Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > Botanical Dietary Supplement Use among Hispanic/Latino Adults in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos: Comparison of a Diet- vs. Medication-based Survey

Botanical supplement use is common in the United States, but its assessment is difficult among Hispanics/Latinos. This report documents the prevalence of botanical and non-vitamin non-mineral (NVNM) supplement use over a 30-day recall period in a sample of Hispanics/Latinos in the US as measured with two instruments. Dietary supplement assessment in the Hispanic Community Health Study/Study of Latinos included both a medication inventory and a nutrition-based dietary supplement interview, enabling a comparison of instruments across supplement categories. Additional supplements were captured from 24-hour dietary recalls. In addition, characteristics of botanical supplement users and their motivations for use were explored. The prevalence of dietary supplement use was substantially higher as measured in the dietary supplement interview as compared to the medication inventory: for total dietary supplements (40 vs. 26%, respectively), for NVNM supplements (25 vs. 13%), and botanicals (9 vs. 4%). Concordance between the two measures was fair-moderate by Cohen's Kappa (0.28 - 0.56). Estimates were sensitive to inclusion of botanical teas captured exclusively from 24-hour dietary recalls with increases in botanical supplement prevalence from 7 to 15% with their addition. After vitamins and minerals, the most prevalent supplement ingredients consumed were omega-3 fatty acids (9.7%), lutein (9.6%), and lycopene (10.5%). The prevalence of botanical supplement use varied across Hispanic/Latino background. Individuals with a self-reported Mexican, Central or South American background were more likely to use botanicals than individuals with a Dominican, Cuban, or Puerto Rican background. Other characteristics associated with botanical supplement use included age, income, and adoption of healthy lifestyle behaviors. The association of education with botanical supplement use was stronger for more rather than less acculturated individuals. Motivations for supplement use included treatment/prevention of health conditions and appearance enhancements. Botanical use prevalence varied by Hispanic/Latino background, but characteristics of botanical supplement users across backgrounds were similar to those in the general US population as were the types of botanical supplements captured. Results suggest that drivers of commercial botanical supplement consumption may not differ between Hispanics/Latinos and the non-Hispanic white population and indicate an interest in self-improvement. Clearly needed are better dietary supplement assessment strategies and standardization of categorization.