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What supplements are wealthy people using to get ahead?

Is Ozempic right for you? The miracle weight loss ‘supplement’ wealthy people are using and more! This final blog post in our series examining the relationship between health and success looks at trends in the effectiveness of vitamins and ‘supplements’. From Ozempic use by Elon Musk to Gwenyth Paltrow getting IV drips that add up to thousands of dollars, Hollywood is always on some sort of trend. This week we’ll be looking into vitamins and supplements as a whole along with current supplement trends.

A 2022 market report from Mintel revealed 38% of Brits take vitamins, minerals or supplements daily and 49% of UK adults say money concerns make it harder to follow a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and supplements.

As a reminder, there is a positive relationship between health, success and wealth, and for the past nine weeks we’ve been looking at topics which link health and success, but throughout the weeks common trends that enable health include access though financial means.

How do vitamins support longevity?

It will come as no surprise to you that one of the first things I discovered this week is that people with higher incomes spend more on vitamins and supplements. This article from Elle even tells the story of one woman spending £50 per week on a personalised supplement plan (which to be fair was the least shocking number).

What’s surprising about this is vitamins besides Omega-3s and folic acid are the only vitamins linked to longevity. Magnesium is linked to healthy ageing and there are a few other vitamins linked with a healthy metabolism or memory (like B12), but the research is inconclusive and most point to multivitamins being a waste of money unless there is an existing deficiency. Some studies even show negative health consequences to having too much of certain vitamins in your system.

When used as a band aid for negative health-promoting behaviours, vitamins are likely unhelpful.

So why are wealthier people spending more on supplements?

Wealthier people have healthier behaviours in general such as exercising more and having higher quality diets. Although supplements might not actually be better for health, they are widely believed to be. It’s possible using vitamins in a regimen of healthy activities might help reinforce the identity of a healthy person.

Another guess is what is considered a supplement is blurry nowadays. Wealthy people in the study spent more on supplements and this term was used as an umbrella term. It turns out, wealthy people are more likely to turn to supplements as a solution to fix their problems in general. My guess is this is because of access.

When looking into supplements, it was hard to overlook current trends of weight loss drugs and steroids. Although these aren’t necessarily “supplements” and are in fact powerful drugs, they’re being used as supplements for the rich and famous.

What else could be considered a supplement?

Some concerning recent trends include the use of Ozempic, which is a type 2 diabetes treatment currently used as a celebrity weight loss drug. Jimmy Kimmel joked about the Oscar’s stating “as I look around this room, I have to question, is Ozempic right for me?”