Medical Journal of Malaysia

MJM, Vol 70 Supplement 1 September 2015

Dietary supplement use among adults in Malaysia: finding from Malaysian Adults Nutrition Survey (MANS 2014)

Nor Azian Mohd Zaki, Tee Guat Hiong, Mohd Naim Rasidi, Hasimah Ismail, S Maria Awaluddin, Noor Safiza Mohamad Nor, Rahama Samad, Ahmad Ali Zainuddin

Institute of Public Health, Ministry of Health Malaysia


Introduction: Dietary supplements in Malaysian have seen tremendous growth in their varieties and numbers over the last decade. This study aimed to determine the use of dietary supplements among Malaysian adults.

Methods: Data from the Malaysian Adults Nutrition Survey (MANS) 2014 were analysed. This cross-sectional study used a two-stage stratified sampling method and was conducted among nationally representative aged 18-59 years. A total of 4000 households were selected in this survey and only one eligible respondent was chosen from each household using Kish selection method. Information on dietary supplement intake; i.e., vitamin/mineral supplements (VMS) and food supplements (FS) was obtained using a validated questionnaire. Descriptive and multiple logistic regressions analyses were performed using SPSS version 20.0.

Results: The prevalence of VMS and FS intake among Malaysian adults were 28.05% and 34.02% respectively. VMS supplements users were more likely to be female, living in urban locality with higher education level and higher monthly income. The commonest VMS consumed were vitamin C, multivitamin and calcium. Meanwhile fish oil, royal jelly and spirulina were the most taken FS taken. Three main reasons for taking dietary supplements were for health reasons, to increase energy level and prescribed by doctors.

Conclusion: The result from MANS 2014 found that about one third of Malaysian adults used dietary supplements. Thus, information based on scientific evidences of health benefits for each type of dietary supplements is needed for consumers to make informed choices on the intake of dietary supplements.

Keywords: Dietary supplement, Vitamin and mineral supplement, Food supplements, Malaysian Adults Nutrition Survey (MANS)