Are dietary supplements really helping you?

The vast majority of dietary supplements are being used without a doctor's recommendation

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(CNN) – How much are dietary supplements really helping you?  A new survey shows that a lot of Americans are sold on supplements, no matter what their doctor says.

The national institutes of health spent more than 250 million dollars to study whether dietary supplements really improve your health, and for the most part, couldn’t find any significant benefit. A new report from the journal of the American Medical Association says most Americans they surveyed still use supplements at least once a month.

Although their popularity has leveled off in the last decade, the study shows the vast majority of dietary supplements are being used without a doctor’s recommendation. While fewer people are taking antioxidants like vitamin c, there’s an increase in the use of supplements like probiotics and lycopene. The number of people who take fish oil supplements has grown 9 times since the year 2000.

The journal says it looks like the popularity of many supplements is tied closely to how much they are advertised, more than whether they have proven benefits for your health.

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