Dietary Supplements: A deep dive into the practices and attitudes of middle-aged and older adults in Saudi Arabia
A recent cross-sectional study entitled "Prevalence, attitudes and practices of dietary supplements among middle-aged and older adults in Asir region, Saudi Arabia" was conducted to explore the use of and attitudes towards dietary supplements (DS) among middle-aged and older adults.
- The study found that 50.7% of the 501 respondents used dietary supplements.
- 53.5% of participants reported a positive attitude towards dietary supplements.
- The positive attitudes and higher use of dietary supplements were statistically significant in higher proportions of older adults compared to middle-aged individuals.
- A significantly lower proportion of middle-aged adults (54.9%) reported taking DS daily compared with 59.9% of older adults.
- A significant difference in the type of DS between the two groups was found for omega-3, minerals, proteins, fibre, phytonutrients and probiotics, with a higher proportion of middle-aged respondents reporting their use compared to older adults.
The study concluded that the use of dietary supplements is a widespread phenomenon among older adults and the middle-aged population. However, some undesirable practices regarding their use still exist in the community. Thus, there is a need for targeted health education to improve attitudes and practices regarding the use of DS.