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The 10 Best-Selling Vitamins and Supplements on Amazon

  • Woman looking something up online using a laptop computer in kitchen, with notebook and pen nearby

    More than 50% of Americans take a dietary supplement, such as vitamins and herbal products, with the intent of improving their health and getting essential nutrients. The downside is that many people aren’t fully aware of the effects of these over-the-counter supplements, and federal regulations aren’t as strict for these types of products.

    As a doctor, it’s wise to stay in the know about the popular supplements your patients are using, so you can help them make informed decisions about what to purchase and how the supplements may interact with other medications. Here are the most popular supplements currently sold on Amazon.

  • 1
    Collagen Peptides
    Collagen powder and pills next to glass of water

    As people age and notice a loss of firmness and elasticity in their skin and joints, they often add collagen peptides to their supplement routine. The hope is that this will help them retain hair, nail, bone, and joint health. Studies haven’t shown any great risks or benefits with taking collagen, but many experts suggest there are better ways to protect your collagen production. Eating less sugar, quitting smoking, reducing sun exposure, and eating protein-rich foods may be a more reliable option to boost collagen. Recommended foods include bone broth, dairy, legumes, meats, fish, nuts, and leafy greens.

  • 2
    Apple Cider Vinegar
    apple cider vinegar in bowl

    Apple cider vinegar (ACV) has become popular for helping many health issues including managing your weight, proper digestion, and blood sugar levels. Drinking ACV isn’t always appealing, so supplements and gummies have become a favorite method that goes down easier. Many of the benefits aren’t supported by research and apple cider vinegar may interact with certain drugs, including insulin and diuretics. On the positive side, ACV gummies seem safer than drinking straight apple cider vinegar, which can burn your esophagus and destroy tooth enamel when taken in excess.

  • 3
    Probiotics
    packages capsules of probiotics

    While probiotics are a top-selling supplement on Amazon, it can be difficult to understand which kind to buy. Each brand offers different probiotic strains, some include prebiotics, and it’s hard to know how many billions of colony-forming units (CFUs) you actually need. People often take probiotics to help with digestive issues, urinary tract infections, and yeast infections. Studies have shown that probiotics may be beneficial for these health issues and there are few risks. If your patient is considering or currently taking probiotics, you may want to help them research what type of probiotics are best for their specific condition.

  • 4
    Vitamin D3
    Close-up of vitamin d or e supplements next to open pill bottle

    Vitamin D3 is a popular supplement that supports teeth and bone health, muscle function, and a strong immune system. These supplements also claim to provide the same biologically active form of vitamin D you get from sun exposure, but without harmful UVB rays. There aren’t many foods that provide D3, so supplements are a good option. The main concern with taking Vitamin D3 supplements is toxicity, which can cause an irregular heartbeat, poor appetite, and weight loss. It’s recommended that people take no more than 4,000 IU per day.

  • 5
    Turmeric Curcumin
    turmeric powder, turmeric capsule and turmeric root on wooden background

    Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, is one of the hottest supplements on the market and an easy way to consume this less spicy cousin of curry. It has antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties that may benefit people with a range of conditions from ulcerative colitis to arthritis to memory issues. Doctors say the supplements are more beneficial than buying turmeric off the grocery store shelf. It’s important to consult with patients to make sure taking turmeric doesn’t interfere with any medications. You can also help them figure out the right dosage and check labels for filler ingredients.

  • 6
    Omega-3s
    sources of omega-3 fatty acids in salmon and fish oil pills

    The American Heart Association has been recommending omega-3 supplements for decades, and fish oil capsules are a top-selling supplement. They’re said to provide essential EPA and DHA fatty acids that support heart, brain, eye, and immune health. There have been many studies that back this claim, but new research includes a more specific recommendation to take a pure EPA supplement or one that has more EPA than DHA. If your patients are interested in taking omega-3s, it could be helpful to advise them on the recommended dosage and what to look for on the label.

  • 7
    Eye Vitamins
    Woman taking melatonin supplement pill before bed

    Age-related eye health is a concern for many people, and ocular supplements and vitamins regularly top the Amazon best-seller list. They claim to help slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Doctors agree that vitamin deficiencies can contribute to poor eye health, but they also agree you can get most key nutrients in your diet. The outlier is vitamins for AMD. Research shows that taking certain vitamins can slow the progression of this condition, but not prevent it.

  • 8
    Biotin
    man-taking-vitamins

    When hair loss is a problem, people turn to biotin supplements to support new hair growth. Biotin also helps build strong nails and bones. One of the unexpected effects of taking biotin that your patients may not know about is that it doesn’t just grow more hair on your head ― it increases hair growth all over the body. Also, some experts recommend limiting biotin intake to 10 mg a day. Too much biotin has been shown to affect thyroid function. Otherwise, biotin is known to be a safe supplement in moderate doses.

  • 9
    Magnesium
    Young Caucasian woman taking medication in bed drinking water

    Magnesium supplements have minimal side effects and many benefits, which include increased energy, better sleep, improved digestion, and heart and bone health support. One of the biggest challenges is knowing which form of magnesium to take for your needs. For example, magnesium citrate is used for constipation, while magnesium malate increases energy, and magnesium L-threonate helps improve learning and memory. There seems to be a magnesium for everything, so you can help guide your patients to the right one through research and trial and error.

  • 10
    Quercetin
    GettyImages-1257006028.jpg

    Quercetin is a flavonoid that provides many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits that support cardiovascular health, immune health, and healthy aging. Athletes also take quercetin to help release excess free radicals produced from oxidative stress when exercising. Quercetin is found naturally in many foods, such as green tea, red wine, berries, apples, and onions. However, many people prefer the ease of taking a quercetin supplement over changing their diet. Quercetin is a relatively safe product and studies show it may be more effective when taken with other flavonoids and vitamin C to increase absorption.

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  1. January 2016: Thyroid Month: Beware of Biotin. Endocrine News. https://endocrinenews.endocrine.org/january-2016-thyroid-month-beware-of-biotin/
  2. Should You Take Dietary Supplements? A Look at Vitamins, Minerals, Botanicals and More. News in Health. https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2013/08/should-you-take-dietary-supplements
  3. The Truth About Supplements: 5 Things You Should Know. Penn Medicine. https://www.pennmedicine.org/updates/blogs/health-and-wellness/2020/february/the-truth-about-supplements
  4. What patients — and doctors — need to know about vitamins and supplementsHarvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/patients-doctors-know-vitamins-supplements-2018031613418
  5. Mayo Clinic Q and A: Collagen and biotin supplements. Mayo Clinic. https://newsnetwork.mayoclinic.org/discussion/mayo-clinic-q-and-a-collagen-and-biotin-supplements/
  6. Drinking apple cider vinegar for weight loss seems far-fetched. Does it work? Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/weight-loss/expert-answers/apple-cider-vinegar-for-weight-loss/faq-20058394
  7. Probiotics. Cleveland Clinic. https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/14598-probiotics
  8. Vitamin D. Harvard T.H. Chan. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-d/
  9. Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Cardiovascular Disease. AHA Journals. https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/full/10.1161/01.ATV.0000057393.97337.AE
  10. Omega-3 fatty acids and the heart: New evidence, more questions. Harvard Health. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/omega-3-fatty-acids-and-the-heart-new-evidence-more-questions-2021032422213
  11. Should You Take Vitamins for Eye Health? Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/should-you-take-vitamins-for-eye-health/
  12. 7 Tips for Taking Turmeric. Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/7-tips-for-taking-turmeric-infographic/
  13. Evaluation of Quercetin as a Countermeasure to Exercise-Induced Physiological Stress. NCBI. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK299055/
  14. The Best Magnesium Supplements. American Association for the Study of Liver Disease. https://engage.aasld.org/blogs/vance-ross1/2021/01/08/the-best-magnesium-supplements
THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.