White Plains, New York, February 26, 2021 — A survey of 9,647 people who use dietary supplements shows that the supplements which experienced the greatest growth in popularity in 2020 were those being promoted to prevent or treat infection with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. (For a clinical review of these claims, see ConsumerLab.com's answer to the question "Do any supplements help with the coronavirus (COVID-19)?"). These supplements were zinc (+13.5 percentage points), vitamin C (+ 7.5 pts), vitamin D (+6.6 pts), quercetin (+4.9 pts), and elderberry (+4.1).
At the same time, most other supplements declined in popularity. Among the 30 most popular supplements (see table below) only 10 increased in popularity, while 19 declined and one did not change. The greatest declines occurred with CBD/hemp extract (-4.2 pts), magnesium (-4.1 pts), and CoQ10 (- 3.4 pts) -- although CoQ10 was already in decline in 2019.
Most Popular Vitamins
(% Survey Respondent Purchasing in Past Year)
|Vitamin D (D2 & D3)||72.6%|
|Fish Oil/Krill Oil/Algae
|Vitamin C (including Rose Hips)||42.0%|
|Probiotic (e.g., Acidophilus, Lactobacillus)||36.4%|
|Curcumin/Turmeric (as Supplement)||33.6%|
|Vitamin K (including MK-7 K2)||23.7%|
|Joint Health Formula
(Glucosamine, Chondroitin, MSM, Boswellia)
|Apple Cider Vinegar||20.0%|
|Cocoa and/or Dark Chocolate||18.3%|
|Protein/Nutrition Powders & Drinks
|Alpha Lipoic Acid||16.6%|
|NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine)||14.7%|
|Vitamin E (including Tocopherols)||14.2%|
Source: Top 30 of 190 supplements and health foods in 2020 ConsumerLab Vitamin and Supplement Users Survey.
The results are based on responses to the most recent ConsumerLab.com Survey of Vitamin and Supplement Users. The Survey is conducted each November among readers of ConsumerLab.com's semiweekly newsletter who utilize ConsumerLab's product reviews and information when choosing and using supplements and health foods. The ConsumerLab.com Survey was first conducted in 2002. Respondents are active users of supplements, with over 80% taking at least four different supplements daily.
The 2020 survey assessed the popularity of 190 types of supplements and analyzed popularity by respondent age, gender, and frequency of supplement use. Respondents also identified and rated their satisfaction with supplement brands and supplement merchants (see news release about Top Rated Supplement Brands and Merchants).
"The annual survey is a useful indicator of change in the market for dietary supplements and health foods. It guides our selection of products to test," said Tod Cooperman, M.D., ConsumerLab's President and Founder.
Founded in 1999, ConsumerLab.com is a leading provider of consumer information and independent evaluations of products that affect health and nutrition. Membership to ConsumerLab.com is available online and provides immediate access to continually updated reviews of nearly every popular type of dietary supplement and health food, answers to reader questions, and product recalls and warnings. ConsumerLab also provides independent product testing through its voluntary Quality Certification Program. The company is privately held and based in New York. It has no ownership from, or interest in, companies that manufacture, distribute, or sell consumer products.
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