Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Departmental Honors


Nutrition, Dietetics, and Food Sciences


Introduction: According to NHANES data from 1999-2000, 52% of US adults reported talcing a dietary supplement in the last month. Even greater use of dietary supplements is observed among older individuals. Dietary supplements contain a wide range of ingredients from vitamin and minerals (VM) to botanicals, herbs, amino acids, and other ingredients sometimes referred to as non-vitamin and minerals (NVM).

Methods: Data on VM and NVM supplement use was collected in a prospective study of elderly people living in Cache Valley, Utah. The reported supplements were researched to obtain ingredient information and then categorized into groups representing the types of ingredients in the supplement. Results: Of the 2327 participants aged 74 years or older who answered the interviewer-administered survey conducted during 2001-2003, 86% (1990) reported regular use of one or more dietary supplements. Of the supplements reported, 75% were traditional supplements, 5% were mixed supplements, and 18% were other supplements. The ingredients could not be identified for 3% of reported supplements.

Conclusion: The elderly population has a high rate of supplements usage and the elderly population of Cache County, Utah, this rate is exceptionally high (86%). It is essential for researchers and health professionals to be aware of this trend among the elderly.



Faculty Mentor

Heidi J. Wengreen

Departmental Honors Advisor

Noreen B. Schvaneveldt