A recent paper entitled ‘use of dietary supplements by (USA based) cardiologists, dermatologists and orthopaedists’: produced a report of a survey that found that 57% of cardiologists said they use dietary supplements at least occasionally, as did 75% of dermatologists and 73% of orthopaedists.
Regular dietary supplement use was reported by 37% of cardiologists, 59% of dermatologists, and 50% of orthopaedists. In addition, 72% of cardiologists, 66% of dermatologists, and 91% of orthopaedists reported recommending dietary supplements to their patients. Should we be surprised, and is it the same in the UK and Europe?
According to the summary, the:
“primary reason given for recommending dietary supplements to patients was for heart health or lowering cholesterol for the cardiologists; benefits for skin, hair and nails for the dermatologists; and bone and joint health for the orthopaedists”.
The product most commonly reported to be used was a multivitamin, but over 25% in each specialty said they used omega-3 fatty acids and over 20% said they used some botanical supplements
Use and recommendation of dietary supplements by cardiologists, dermatologists, and orthopedists in the HCP Impact Study
(n = 300)
(n = 300)
(n = 300)
|Percentage using dietary supplements (regularly, occasionally, seasonally)||57%||75%||73%|
|Percentage of regular users||37%||59%||50%|
|Percentage recommending dietary supplements to patients||72%||66%||91%|
When questioned about their reasons for taking and recommending food supplements, the responses were summarised as:
Primary reasons for taking and recommending dietary supplements by cardiologists, dermatologists, and orthopedists in the HCP Impact Study*
|SPECIALTY||REASONS FOR TAKING||REASONS FOR RECOMMENDING|
|CARDIOLOGISTS:||(n = 172 who take supplements)||(n = 217 who recommend supplements)|
|Maintain healthy cholesterol||15%||36%|
|DERMATOLOGISTS:||(n = 225 who take supplements)||(n = 198 who recommend supplements)|
|Skin, hair, nails||16%||81%|
|ORTHOPAEDISTS:||(n = 218 who take supplements)||(n = 272 who recommend supplements)|
* Figures in bold show each specialty’s top 5 reasons for taking dietary supplements and top 5 reasons for recommending dietary supplements to patients.
So when next asked why do you take food supplements when a balanced diet should supply all that you need, to avoid the lengthy answer, simply say because Dr’s recommend it!
 Dickinson A, Shao A, Boyon N, Franco JC. Use of dietary supplements by cardiologists, dermatologists and orthopedists: report of a survey. Nutr J. 2011 Mar 3;10:20. View Full Paper