Korean J Fam Med.  2009 Dec;30(12):934-943. 10.4082/kjfm.2009.30.12.934.

What Types of Dietary Supplements Are Used in Korea? Data from the Korean National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey 2005

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Seoul Paik Hospital, Inje University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. parkhyunah@hanafos.com
  • 2Department of Foods and Nutrition, University of Georgia, Athens, USA.


Dietary supplements affect the health and disease status of Koreans. We assessed the patterns of dietary supplements use and the related factors in Korean adults from the 2005 Korea National Health and Nutrition Survey (KNHANES). METHODS: Among the subjects, 2,024 men and 2,811 women underwent all the three parts of 2005 KNHANES, which consisted the health survey, the health examination, and the nutritional survey. Reported supplements were classified according to the 2008 Korea Food and Drug Administration Notification. We assessed the relationship between supplements use and socioeconomic state, health behaviors, and chronic diseases. RESULTS: Twenty-nine percent of Korean adults was taking dietary supplements. Vitamin/mineral supplements were the most commonly taken one. Glucosamine/mucopolysaccharide, ginseng, spirulina/chlorella, omega-3, and aloe followed in listing. Supplement users were likely to be woman and middle-aged. Supplement use was associated with older, high income, with spouse, higher education, urban-living, regular exercise, non-smoker, and lower BMI. Musculoskeletal diseases were associated with supplement use. CONCLUSION: Dietary supplement use is prevalent in Korean adults. The supplement use was associated with some demographics characteristics, health behavior, and chronic diseases. These factors should be considered when evaluating the efficacy of dietary supplements.


Dietary Supplements; Health Functional Food; KNHANES; Health Behavior; Chronic Disease
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