Herbal dietary supplements and knowledge of appropriate use among workers in agricultural research institutes in Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria
Background: The use of herbal dietary supplements (HDS) has become increasingly popular in Nigeria, yet there are few studies on knowledge of its appropriate use. Understanding users' perceived health benefits may help in the development of health promotion strategies to facilitate its appropriate use.
Objective: To investigate the commonly used herbal dietary supplements and knowledge of appropriate use among workers in Agricultural Research Institutes in Ibadan, Oyo State.
Methods: Descriptive cross-sectional study design involving randomly selected 422 workers from three (3) National Agricultural Research Institutes in Ibadan, Oyo State was adopted. Data were collected with the aid of a validated, selfadministered, semi-structured questionnaire and analysed using descriptive and inferential statistics at 5% level of significance.
Results: Majority of respondents (67.1%) had used HDS before but only 46.8% were current users. Among the current users, 70.8% were occasional users. The commonly used HDS included Moringa (67.9%), Garlic (47.3%), Ginger (45.0%) and Aloe vera (32.2%). Fifty eight (71.6%) out of the 81 respondents on prescription drugs were using it alongside HDS. Respondents with poor, fair and good knowledge of appropriate use of HDS were 69.1%, 27.3% and 3.6% respectively. Two main reasons for using HDS were to treat specific disease conditions (51.5%) and to prevent diseases generally (30.9%). More males (60.8%) used HDS compared to females. Knowledge of appropriate use was significantly associated with use of HDS.
Conclusion: Use of herbal dietary supplements was common but knowledge of appropriate use was poor. Nutrition education using the principle of health promoting workplace is advocated for appropriate use.
Keywords: Herbal dietary supplements, Knowledge of appropriate use, Agricultural researchers