Most physicians use and recommend supplements
60-75% of US physicians use food supplements and even more recommend the products to their patients, according to a new study.
Physicians are often claimed to have a negative view on food supplements but according to a new study of 900 doctors, including cardiologists, dermatologists, and orthopedists, between 60 and 75% are likely to use food supplements and 66 to 91% may also recommend these products to their patients.
Reporting in the peer-reviewed Nutrition Journal, a group of experts commissioned by the supplement trade organization, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), reveal the results of the HCP Impact Study (Health Care Professionals Impact Study) and point to the fact that the numbers correspond well with previous surveys conducted by the team. In 2007, data presented in the same journal showed that 72% of physicians use food supplements and 79% recommended them to their patients.
Most common among dermatologists
In the new survey, it is seen that some specialist groups are more likely than others to use and recommend supplements. For instance, 75% of dermatologists and 73% of orthopedists use supplements, where the figure for cardiologists is 57%. 59% of dermatologists and 50% of orthopedists were regular users, whereas only 37% of cardiologists fit into this category.
The most commonly used supplements were multivitamins and over 25% in each specialist group reported using omega-3 fatty acids, while around 20% took botanical supplements.
Many health benefits
Interestingly, while cardiologists are least likely to use supplements, they are certainly willing to let their patients know about the benefits. 72% of cardiologists advised their patients to take supplements for improving heart health or lowering cholesterol. 66% of dermatologists recommended supplements for benefiting skin, hair, and nails, while over 90% of orthopedists pointed to bone and joint health as the main reason for recommending supplements to their patients.
Source: Nutrition Journal 2011, 10:20
Using nutrients for medicinal purposes
Although food supplements are not subject to the same rigid legislation as medicine, more and more physicians show an interest in using these products to prevent medical conditions that would normally require the use of pharmaceutical drugs. These conditions include hypertension, elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels, osteoporosis (fragile bones), osteoarthritis, and certain skin ailments.
Pharma Nord manufactures both food supplements and medical drugs (such as strong vitamin- and mineral preparations). All Pharma Nord’s products are manufactured in compliance with GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice), a quality system covering the manufacture and testing of pharmaceuticals or drugs including active pharmaceutical ingredients, diagnostics, foods, pharmaceutical products, and medical devices.