58% consumers take health supplements without a doctor prescription: Inshorts Poll

65% of these respondents think one cannot overdose on any health supplements

December 16th 2021: With health becoming a growing concern nationally, Inshorts, India’s #1 English news app conducted a poll to assess the public sentiment around health supplements consumption to boost their immunity. As the scare amidst Omicron variant spikes in India, the survey was aimed to understand the perspective of millennials around vitamin consumption. Out of the one lakh respondents who participated in the survey, 22% of them were active consumers of some form of health supplements. Amongst these consumers, about 58% started taking health supplements without consulting a doctor and 65% believe that people can’t overdose on supplements.

As per the results, which mainly included millennials from Tier 1 cities, 42% of health supplement consumers voted that it was prescribed to them by a doctor. Among the 58% who take supplements without prescription include – 29% whom health supplements were recommended by friends and family, 15% consumed them for protection from coronavirus, 8% voted for news articles and 6% for ads and reviews for adding an extra health supplement to their daily routine.

What needs attention is that while 58% of consumers started consuming vitamins without a doctor’s prescription, 65% of consumers believe that an individual can never overdose on any health supplement. When being asked what prompted these health supplement users to start the consumption, 37% of them cited boosting immunity as the primary reason. As per the poll data, other factors that lead to increased consumption are the betterment of skin and hair (18%), enhancing athletic physique (11%), and strengthening bones and vision (11%). Additionally, 59% of these consumers suggest that everyone else should also add a health supplement to their daily routine.

Vitamins do play a vital role in maintaining good health. However, experts are raising concerns about excessive and negligent consumption of vitamins without a doctor’s advice. Some vitamins can be harmful if not taken under proper guidance. Bruhat Bengaluru Chemists and Druggists Association observed an increase of 50% in sales of Vitamin C tablets during the first wave of coronavirus. In an interview last year, Dr. Jagadish Hiremath, CEO, ACE Suhas Hospital, said, “Vitamin C, D, E, and Zinc are not proven immune boosters as is being claimed. These drugs, when taken in large quantities, cause toxicity. If they increase the consumption of food which provides these to the body, that should be enough. There is no need for supplements when we know they can cause problems of hypervitaminosis and toxicity.”

The target group of Inshorts comprises mainly urban millennials, a segment amongst whom the rising consumption of health supplements is at an even greater rate.

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