Use of vitamins, minerals, and other dietary supplements by 17- and 18-year-old students in Korea

Sun H. Kim, Ji H. Han, Qin Yan Zhu, Carl L Keen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Various types of dietary supplements (DS) are popularly taken by young individuals. We surveyed 1,190 Korean senior high school third grade students for their DS use, motivational factors for this use, and potential dietary consequences of vitamin/mineral supplement (VMS) use. The use prevalence of DS - including VMS, tonic medicines, manufactured health food supplements, cordial food supplements, and drink rehabilitators - was 54%. VMS were taken most frequently, followed by tonic medicines and manufactured health food supplements. VMS use was highest in individuals who had a significant concern for their overall health and in those from families with a high socioeconomic level and with parental use of DS. Total daily study time of DS users was only slightly longer than that of nonusers. The VMS most frequently used were vitamin C and multivitamins. More than 46% of other DS users, and 58% of VMS users, had increased their intake of supplements during third grade relative to the previous year. VMS users had a more positive view of the potential health benefit of VMS than did nonusers. Vitamin and mineral intakes from VMS occurred over a wide range, with mean intakes typically exceeding the Korean and Canadian-U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowances. For a significant number of individuals, intakes of vitamin A, niacin, folic acid, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and zinc exceeded the Tolerable Upper Intake Levels. Given the widespread use of DS by older teenagers, the contribution of these supplements to their overall health and well-being is a subject that clearly merits additional study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)27-42
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Medicinal Food
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Food Science


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