Abstract The use of herbal and nutrition supplements is widespread. It has been reported that about 80% of the world's population use herbal medicines [1, 2, 3, 4]. Very few supplement use studies have been conducted in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and neighboring nations (5,6). Supplement use data among young adults is scarce. In one study aimed at determining the use of supplements among athletes in Qatar (5), over 60% of the study participants reported using vitamin supplements. Data regarding attitudes on the use of supplements among young adults is almost non-existent. The data on their perceptions about alternative medicine practitioners is also inadequate. We thus conducted a survey in which we examined the a) prevalence of supplement use among college students in Qatar, and b) their perceptions about the use of supplements and alternative medicine practitioners. We have previously presented our study findings regarding the use of supplements (7). At this meeting we will present our study findings concerning the perceptions of college students about the a) effectiveness and safety of supplements and b) alternative medicine practitioners. References 1. Eisenberg, DM, Davis, RB, Ettner, SL et al. Trends in alternative medicine use in the United States, 1990-1997: results of a follow-up national survey. JAMA 280: 1569-1575, 1998. 2. Farnsworth, NR, Akerele, O, Bingel, AS., Socjata, DD, Eno, Z. Medicinal plants in therapy. Bull World Health Organization 1985: 63: 965-981. 3. Gesler, WM. Therapeutic landscape medical issues in light of the new cultural geography. Soc.Sci. Med. 1992; 34: 735-746. 4. Rafferty, AP, McGee, HB, Miller, CE, Reyes, M. Prevalence of complementary and alternative medicine use: state-specific estimates from the 2001 Behavioural Risk Factor Surveillance System. Am. J. Public Health 92: 1598-1600, 2002. 5. Knez WL and Peake JM, The prevalence of vitamin supplementation in ultraendurance triathletes. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2010 Dec;20(6):507-14. 6. Abu-Irmaileh, BE, Affi, F.U. Herbal medicine in Jordan with special emphasis on commonly used herbs. J. Ethnopharmacology 89: 193-197, 2003. 7. Mamtani R, MacRae B, Mahfoud Z, Cheema S , El Hajj M, Lopez T and Lowenfels A. Use of herbal and nutrition supplements among college students in Qatar. American Society of Clinical Nutrition, 2013, Dubai. Acknowledgement: This work is supported by the Biomedical Research Program at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, a program funded by Qatar Foundation.


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