Use of vitamin and mineral supplements by pharmacy students

P. L. Ranelli, R. N. Dickerson, K. G. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Use of vitamin and mineral supplements by undergraduate pharmacy students and the students' perceptions and beliefs about these products were studied. Undergraduate pharmacy students from two schools in Philadelphia completed a questionnaire in which they were asked whether they had taken vitamin or mineral supplements within the preceding two weeks, the reason for taking the supplements, and the identity of the type of products taken. General demographic information and a self-assessment of health and diet were also obtained. In addition, using a five-point Likert scale, students were asked to rate the degree to which they agreed with five controversial statements regarding vitamin and mineral supplements. Of the 692 students completing the questionnaire, 47% had taken supplements in the preceding two weeks. This percentage is higher than that determined in surveys of the general population and of professionals in other health disciplines. No significant difference was noted in the percentage of men and women who took supplements, but the types of products taken by men and women differed significantly. The most common reasons for taking supplements were inadequate diet, to improve energy, for stress, and for colds. Year in school had a modest influence on the beliefs about vitamin and mineral supplement use expressed by students. The use of vitamin and mineral supplements among pharmacy students was high. Pharmacy schools should devote time in the curriculum to the sociological and clinical aspects of vitamin and mineral therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)674-678
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Hospital Pharmacy
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1993


  • Data collection
  • Dietary supplements
  • Drug use
  • Minerals
  • Pharmacy
  • Sex
  • Vitamins


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