U.S. consumers are not only using supplements more than ever before, they are also more confident than ever in the safety, quality, and efficacy of supplements.

These results were presented as part of the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s (CRN; Washington, DC) 2011 annual Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements, made public at CRN’s annual conference in October. (CRN has sponsored the survey since 2000.)

Supplements usage was high this year, topping the highest usage level previously recorded, in 2007. According to the 2011 results, 69% of U.S. adults reported using dietary supplements this year—beating out 2007’s high level of 68%. By contrast, usage in 2010 was reported to be 66%.

In terms of regular usage, 53% of adults reported regularly using supplements—matching the 53% recorded in 2007 and up from last year’s percentage of 49%. And, for the first time, more than one third (36%) of U.S. adults reported regularly using a variety of supplements.

Breaking it down by gender, women remain the prevalent supplement consumers overall (74%, compared to 64% of men). In terms of usage by age group, those 55 years and older led at 78%, compared to 69% of consumers ages 35 to 54 and 60% of consumers ages 18 to 34.

However, younger consumers are more likely to take a multivitamin (76%, compared to 71% of 35 to 54-year-olds and 67% of those 55 or older).

Breaking it down by category, these were the supplements the report found consumers using:

Specifically, the report found a steady increase in the number of consumers reporting using vitamin D supplements (32% in 2011, double the 16% recorded in 2008).

Finally, the consumer confidence level in supplement safety, quality, and effectiveness was found to be the highest yet, with 84% of consumers saying they are either somewhat or very confident in those factors.

Source:  The 2011 survey was funded by CRN and conducted August 25 to 29, 2011, by Ipsos Public Affairs. The survey was conducted online and included a national sample of 2015 adults ages 18 and older from Ipsos’ U.S. online panel.