Frequency of Dietary Supplements usage in the Saudi Arabian Public and Gym Users
Objectives: The aim of the study is to explore the use of dietary supplements and to assess awareness of its positive/adverse effects among physically active adults and the general population in Saudi Arabia.
Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional online survey-based study and received 574 responses showing frequencies and types of dietary supplements.
Results: The results show that 44.6% of respondents use dietary supplements. The most used dietary supplements were Vitamin C and multivitamins, consumed by 44% of the respondents, Vitamin D (44%), Iron (41%), and Calcium (39%). Protein sports bars and powder were consumed mainly by gym members, particularly those practicing weight-training exercises. Approximately 4% of respondents reported side-effects secondary to the usage of the dietary supplements. We conclude that the dietary supplement usage is widespread in Saudi Arabia among both gym members and the general public.
Conclusion: It is highly recommended to increase awareness measures from official health entities by educating the general population and physically active adults about dietary supplement use and adverse effects to ensure safe practices.