Objectives: Little is known about supplement users and their dietary behavior in India. This study was conducted with the following objectives: 1. To determine the usage of dietary supplements in health sciences students. 2. To determine their knowledge, attitudes and beliefs regarding micronutrients. Materials and Methods: Cross-sectional, questionnaire based study conducted at a University in south India, which included second year students pursuing medical, dental and nursing courses. Data was analysed using SPSS version 19. Results: The commonest reasons for consuming supplements were to maintain good health (136, 40.1%) and ensure adequate nutrition (125, 36.9%). The respondents' opinions about dietary supplements were generally between 'unsure' and 'agree'. Medical students scored the highest percentage (44.84%) in their knowledge about micronutrients as compared to nursing (43.17%) and dental (37.8%). There was a significant difference between the scores of medical and dental students (p=0.005) while the scoring of students of medical and nursing did not vary significantly. There was no significant difference between the scoring percentage of males and females in medical and dental groups while in the nursing group female students scored a better percentage as compared to males (p=0.036). Conclusion: Although, the usage of dietary supplements in health sciences students is high, there is a dearth of knowledge, especially regarding role of micronutrients in health and disease. Hence, it is crucial this information must be highlighted in the health sciences curriculum with the objective of producing well-informed professionals who can later on have a positive impact on the health of society.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Clinical Biochemistry