dangers of the overuse of DSs should be
employed. Additionally, males should be
instructed on the proper use of DSs.