From multivitamins to calcium, dietary supplements are seen as a necessary dietary component for more than half of all Americans, according to new survey data released by the National Center for Health Statistics. The study, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), found that 53 percent of U.S. adults used supplements from 2003 to 2006. This was up from about 40 percent of adults who took supplements from 1988 to 1994. Government figures show that overall growth in supplement usage leveled off after 2006 and that women continue to take more supplements than men.

The CDC survey found that the multivitamin remains to be the most popular supplement, while calcium usage has grown significantly since the early 1990s. In fact, more than 65 percent of women 60 and older take calcium supplements, up from less than 30 percent in the early 1990s.

“We’re encouraged to see the government confirm what we’ve seen about dietary supplement usage—that it’s growing,” says Council for Responsible Nutrition President and CEO Steve Mister.