Developing a database of vitamin and mineral supplements (ViMiS) for the Norfolk arm of the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer (EPIC-Norfolk)

Marleen A. H. Lentjes, Amit Bhaniani, Angela A. Mulligan, Kay-Tee Khaw, Ailsa A. Welch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: Supplements are an important source of micronutrient intake, which, unless taken into account, can misclassify individuals with regard to levels of nutrient exposure. A label-based vitamin and mineral supplements (ViMiS) database was developed to contain manufacturers’ information and to enter supplement use by participants in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition in Norfolk (EPIC-Norfolk). The ViMiS database contains information on all ingredients, broken down into nutrient information in order to be combined with nutrient intake derived from food consumption.
Design: Development of the ViMiS database and cross-sectional analysis of supplement use in a population-based study.
Setting: Men and women aged 40–79 years from the general population participating in the EPIC-Norfolk study between 1993 and 1997, with data available from 7 d diet diaries (7dDD).Subjects A subset of 19 330 participants with available 7dDD and known supplement status.
Results: To date, the ViMiS database includes 2066 supplements, which altogether contain 16 586 ingredients, with a median of eleven nutrient/ingredients per supplement. Forty per cent of the cohort took a supplement, of which cod liver oil was the most common (24·5 %).
Conclusions: The ViMiS database provides a flexible tool for estimating total nutrient intake. The high prevalence of supplement use in the general population indicates that supplement use needs to be taken into account when examining the relationship of intake of particular nutrients to health outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)459-471
Number of pages13
JournalPublic Health Nutrition
Issue number3
Early online date17 Nov 2010
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cod Liver Oil
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Databases, Factual
  • Diet
  • Diet Records
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Energy Intake
  • Europe
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutrition Surveys
  • Nutritional Status
  • Prospective Studies
  • Questionnaires
  • Trace Elements
  • Vitamins

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