Surveying Doctors’ Supplement Choices
Do physicians take dietary supplements—and if so, which ones and why? A new survey conducted for the supplements-industry trade association the Council for Responsible Nutrition sought answers from 900 physicians, evenly divided among three specialties—cardiology, dermatology and orthopedics. Overall, dermatologists were most likely to use dietary supplements at least occasionally (75%), followed by 73% of orthopedists and 57% of cardiologists. Dermatologists were also most likely to be regular dietary supplement users, at 59%, with 50% of orthopedists and 37% of cardiologists regular users. The most commonly mentioned product was a multivitamin, but more than 25% in each specialty said they took omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) and more than 20% said they used some botanical supplements. Orthopedists were most likely to say they recommend dietary supplements to their patients, mostly for bone and joint health, at 91%. Next came cardiologists, with 72% sometimes recommending supplements for heart health or lowering cholesterol. And 66% of dermatologists at least occasionally suggest patients try supplements, citing possible benefits for skin, hair and nails.
TO LEARN MORE: Nutrition Journal, online before print at dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-2891-10-20.