A Master's thesis.
Master (thesis) (master)
Dietary supplements utilization: an explanatory survey among Swiss consumers
Université de Lausanne, Faculté de biologie et médecine
Number of pages
Dietary supplement (DS) use increased rapidly over the last years. However evidence of benefits of many DS for healthy users are scarce and may not equate known risks of overdose, drug interaction and recently discovered negative long-term effects. Therefore this study aimed to investigate perceptions and motivations of DS users in Lausanne, Switzerland. Method A convenience sample was recruited at the entrance of local sales points. Data were collected in on-site semi-structured interviews to assess dietary supplementation habits. Results The 119 participants provided information on 147 users. Among 273 declared products, the majority were mixed products, containing minerals and vitamins (78), mineral products (69), and herbal products (28). 55% of DS users took more than one product simultaneously. Seventy five percent of participants indicated that DS use presents no risk or nearly no risk and about half (49%) of participants did not inform their physician about their consumption. Male participants reported to share this information with their physicians significantly less frequently than female participants (p = 0.008). About half of participants looked for information on potential risks of DS, men significantly more often than women (p=0.001). Discussion According to other studies in the US, our study shows that, in Lausanne (Switzerland), DS are commonly used as mixed products. Risk perception seems generally low among DS users. Implications Physicians should be trained to evaluate patientsʼ health behaviour and needs in order to provide good evidence based information or propose alternatives to DS use.
dietary supplement, risk perception, medication, complementary medicine, sales, Switzerland
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