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BMC Public Health

, 5:47

First Online: 16 May 2005Received: 03 December 2004Accepted: 16 May 2005DOI: 10.1186-1471-2458-5-47

Cite this article as: Ayranci, U., Son, N. & Son, O. BMC Public Health 2005 5: 47. doi:10.1186-1471-2458-5-47


BackgroundThere have been multiple studies carried out in many countries with regard to the use of nonvitamin, nonmineral NVNM supplements. These studies have shown that the use of NVNM supplements is on the increase throughout the world, particularly in western countries. The aim of this study was to assess the extent of NVNM supplement use among Turkish university students.

MethodsThe survey was conducted between September and December 2004 at Osmangazi University, a public university located in the west of Turkey. Responses were analysed, using the chi-square x test, t test and percent % ratios, according to gender and consumers. Differences were considered significant for p ≤ 0.05.

ResultsOf 2253 students attending the university, 1871 participated in the survey 909 men and 962 women. Overall, the prevalence of NVNM supplement use was 16.5% 16.6% in men and 16.3% in women, p < 0.05.

The three most commonly given reasons for use were -improvement of energy and vitality 78.6%- -promotion of weight loss 71.1%-, followed by -enhancement of athletic performance 64.3%-. Twenty-six of the 308 reported NVNM users 26-308, 8.4% reported having experienced an adverse reaction. Television 76.3%, magazines-newspapers 41.5% and internet websites 37.3% were the most frequently used sources for obtaining information about NVNM supplements. The three most frequently used NVNM supplements were echinacea, ginseng, and gingko biloba 38.6%, 36.4%, and 32.8%, respectively. Nutritional scores were higher in NVNM supplement users than in non-users 66.510.8 vs. 62.712.7 p < 0.001. Users and nonusers of NVNM supplements differed significantly according to sex, age, Body Mass Index BMI values, types of school, mother and fathers- education levels, family income, most permanent place of residence up to the time of survey, smoking status, and participating in sports.

ConclusionThe results indicate that the prevalence of NVNM supplement use is relatively modest among Turkish university students and more information is needed on why people use particular NVNM supplements.

Autor: Unal Ayranci - Nazan Son - Osman Son


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