Dietary supplementation linked to healthier college lifestyle behaviors

Dietary supplementation linked to healthier college lifestyle behaviors

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“The primary aims of this study were to describe the prevalence of dietary supplement intake and types of dietary supplements used by a sample of college students as well as to investigate the associations between supplement intake and blood biomarkers,”​ wrote nutrition and health researchers from the University of North Florida, who expected to find effects on both behaviors and biomarkers.

Published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements​, the cross-sectional study ​was funded by a University of North Florida Faculty Development Grant.

Dietary supplements and lifestyle behaviors

The study references an existing body of research that has explored dietary supplement intake and lifestyle factors in college student populations. It notes the growth of the dietary supplement market and particularly the increasing popularity of sports nutrition supplements within that market.

“Although dietary supplement categories seem to differ across studies, the majority of dietary supplements consumed are classified as sports supplements, such as protein supplement, sports bar/gel, amino acid, electrolyte and vitamin/mineral supplement, compared to herbal or other types of supplements,”​ the study noted.

For the purposes of this research, dietary supplements were defined as both single nutrient supplements and sports nutrition supplements, then classified into four categories: protein, herbal, sports nutrition and other (such as joint supplements, melatonin, alpha lipoic acid and coconut oil) . Positive lifestyle behaviors linked to dietary supplementation included physical activity, breakfast consumption and fruit and vegetable intake, evaluated through questionnaire.

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Jorge Oliveira

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