Asians are increasingly switching from traditional medicine to Western health supplements, a survey published on August 6 found. People in the region spending an average of more than $18 each a month on minerals and vitamins with Singapore and Hong Kong people buying most, reports the Deutsche Presse Agentur. Singaporeans spend $24.2 per month on supplements, followed by people in Hong Kong ($22.4), Taiwan ($20.3), Malaysia ($17.3), China ($15.6) and Thailand ($11.9). The findings in the survey of over 6,000 people around the region by a Singapore-based health food manufacturer shows how Western dietary supplements have replaced traditional supplements such as ginseng and bird's nest for many Asians. However, knowledge of supplements and their benefits varied widely. Chinese people seem to be the most knowledgeable with a 91 per cent knowledge rating, despite buying relatively few supplements. Hong Kong people were found to be the least knowledgeable with a 62 per cent rating. According to researchers, people in Hong Kong were more likely to give up one kind of supplement quickly and switch to another on the basis of advertising and promotion, whereas Chinese customers were more likely to stick with a supplement and take it on a daily or regular basis, indicating they spent less but spent carefully.