Advertisement

Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 92, Issue 4, pp 286–290 | Cite as

Vitamin-Mineral Supplementation and Use of Herbal Preparations Among Community-Living Older Adults

  • Jacquelyn McKenzie
  • Heather H. KellerEmail author
Article
  • 2 Downloads

Abstract

Basic information on seniors’ use of supplements is lacking. In this study, a convenience sample of community-living older adults (n=128) was recruited from 10 sites to determine the prevalence, frequency, duration and type of supplement use. Use information, demographics and medical/nutritional history were collected with an interview-administered questionnaire. Supplement use included both vitaminmineral and/or herbal preparations. Average age of participants was 76 years and 73% were female. Users comprised 79.9% of the sample. Vitamin E was the most common vitaminmineral and herbal teas were the most popular herbal preparations. The predominant reason for use was to “improve one’s health”. Initial results suggest that older adults are learning about, using and purchasing these supplements from a variety of sources. With this common use and the concerns over interactions with prescription medications, further work is required to determine if these findings are consistent in a more diverse, randomly selected older Canadian population.

Résumé

On manque d’information sur l’utilisation des suppléments nutritifs par les personnes âgées. L’étude, fondée sur un échantillon de commodité composé d’adultes âgés vivant dans la communauté (n=128), recrutés à 10 endroits, cherchait à déterminer la prévalence, la fréquence, la nature et la durée d’utilisation des suppléments. Les statistiques d’utilisation, les données démographiques et les antécédents médicaux/nutrition-nels ont été recueillis à l’aide d’un questionnaire d’entrevue. Nous avons considéré comme des suppléments les vitamines/minéraux et les produits à base d’herbes médicinales. Les participants avaient en moyenne 76 ans, et 73 % étaient des femmes. Les utilisateurs représentaient 79,9 % de l’échantillon. La vitamine E était le produit le plus communément utilisé dans la catégorie des vitamines/minéraux, et les tisanes dans la catégorie des produits à base d’herbes médicinales. On utilise principalement les suppléments pour « améliorer sa santé ». Les premiers résultats portent à croire que les adultes âgés font appel à plusieurs sources pour s’informer au sujet des suppléments, les utiliser et en acheter. Étant donné l’usage courant des suppléments et les craintes quant à leurs interactions avec les médicaments sur ordonnance, il faudrait pousser les travaux pour déterminer si les constatations seraient les mêmes dans un groupe plus diversifié de Canadiens âgés sélectionnés au hasard.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. 1.
    Gray G, Paganini-Hill A, Ross R. Dietary intake and nutrient supplement use in a southern California retirement community. Am J Clin Nutr 1983;38:122–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Betts N, Rezek J. Attitudes of rural and urban elderly concerning supplement use. J Nutr Elderly 1989;8(3/4):67–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Payette H, Gray-Donald K. Do vitamin and mineral supplements improve the dietary intake of elderly Canadians? Can J Public Health 1991;82:58–59.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bender M, Levy A, Schucker R, Yetley E. Trends in prevalence and magnitude of vitamin and mineral supplement usage and correlation with health status. J Am Diet Assoc 1992;92(9):1096–101.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Gray SL, Hanlon JT, Fillenbaum GG, et al. Predictors of nutritional supplement use by the elderly. Pharmacotherapy 1996;16(4):715–20.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Yung L, Contento I, Gussow J. Use of health foods by the elderly. J Nutr Educ 1984;16(3):127–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Montbriand MJ. Senior and health professionals’ perceptions and communication about prescription and alternative therapies. Can J Aging 2000;19(1):35–56.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Roe D. Health food supplements for the elderly: Who can say no? New York State J Med 1993;93(2):109–12.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Canedy D. Real medicine or medicine show? Growth of herbal sales raises issues about value. New York Times 1998 July 23;C1.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Eisenberg DM, Davis RB, Ettner SL, et al. Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, 1990–1997. JAMA 1998;280(18):1569–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Angus Reid Poll, August 22–24, 1997. www.angusreid.com/pressrel/alternat.htm.
  12. 12.
    Millar J. Use of alternative health care practitioners by Canadians. Can J Public Health 1997;88(3):154–58.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Verhoef MJ, Sutherland LR, Brkich L. Use of alternative medicine by patients attending a gas-troenterology clinic. CMAJ 1990;142(2):121–25.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Radimer K, Subar A, Thompson F. Nonvitamin, nonmineral dietary supplements: Issues and findings from NHANES III. J Am Diet Assoc 2000;100:447–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Blais R, Maiga A, Aboubacar A. How different are users and non-users of alternative medicine? Can J Public Health 1997;88(3):159–62.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Kelner M, Wellman B. Health care and consumer choice: Medical and alternative therapies. Soc Sci Med 1997;45(2):203–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Keller HH, McKenzie JD, Goy R. Construct validation and test-retest reliability of SCREEN (Seniors in the Community: Risk Evaluation for Eating and Nutrition). J Gerontol, Med Sci (accepted August 20, 2000).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Gary PJ, Goodwin J, Hunt W, et al. Nutritional status in a healthy elderly population: Dietary and supplemental intakes. Am J Clin Nutr 1982;36:319–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Mares-Perlman J, Klein B, Klein R, et al. Nutrient supplements contribute to the dietary intake of middle and older-aged adult residents of Beaver Dam Wisconsin. J Nutr 1993;123:176–88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    McIntosh W, Kubena K, Walker J, et al. The relationship between beliefs and nutrition and dietary practices of the elderly. J Am Diet Assoc 1990;90(5):671–76.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Griffith P, Innes F. The relationship of socio-economic factors to the use of vitamin supplements in the city of Windsor. Nutr Res 1983;3:445–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Donald E, Tapan K, Hargreaves JA, et al. Dietary intake and biochemical status of a selected group of older Albertans taking or not taking micro-nutrient supplements. J Can Diet Assoc 1992;53(1):39–43.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Jylha M. Ten-year change in the use of medical drugs among the elderly–a longitudinal study and cohort comparison. J Clin Epidemiol 1994;47(1):69–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Neuhouser ML, Patterson RE, Levy L. Motivations for using vitamin and mineral supplements. J Am Diet Assoc 1999;99(7):851–54.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Subar A, Block G. Use of vitamin and mineral supplements, demographics and amounts of nutrients consumed. Am J Epidemiol 1990;132(6):1091–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Koplan J, Annest J, Layde P, Rubin G. Nutrient intake and supplementation in the United States. Am J Public Health 1986;76(3):287–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hartz S, Otradovec CL, McGandy R, et al. Nutrient supplement use by the healthy elderly. J Am Coll Nutr 1988;7(2):119–28.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Read M, Graney A. Food supplement usage by the elderly. J Am Diet Assoc 1982;80:251–53.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Sobal J, Muncie H, Baker A. Use of nutritional supplements in a retirement community. The Gerontologist 1986;26(2):187–91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    O’Hara M, Kiefer D, Farrell K, Kemper K. A review of 12 commonly used medicinal herbs. Arch Fam Med 1998;7:528–36.Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ranno B, Wardlaw G, Gieger C. What characterizes elderly women who overuse vitamin and mineral supplements? J Am Diet Assoc 1988;88(3):347–48.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Planta M, Bundersen B, Petitt J. Prevalence of the use of herbal products in a low-income population. Fam Med 2000;32(4):252–57.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Foster S, Lee K, Shongwe S, et al. Complementary medicine. BMJ 1993;307:326–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Molnar FJ. An assessment of the advice provided to seniors in newspaper health advice columns. Ontario Gerontology Association, 18th Annual Conference–Global Issues in the Village: Local, National and International Perspectives, Toronto, Ontario, April 1999.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family Relations and Applied NutritionUniversity of GuelphGuelphCanada

Personalised recommendations