ChildrenCreatineExerciseFiberHerbalsOmega-3 Fatty AcidsVitamins

Use of dietary supplements to enhance sports performance

Researchers at Texas Chiropractic College, in Pasadena, studied children in the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) in order to estimate their use of supplements.

First, the details.

  • NHIS 2007 Child Alternative Medicine files containing records for children younger than 18 years were used.
  • Typical demographic variables were used, as well as parental presence; parental education level; use of any herb, vitamin, and/or mineral use for sports performance by children; and age.
  • Most were US born and reported living with both parents.

And, the results.

  • Parents and children reported child use of a wide variety of herbal and vitamin/mineral supplements to improve sports performance.
  • Usage could be predicted by age, gender, and level of education, but less likely by parent-based demographics.
  • 95% of those who reported using supplements most commonly used multivitamin and/or mineral combinations.
  • This was followed by fish oil/omega-3, creatine, and fiber.
  • Males were more likely users.
  • Whites reported greater use.
  • Average user age was 11 years with 58% older than 10 years, indicating some increase in use with higher age.

The bottom line?

Unfortunately, the abstract doesn’t tell us the primary result: the percentage of children who used supplements.

2/6/12 20:35 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.