Dietary supplement use by cardiologists, dermatologists and orthopaedistsents

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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.[1]

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

Cardiologists
(n = 300)
Dermatologists
(n = 300)
Orthopedists
(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)
Overall health/wellness 32% 30%
Heart health 29% 55%
Lower cholesterol 20% 58%
Bone health 16% 22%
Joint health 16% 19%
Maintain healthy cholesterol 15% 36%

DERMATOLOGISTS: (n = 225 who take supplements) (n = 198 who recommend supplements)
Overall health/wellness 42% 30%
Bone health 24% 25%
Skin, hair, nails 16% 81%
Heart health 15% 12%
Anti-aging 14% 20%
Immune health 13% 12%

ORTHOPAEDISTS: (n = 218 who take supplements) (n = 272 who recommend supplements)
Overall health/wellness 43% 25%
Joint health 29% 73%
Heart health 26% 10%
Bone health 25% 75%
Flu/colds 22% 7%
Musculoskeletal pain 17% 53%
Lower cholesterol 16% 13%

* 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!

Reference


[1] 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

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