Have you ever thought about kicking your health up a notch? Well, these dietary supplement statistics bet that you have.
In a world going crazy with prevention topics, and the longevity increase being under the scope of major healthcare players, the supplement industry thrives. And for a good reason — enhanced nutrition is one of the leading health-sustaining topics of the modern world.
And the most interesting thing is that supplements are everywhere these days. TV shows and sporting events are supplement-sponsored, even the weather forecast is brought to you by some UTI-preventing product.
How do supplements work? Are supplements a form of medication? How are they regulated? Here, we aim to provide you with an accurate answer to any question on the topic of dietary supplements you’ve ever asked. So feel free to jump in.
The Top 10 Dietary Supplement Statistics and Facts
- 77% of Americans reported using dietary supplements in 2019.
- The majority (24%) of people consume supplements for more energy.
- 44% of supplement users question their safety.
- By 2024, the US supplements market will reach a value of $56.7 billion.
- 92% of the supplement users read the label.
- The Chinese market is the second-largest in the world, with an estimated value of $21.3 billion in 2019.
- 58% of people use multivitamins.
- 71% of supplement users exercise regularly, in contrast to non-users, and 56.14% of regular gym users had consumed a supplement at some time.
- 77% of vitamin and supplement online sales are made on Amazon.
- The US supplement industry employs over 750,000 Americans.
General Dietary Supplement Facts
1. According to the supplement definition, dietary supplements are products taken by mouth that contain essential or supportive dietary ingredients.
Supplements are a versatile group of products, and the components that can be found on their label differ immensely. Most common supplement-nutrients are:
- Other botanicals, such as fungi or algae materials
- Amino acids
- Fatty Acids
What’s more, supplements can contain many other materials that can be defined as a part of a regular or enhanced diet.
Chemically, these substances can vary significantly, from simple ionic to complex organic compounds.
2. According to official dietary supplement facts by the FDA, their pharmaceutical formulation significantly influences their efficacy.
Supplement manufacturers use assorted additional substances to provide their users with the most applicable and most effective product. Common supplement types are:
- Tablets, which come in a variety of shapes and sizes and can be solid, effervesce, oral-melting, or chewable;
- Capsules, including softgels and solid veggie capsules;
- Powders, including water dissolving and direct (mouth absorbable) forms;
- Liquids, such as juices, syrups, drops, tinctures, and some forms of soft drinks;
- Energy bars,
- Oral sprays.
3. Nutrition supplement products are not as regulated as medications.
It might sound odd, but supplements are not required by the authorities to be safe and effective. The only mandatory thing regulations require is that they are not harmful.
Supplement regulation guidelines in the US, Canada, EU, Japan, China, and Korea are adopted from the joint international workgroups within the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations and the World Health Organization (WHO). Their commission has 187 member states and organizations that work together to protect consumer health, harmonize food standards, and promote fair practices in food trade.
4. FDA does not monitor the production of dietary supplement products in the US.
The regulating authorities publish documents of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP), which are considered as standard guidelines for supplement production.
Food and supplement manufacturers are not legally obligated to adopt any of the recommended standards in their processes. However, it is a valuable choice.
Furthermore, manufacturers are not legally compelled to provide proof of health claims displayed on the product. The role of the FDA falls upon tracking adverse events and controlling supplement safety.
5. In contrast to drugs, supplements can be advertised.
In sports, dietary supplements are often the leading promoter, sponsor, and award-giving stakeholder. Furthermore, no modern medical assembly can be organized without the participation of supplement companies.
Whether it is weight-gain or joint pain, supplement companies use the drug-like appearance of their products to convey a health-related message to a broad audience. That is why most people consider supplements as products of therapeutical, instead of nutritional benefits.
The marketing of nutritional supplements is allowed on any mainstream media, as long as no false claims are made.
Advertising of supplements falls under the jurisdiction of the Federal Trade Commission and not the FDA.
6. Statistics on dietary supplement use from 2019 reveal that 46% of consumers are concerned about the effectiveness of supplements.
Furthermore, 44% of supplement users question the safety of these products; 44% worry about their purity; 40% are concerned about testing transparency, and 34% debate the price of their supplements.
What’s more, the distrust in supplements doesn’t end there, for 30% of supplement users stress about a possible interaction with medications, while 28% worry about the side effects of overdosing.
Finally, 22% of people think about underdosing their supplements on a daily basis.
7. Statistics on dietary supplement use in the United States reveal that, in 2012, 20% of supplements for weight loss made illegal claims.
In 2012, the FDA examined a total of 127 products marketed as dietary supplements for weight loss or immune support, based on the reported adverse and safety issues.
The main concerns were regarding the content of stimulants in their composition, which adversely react in patients with elevated blood pressure.
At the same time, many of the immune-enhancing products contained St. John’s Wort, while not disclosing its liver enzyme-inducing properties.
8. According to official dietary supplement facts, guidelines clearly state that every supplement must contain an official disclaimer.
Regardless of their composition, nutritional supplements are officially required to declare on the label that their efficacy-related statements are not FDA-evaluated. Furthermore, supplements are not intended to:
- Diagnose diseases
- Treat symptoms
- Cure medical conditions
- Prevent health-related events
These official perspectives clearly resolve the drug vs. supplement dilemma. In other words, supplements are not medicinal products but should be considered as diet-related health-promoting products.
Regulatory agencies, however, demand producers to follow stringent labeling guidelines.
Dietary Supplement Facts: Labeling Guidelines
9. Federal law requires all supplement products to be distinctively labeled, with no exception.
According to the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, all supplements in the US must have “Dietary Supplement” declared on the label.
This statement can be changed according to the product’s composition. For example, if the ingredients of a supplement are herbs, it can be labeled as a “Herbal Supplement.”
If the product is a mono-nutrient supplement type, it can be declared as a “Calcium Supplement,” “Melatonin Supplement,” or similar.
10. Dietary supplements in the USA must have nutritional values declared through either RDI, DRV, or DV.
Nutritional values depend on the ingredients, and recommended daily doses vary individually. However, the need for harmonization has perfected nutrient labeling, which resonates with rising consumer consciousness about nutrition.
Experts determine recommended dosages based on the various numerical references calculated for essential nutrient intake.
Dietary Reference Value (DRV) is an umbrella term that quantifies a series of nutritional reference values (NRV), such as the average requirement (AR), the population reference intake (PRI), upper intake level (UL), and the adequate intake (AI).
In other words, in vitamins and nutritional supplements, DRV is used to describe the intake values of any substance, based on a research-supported claim.
DRV replaced the recommended daily allowance (RDA) in nutrition labeling. They are exactly the same.
The Reference Daily Intake (RDI) is a similar term that describes the referenced intake of a nutrient that is essential in everyday consumption, such as a mineral or vitamin.
RDI represents the intake level of a micronutrient, adequate to meet the requirements of 97–98% of healthy individuals across demographics.
In supplement labels, RDI and DRV are separately declared, as they describe the values for essential micronutrients, and other substances, respectively.
On food labeling, DRV and RDI are unifidely declared as Daily Value (DV).
11. Dietary supplement facts on the label are not displayed as “nutrition facts.”
In general, food products are obligated to have “Nutrition Facts” presented on the label, which state macronutrient and energetic values, thus demonstrating the food’s content of fats, protein, and carbohydrates.
Supplements are obligated to have “Supplement Facts” written on the label, bordering a section in which all of the dietary components are displayed, according to their DV.
In other words, foods are required to have a general nutritional value declared, while supplements need to express a more detailed description of its content, including the daily allowance of nutrients.
Nutrition Facts vs. Dietary Supplement Labels — Essential Differences
Nutritional ingredients, and their sources, such as the part of the plant for a herbal product, are listed in the “Supplement Facts” panel, and not in “Nutrition Facts.”
12. The serving size must be clearly displayed on the label.
Regardless of the measuring unit and product formulation, the serving size of a dietary supplement is the maximum recommended number of single doses per day.
For example, if the usage directions state: 1–3 capsules, the serving size is 3.
Depending on the product type, serving sizes can be measured in tablets, capsules, teaspoons, tablespoons, ounces, sachets, drops, etc.
“Servings Per Container” describes the number of maximum daily doses that the whole product offers.
13. According to recent dietary supplement facts, 92% of the supplement users read the label.
With the label being the main guide for a supplement’s safe and effective use, the vast majority of supplement users claim to trust the declaration.
14. In 2018, there were a total of 40,086 adverse event reports filed in the FDA database.
FDA uses this database to create a relationship between the age of the consumer, supplement category, and supplement use.
These data are then transformed into guidelines for supplement labeling in order to avoid the recurrence of any major side effects.
Dietary Supplement Market Size
15. Global dietary supplements market size was estimated at $123.28 billion in 2019.
(Grand View Research)
The global increase in longevity and leading preventive trends in healthcare dictate the rising trends in supplement demand.
The supplements market is projected to grow with an estimated CAGR of 8.2%, and by 2027, its value is projected to rise up to an astonishing $270 billion.
16. In 2019, softgels and capsules contributed 34.8% to the total supplements market.
(Grand View Research)
Tablets accounted for an even larger share, earning an estimated $43.06 billion in that year. The rising popularity of tablets could be attributed to their optimal dosing preferences.
17. According to the official dietary supplements statistics, the total vitamins market in the US was valued at $7.42 billion in 2018.
Among the most popular categories of supplements, minerals were in second place, with a staggering $3.74 billion of revenue in 2018.
18. It is estimated that, by 2024, the US supplements market will reach a value of $56.7 billion.
In 2016, the US market value for dietary supplements was at $31.7 billion, and it recorded an astonishing increase, with a $39.3 billion recorded in 2019.
The contributing factors to the rising US supplement industry worth include the increase in consumer awareness, modern lifestyle choices, the increasing geriatric population, and the significant role of prevention in the treatment of chronic diseases.
19. Proteins and amino acids are projected to become the most lucrative by 2027.
(Grand View Research)
The rise of the fitness industry and global healthy lifestyle concepts contribute to the increased use of muscle bulking products, which are predicted to grow with an astonishing CAGR of 12.8% by 2027.
20. The US supplements market is the largest-growing in the world, according to dietary supplement industry statistics from 2018.
The US market is estimated to reach $72.6 billion by 2026. However, the fastest-growing market is Asian-Pacific, predicted to grow up to 80% during a ten-year period, with a CAGR of 9.2%.
Among the products on the US market, vitamin D is expected to grow at the most rapid pace.
21. Most of the supplements in North America are acquired in retail pharmacies.
According to a continental survey, besides pharmacies and drug stores, most people buy supplements in supermarkets and hypermarkets, while online channels hold the third place.
22. Globally, vitamins are among the top-selling supplements.
(Grand View Research)
In 2019, vitamins held the first place, with recorded earnings of $39.61 billion. What’s more, they are rising in the market with a CAGR that will reach 5.8% by 2027.
23. EU supplements market value was $14.29 billion in 2018.
(Fortune Business Insights)
Vitamins accounted for 37.78% of the EU market, followed by minerals, proteins, enzymes, and fatty acids.
The EU market is predicted to reach $20.89 by 2026.
24. The Chinese market is the second largest in the world.
(Global News Wire)
According to worldwide dietary supplement statistics from 2018, the Chinese market was valued at $21.3 billion.
Dietary Supplement Use: Statistics and Facts
25. 77% of Americans reported using dietary supplements in 2019.
(CRN Consumer Survey)
81% of American adults between the ages of 35–54 reported using supplements in the previous year. 70% of those aged 18–34 and 79% of people older than 55 used some form of complemental product in the last 12 months.
26. 81% of full-time employed people took supplements in 2019.
(CRN Consumer Survey)
However, employment doesn’t seem to significantly impact the use of supplements, for as much as 68% of unemployed people reported using a supplement at least once in the past year.
27. Facts on dietary supplements reveal that 24% of supplement users use energy-boosting products.
Furthermore, 20% of people use them for immune health, 19% for nutritional purposes, 18% for healthy aging, and 18% for improving heart health.
28. Improving joint and bone health is one of the leading reasons for taking supplements.
The impact of supplements on overall health is complex. However, most people use calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, glucosamine, and chondroitin for joint and bone health.
Functional statistics on dietary supplement use reveal more reasons people choose supplementation:
- Weight gain — mostly used are B-complex vitamins and proteins
- Cardiovascular health — dominated by the use of omega-3 fatty acids and coenzyme Q10, alongside cholesterol-lowering herbs, such as garlic
- Rheumatoid conditions, such as cartilage degeneration in rheumatoid arthritis — turmeric and Boswellia
- Digestive health, including indigestion, diarrhea, and prevention of inflammatory gut disease — fiber products, prebiotics and probiotics
- UTI prevention — cranberry
- Weight loss — garcinia, green tea, and green coffee
29. According to supplement sales statistics, weight management products accounted for 30% of the market share in 2019.
(Grand View Research)
Regardless of the product’s composition, its therapeutic intent and marketing strategy determine the likability of acquiring the market share.
Following weight reduction, products for pregnant women and small children accounted for 47.8% of the market in 2019.
30. 96% of vitamin users have confidence in the safety and effectiveness of the products they use.
In concurrence with growing nutritional awareness, the global use of vitamin-based products is rapidly increasing.
In 2019, 48% of people older than 55 used some form of vitamin D.
31. Recent dietary supplement statistics reveal that 56.14% of regular gym users had consumed a supplement at some time.
According to a Spanish study that surveyed 415 individuals, the majority used enhancement supplements.
57.16% had the desire to improve their physical appearance, while only 16.7% used them for their health benefits.
Only 13.2% conveyed that they use supplements for improving sports performance.
Five groups of supplements that gym members desire the most are:
- Proteins (28%),
- L-carnitine (18.6%),
- Sports drinks (18.3%),
- Creatine (17.1%)
- Vitamin complex (17.1%)
In addition to supplementation, gym users revealed that they also make adjustments to their regular meals to achieve the same desired effects.
32. Vitamins are present as ingredients in the most popular dietary supplements, being declared on as much as 71% of all products on the market.
(PubMed Central, CRN Consumer Survey)
In 2019, vitamin-only products accounted for 76% of all supplements.
33. A 10-year study revealed that 18% of adults and about 5% of children used supplements other than vitamins and minerals.
(NCCIH, CRN Consumer Survey)
According to a survey from 2019, the most popular products were (with the corresponding percentages of people that used them):
- Multivitamins (58%)
- Vitamin D (31%)
- Vitamin C (38%)
- Protein (21%)
- Calcium (20%)
- B-complex vitamins (20%)
- Omega-3 fatty acids (16%)
- Green tea (15%)
- Magnesium (14%)
- Probiotics (13%)
- Iron (13%)
- Vitamin E (12%)
- Turmeric (12%)
Other popular products contain:
- Coenzyme Q10
- Glucosamine and/or chondroitin
- Garlic supplements
- Ginkgo biloba
34. American dieting statistics reveal that 75% of the supplement users have confidence in specialty products they take.
Specialty products are intended for a specific medical-related use, such as to aid sleep or improve digestion.
Melatonin use increased by 4% in a single year, and the use of probiotics had increased from 13% to 19% from 2015 to 2019.
35. 12% of supplement users consume CBD-based products.
19% of those under 35 years of age consume CBD-infused supplements, while only 6% of those older than 55 have the confidence in this newly reinstituted remedy.
Besides green tea and turmeric, CBD is the most popular herbal product in the US market.
36. 71% of supplement users exercise regularly, in contrast to non-users.
Diligent supplement users seek supplements supported with scientific evidence and are more likely to adopt healthy habits than non-users.
80% of supplement consumers visited the doctor’s office regularly in 2019, in comparison to 65% of non-users.
Moreover, 69% of users maintain a healthy weight, and 86% eat a balanced diet, while 71% get a good night’s sleep.
37. 76% of people aged 74+ use supplements for brain health.
What’s more, 69% of Baby Boomers use supplements for enhanced cognition. Surprisingly, 58% and 43% of Gen-Xers and Millennials use brain-boosting dietary products, respectively.
38. According to dietary supplement nutrition facts, calcium and magnesium are the most prevalent minerals on the market.
(Grand View Research)
Calcium accounted for 30% of all mineral supplements. The increased use of this supplement for bone and mental disorders influenced this significant market share. On the other hand, magnesium is an essential component of any relaxing product and sports mineral complex.
Besides these two, the leading minerals in the supplements market are:
- Iron, used for anemia
- Zinc, used in many immunological formulations
- Potassium, essential for heart, nerve and muscle function
- Chromium, used for insulin regulation
- Selenium, used for gland health
Supplement Industry Statistics
39. Online vitamin and mineral sales are increasing faster than the rest of the e-commerce industry.
The dietary supplements market has been increasing in the e-commerce industry, driven by online retailers, commercial ads, and social platforms.
With a 40% increase, the online sales of supplements accounted for the fourth largest revenue in total online sales, after TV shows and movies, video games, and makeup.
40. A staggering 77% of the online vitamin and supplement sales are made on Amazon.
Amazon shared an insight showing that 54% of supplement buyers are millennial women. Excluding Amazon, top dietary supplement online retailers are:
- Swanson Vitamins
- Puritan’s Pride
41. In 2019, Bausch & Lomb recorded the largest revenue in vitamin sales, with $194.7 million in revenue.
The supplements market is a very competitive landscape dominated by leading pharmaceutical companies. However, the new, pure brands are taking an ever bigger chunk of the revenue cake.
Although famous for its ophthalmological solutions, B&L led the market race in 2019, followed by Pfizer’s own Centrum, with $164.5 million in sales.
42. Dietary supplement industry facts reveal that gummies will be one of the most desirable products in the following years, and their sales are predicted to double.
In 2016, the total value of the US supplement gummy market was $2.68 billion, and it is predicted to grow to an astonishing $4.17 billion by 2025.
43. The organic milk powder market is dominated by Nestlé.
(Zion Market Research)
Milk powder is used to manufacture whey proteins and other protein isolates. Following Nestlé, the most lucrative companies are:
- Arla Foods
- Dairy Farmers of America Inc
- Dean Foods Company
- Lactalis Group
44. According to dietary supplement statistics from 2019, the industry employs over 750,000 Americans.
The supplement industry pays $14.94 billion in federal taxes, and manufacturing alone accounts for 383,230 jobs in the US, which is represented with more than $18 billion in paid wages.
What percentage of Americans take dietary supplements?
According to a survey from 2019, 77% of adult Americans use supplements. This number has been increasing steadily for the last two decades. The most diligent users are young people, ages 35–54, with 81% of active supplement users. Moreover, 79% of older people use some form of a dietary supplement.
What are the most popular dietary supplements?
Vitamins are the most popular products on the market today, followed by minerals. According to a 2019 study on supplement consumption, 58% of people use multivitamins, while 31% use vitamin D, and 38% take vitamin C.
Other popular supplements contain calcium, proteins, B-complex vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, green tea extracts, magnesium, probiotics, iron, vitamin E, turmeric, and CBD.
How to use dietary supplements?
Dietary supplements serve as an enhancement to a regular diet. Therefore, their use is most often associated with a meal. Depending on the product’s composition and serving size, a supplement could be used 1–3 times per day, usually before a meal. However, some substances, such as alpha-lipoic acid and probiotics, are intended to be used on an empty stomach — supplements facts on the label suggest the best possible use.
Why do people take supplements?
People take supplements for a variety of reasons. According to one study from 2019, 24% of supplement users use products for more energy, while 20% of people use them for immune health, 19% for nutritional purposes, 18% for healthy aging, and 18% for improving heart health.
Does the FDA regulate supplements?
Dietary supplements are not regulated by the FDA. The agency provides guidelines for the quality of the production and on the adverse event reporting. However, the quality of the product and health claims are not evaluated by the FDA. As long as the agency is concerned, dietary supplements are regarded as food, and not as medical products.
The modern world is overwhelmed with supplement-related content. According to the dietary supplement facts, the regulatory agencies wash their hands of any responsibilities, regarding the advertisement of supplements, and put the weight on the shoulders of consumers.
The only thing that a supplement company needs to do is present all the information on the label. As it happens, this label is the only thing guaranteeing the safety and effectiveness of supplements. Regardless of the widely unregulated market, two-thirds of people use supplements regularly.
And regardless of the health condition, or type of nutritional deficiency, the supplement demand and supply are intended to rise, even in cases of emergencies and pandemics. In times like these, people need more comprehensive information about supplements than ever before.
At Supplements101, we make it our mission to use these dietary supplement statistics and provide our readers with more than what the label says.