Patterns of Dietary Supplement Use Among Gifted Student Population
Vol. 5 Issue 1 : 2017


Background: Dietary supplements consist of vitamins, minerals, herbs or amino acids. They complement diet and provide essential
nutrients for various health benefits. Publics should be educated on the role of dietary supplements in prevention and treatment of
chronic diseases such as osteoporosis, heart disease, cancer and neural tube defects. Therefore, information and knowledge on the pattern
of dietary supplements intake are important for physical and intellectual development. The objective of this study is to determine
the pattern of dietary supplement intake among gifted and talented student population, who have higher than average intelligence quotient
(IQ). Supplement and Life Style Questionnaire (SUPQ) was given to 99 ASASIpintar students of the PERMATApintar Institute
of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). The validated questionnaire focused on frequency, type and duration of dietary supplement
intake. The response rate was 82.8% (82 out of 99). About 46.3% (38) of the respondents have been taking dietary supplement
for the past one year. Around 34% of the respondents who took dietary supplements, gave no specific reason for taking their dietary
supplements. About 19% of the respondents took dietary supplements for health purposes. The most frequently used supplements were
vitamin C (29%), multivitamin only (22%), multivitamin and minerals (14%) and minerals only (9%). The most frequently used natural
products were honey or propolis (38%) and fish oil, salmon oil or cod liver oil (19%). The frequency of dietary supplement intake
was not associated with gender or financial status. As a conclusion, nearly half of the gifted student population took dietary supplements.
The intake of dietary supplement was not influenced by gender and financial status.