RESEARCH ARTICLE


Epidemiological Aspects of Dietary Supplement use among Saudi Medical Students: A Cross-sectional Study



Doaa M. Abdel-Salam1, 2, *, Jumanah M. Alruwaili3, Raghad A. Alshalan3, Taghreed A. Alruwaili3, Shrouq A. Alanazi3, Alshimaa M. Mohamed Lotfy4
1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, College of Medicine, Jouf University, Aljouf, Saudi Arabia
2 Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, Assiut, Egypt
3 Medical Student, College of Medicine, Jouf University, Aljouf, Saudi Arabia
4 Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Beni-Suef University, Beni Suef, Egypt


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Creative Commons License
© 2020 Abdel-Salam et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/legalcode. This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department Public Health and Community Medicine , Faculty of Medicine, Assiut University, 71526 Assiut, Egypt; Tel: +966537242691; Fax: +966146542256; E-mail: doaa.mazen@aun.edu.eg


Abstract

Background:

Dietary supplement use received wide attention and interest throughout the world, particularly in Gulf countries, because of advanced economic and industrial growth.

Objective:

The present study aimed to determine the prevalence and correlates of dietary supplement use among medical students at Jouf University, Saudi Arabia.

Methods:

For this cross-sectional study, an anonymous self-administered structured questionnaire was distributed among medical students at Jouf University, Saudi Arabia. Out of the 381 medical students, 366 answered the questionnaire with a response rate of 96%. Analysis of data was done using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS) program, version 24. Statistical significance was considered at P values <0.05.

Results:

Regarding the prevalence of dietary supplement use, 36.3% (n=133) and 29.5% (n=108) of the respondents were previous and current users of dietary supplements, respectively. Multivitamins and vitamin D were the most prevalent dietary supplements used by the participants. The students reported that the internet was the main source of knowledge concerning dietary supplements. The significant predictors of dietary supplement use in the logistic regression analysis were: age >21 years (odds ratio (OR): 3.26; confidence interval (CI): 1.67-10.53), females sex (odds ratio (OR): 2.23; confidence interval (CI): 2.34-6.84), and being in the third academic year or more (odds ratio (OR): 2.58; confidence interval (CI): 1.82-5.37). The most reported reasons for utilizing dietary supplements were nutritional supplementation and health promotion. Nearly three-quarters of the students agreed that dietary supplementation is good for health and recommended others to use them after doctor recommendation.

Conclusion:

Dietary supplement use was remarkably high among medical students at Jouf University, Saudi Arabia. Consumption of dietary supplements increased significantly among older students, females, and those in the third academic year or more. This study recommends other studies involving students from non-health domain colleges to detect if there is a difference in the prevalence of dietary supplement use within this population.

Keywords: Dietary supplements, Prevalence, Correlates, College students, Saudi Arabia, Multivitamins.