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Usage of Plant Food Supplements across Six European Countries: Findings from the PlantLIBRA Consumer Survey

Garcia-Alvarez, A, Egan, Mary, de Klein, S, Dima, L, Maggi, FM, Isoniemi, M, Ribas-Barba, L, Raats, Monique, Meissner, EM, Badea, M , Bruno, F, Salmenhaara, M, Mila-Villarroel, R, Knaze, V, Hodgkins, Charo, Marculescu, A, Uusitalo, L, Restani, P and Serra-Majem, L (2014) Usage of Plant Food Supplements across Six European Countries: Findings from the PlantLIBRA Consumer Survey PLoS ONE, 9 (3).

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Abstract

Background The popularity of botanical products is on the rise in Europe, with consumers using them to complement their diets or to maintain health, and products are taken in many different forms (e.g. teas, juices, herbal medicinal products, plant food supplements (PFS)). However there is a scarcity of data on the usage of such products at European level.

Objective To provide an overview of the characteristics and usage patterns of PFS consumers in six European countries.

Design Data on PFS usage were collected in a cross-sectional, retrospective survey of PFS consumers using a bespoke frequency of PFS usage questionnaire.

Subjects/setting A total sample of 2359 adult PFS consumers from Finland, Germany, Italy, Romania, Spain and the United Kingdom.

Data analyses Descriptive analyses were conducted, with all data stratified by gender, age, and country. Absolute frequencies, percentages and 95% confidence intervals are reported.

Results Overall, an estimated 18.8% of screened survey respondents used at least one PFS. Characteristics of PFS consumers included being older, well-educated, never having smoked and self-reporting health status as “good or very good”. Across countries, 491 different botanicals were identified in the PFS products used, with Ginkgo biloba (Ginkgo), Oenothera biennis (Evening primrose) and Cynara scolymus (Artichoke) being most frequently reported; the most popular dose forms were capsules and pills/tablets. Most consumers used one product and half of all users took single-botanical products. Some results varied across countries.

Conclusions The PlantLIBRA consumer survey is unique in reporting on usage patterns of PFS consumers in six European countries. The survey highlights the complexity of measuring the intake of such products, particularly at pan-European level. Incorporating measures of the intake of botanicals in national dietary surveys would provide much-needed data for comprehensive risk and benefit assessments at the European level.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences > School of Psychology
Authors :
NameEmailORCID
Garcia-Alvarez, AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Egan, MaryM.Egan@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
de Klein, SUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Dima, LUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Maggi, FMUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Isoniemi, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Ribas-Barba, LUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Raats, MoniqueM.Raats@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Meissner, EMUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Badea, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Bruno, FUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Salmenhaara, MUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Mila-Villarroel, RUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Knaze, VUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Hodgkins, CharoC.Hodgkins@surrey.ac.ukUNSPECIFIED
Marculescu, AUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Uusitalo, LUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Restani, PUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Serra-Majem, LUNSPECIFIEDUNSPECIFIED
Date : 18 March 2014
Identification Number : 10.1371/journal.pone.0092265
Copyright Disclaimer : Copyright: © 2014 Garcia-Alvarez et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Uncontrolled Keywords : Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, HEALTH INTERVIEW SURVEY, DIETARY-SUPPLEMENTS, NATIONAL-HEALTH, ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE, UNITED-STATES, HERBAL SUPPLEMENTS, ADULT-POPULATION, US ADULTS, COMPLEMENTARY, PATTERNS
Related URLs :
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 12 Aug 2015 12:34
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 17:34
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/808165

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