And the Most Used Complementary Approach Is...

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Do you know what the most commonly used complementary approach is? For more than 10 years, dietary supplements (natural products not including vitamins and minerals) have come out on top. Following is data on supplements from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS):

  • Eighteen (18) percent of adults and 5 percent of children age 4 to 17 used dietary supplements in 2012
  • Fish oil was the #1 natural product among adults and children in 2012, with almost 8 percent of adults and 1 percent of children using it. 
  • Melatonin was the #2 natural product for children, showing a big increase in use since 2007.
  • Adults’ use of fish oil, probiotics or prebiotics, and melatonin increased (whereas use of glucosamine/chondroitin, echinacea, and garlic decreased between 2007 and 2012).
  • Dietary supplement users were twice as likely to report wellness rather than treatment as a reason for taking supplements. However, fewer than 1 in 4 reported reduced stress, better sleep, or feeling better emotionally as a result of using dietary supplements.

Learn more about wellness-related use of complementary health approaches at