Vitamin and mineral supplement use by healthy teenagers in Korea: Motivating factors and dietary consequences

Sun H. Kim, Ji H. Han, Carl L Keen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The use of vitamin and mineral supplements is increasing among young individuals. We surveyed 972 Korean teenagers (age 13-18 y) for their use of vitamin/mineral supplements, their motivational factors, and the dietary consequences of supplement use. Prevalence of vitamin/mineral supplement use was 31%. Supplement use was highest in high-school students, females, individuals living in rural communities, and individuals from families in high socioeconomic strata. The supplements used most frequently were vitamin C, multivitamins, and vitamin A. Supplement users had a more positive view of the potential health benefits of supplements than did non-users. Most supplements were taken daily. Vitamins B2, B6, and C were the most frequently ingested nutrients from vitamin/mineral supplements. Vitamin/mineral intakes from supplements had a wide range, with mean intakes typically exceeding Korean or the U.S./Canadian recommended dietary allowances. Vitamins B12, B1, and C and iron comprised 2770%, 1930%, 1120%, and 1026%, respectively, of the Korean recommended dietary allowances. When nutrient intakes from the diet and supplements were combined, intakes of niacin, vitamin C, and iron exceeded the recommended upper-intake levels for these nutrients. The health benefits and risks of supplement use by teenagers merits further study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-380
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


  • Mineral supplements
  • Nutrient intakes
  • Recommended dietary allowances
  • Teenagers
  • Tolerable upper intake levels
  • Vitamin supplements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Surgery
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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