People who take dietary supplements tend to have better overall health, but not just because of their use of such products. New scientific research, published in Nutrition Journal, indicates supplement takers are more likely than non-users to engage in a number of healthy habits to keep their bodies and minds in top shape.
"Overall, the evidence suggests that users of dietary supplements are seeking wellness and are consciously adopting a variety of lifestyle habits that they consider to contribute to healthy living," concluded a team of researchers with the Council for Responsible Nutrition, based on a new analysis of 20 peer-reviewed scientific studies.
"Compiling the available data on the health habits of dietary supplement users, we gained a sharper insight into the positive lifestyle choices of this large segment — one half to two-thirds — of the American population that takes supplements," said CRN consultant Annette Dickinson, who helped conduct the review. "Evidence from numerous surveys shows that dietary supplement users are more likely than non-users to adopt a number of positive health-related habits such as consuming healthier diets, exercising regularly, maintaining a healthy body weight, and avoiding tobacco products."
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CRN's senior vice president, scientific and regulatory affairs, Duffy MacKay, added that supplement takers tend to engage in other healthy habits every day — a finding that challenges to notion that people who take such products are looking for an easy alternative to sticking with a healthy diet and getting regular physical activity.
"Dietary supplement users typically make healthful habits part of each day, and many stick with their supplement regimen for years," McKay said. "Their supplement use doesn't appear to be something trendy, but more of a planned strategy they maintain for the long haul."
In fact, the analysis found that dietary supplement users make better food choices, based on information taken from the long-running National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys (NHANES).
"It's important to give dietary supplement users credit for their efforts to improve their overall wellness profile with thoughtful choices," said MacKay, "The scientific evidence indicates that they tend to incorporate these products into their lifestyles as part of a broader focus on healthy living, with supplement use just one of a constellation of smart, healthy habits."
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