A revealing new survey of 6,010 serious supplement users analyzes their usage of specific types of supplements and confirmed that vitamin D has taken the supplement world by storm. With all the positive effects related to this vitamin its no wounder that its jumped to the top of the list! Vitamin D came out the winner in 2010 as the “most used single vitamin” at 56.2% usage amongst those surveyed, and also won the “most improved” category with a 52% increase in usage since 2008. Fish oil wins in the “most used dietary oil” group and is used by 75.7% of persons surveyed. This is an increase of 1.7% since 2009. Calcium was the fourth most popular supplement, used by 55.3% of respondents, up from 51.2% last year.
Vitamin D promotes calcium absorption in the gut and maintains adequate serum calcium and phosphate concentrations to enable normal mineralization of bone and to prevent hypocalcemic tetany. It is also needed for bone growth and bone remodeling. Without sufficient vitamin D, bones can become thin, brittle, or misshapen. Vitamin D sufficiency prevents rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Together with calcium, vitamin D also helps protect older adults from osteoporosis. It has other roles in the body, including modulation of cell growth, neuromuscular and immune function, and reduction of inflammation. Many genes encoding proteins that regulate cell proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis are modulated in part by vitamin D.
Fish oil has been studied for treating clinical depression, anxiety, and enhancing the benefits from depression medications. Countries with the highest intake of fish in their diets are correlated with the lowest rates of depression among their citizens.
Finally, women were much more likely than men to have taken vitamin D, calcium, or probiotics. Men were more likely than women to have taken herbs and extracts, glucosamine/chondroitin, vitamin E, resveratrol, amino acids, nutrition drinks and powders, and several other supplements.