Faculty Research at Morehead State University


Dietary Supplement Perception and Behaviors among College Health and Fitness Majors

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Dietary supplements (DS) represent a multi-billion dollar industry (Radimer, 2004). In 2008, an estimated 75,000 supplements were on the market with projections of this number continuing to rise (Coates, 2008). With the overwhelming number of products, it becomes increasingly difficult to stay abreast of scientific claims on the newest supplements. This wide range of supplements may be due to the broad definition of DS. In 1994, the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) defined DS as: ―a product (other than tobacco) intended to supplement the diet that bears or contains one or more of the following ingredients: a vitamin, a mineral, an herb or other botanical, an amino acid, a dietary substance for use by man to supplement the diet by increasing the total daily intake, or a concentrate, metabolite, constituent, extract, or combinations of these ingredients‖ and ―are intended for ingestion in pill, capsule, or liquid form, cannot be represented for use as a conventional food or as the sole item of a meal or diet, and must be labeled as a ‗dietary supplement‘‖ (USFDA, 2010). Examples of common dietary supplements include specific vitamins and minerals (i.e. Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron) as well as multi-vitamins and mineral combinations, omega 3 fatty acids, protein powder, Echinacea and St John‘s Wort.