HealthDay News — Use of traditional multivitamins is decreasing among Americans, while supplements such as vitamin D, fish oil, and probiotics are becoming more popular, according to a study published in the October 11 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

The current findings are based on 37,958 U.S. adults who took part in a nationally representative government health survey between 1999 and 2012. Researchers found that between 1999 and 2012, Americans’ overall use of supplements remained stable. Slightly more than half of adults (52%) said they took vitamins, minerals, or some other type of dietary supplement.

By 2012, the researchers found that 31% of survey respondents said they’d used multivitamins in the past month – down from 37% in 1999 to 2000. On the other hand, more people were taking certain vitamins or minerals in isolation, particularly vitamin D. In 2011 to 2012, 19.0% of Americans used the vitamin, versus only 5.1% in 1999 to 2000. Some other supplements rose in popularity, too. They included coenzyme Q10, green tea extracts, and omega-3 fatty acids – mostly in the form of fish oil pills. In 1999 to 2000, 1.3% of Americans used omega-3 fatty acids. That had risen to 12.0% by 2012.

“Among adults in the United States, overall use of dietary supplements remained stable from 1999 to 2012, use of multivitamins/multiminerals decreased, and trends in use of individual supplements varied and were heterogeneous by population subgroups,” the authors write.

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