If you’re one of the millions of Americans who take dietary supplements, fish oil is most likely to be among the supplements you consume. According to new consumer research conducted by Consumerlab.com, more people in the United States now take fish oil supplements than even multivitamins, a longtime supplement staple for many Americans.

In Consumerlab’s survey of 6,000 U.S. consumers who take dietary supplements, fish oil came out on top as the most popular supplement, followed by multivitamins, vitamin D, calcium and CoQ10. The survey was based on a sampling of subscribers to Consumerlab’s free newsletter—most of whom are likely to be dedicated supplement users. In fact, the majority of people who participated in the survey reported using multiple supplements.

From a sales dollar perspective, multivitamins continued to dominate the dietary supplement market, generating $4.8 billion in 2009, according to Nutrition Business Journal estimates. Fish oil products, on the other hand, generated $980 million in sales in 2009, NBJ reports. Fish oil supplements are growing at a much faster rate, however, expanding 17 percent in 2009, compared to just over 2 percent for multivitamins.

Just the beginning for omega-3s

A recent meeting hosted by the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3s (GOED) highlighted the expanding popularity of omega-3 supplements and their potential for further astronomical sales growth.  The exchange brought together omega-3 researchers, government officials, regulatory body representatives, dieticians and omega-3 supply companies to discuss the latest research into the benefits of DHA and EPA.

“Our first GOED Exchange served as a powerful reminder of how expansive the omega-3 industry is becoming,” says Adam Ismail, GOED executive director. “From omega-3 researchers' findings in the early '70s to the latest developments in omega-3's role in reducing healthcare costs and its emerging uses in helping children with motor skill disorders, this conference also reminded us that there's still much to discover when it comes to omega-3's health benefits.”

Read more about findings from the Consumerlab survey and the GOED Exchange.