A new survey has found that 72% of doctors and 89% of nurses use dietary supplements to improve their own health. Some 79% of doctors and 82% of nurses also said they recommend them to their patients.
Multivitamins were the most commonly-used supplement, according to the survey*. Also popular among health professionals were single vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, a B vitamin complex, vitamin D, vitamin E and calcium.
Doctors were also most likely to use green tea, followed by fish oil, glucosamine, soy, flax seed and chondroitin to boost their health. Nurses favored green tea, fish oil, echinacea, glucosamine and flax seed.
Some 40% of physicians and nurses said they took natural supplements, also known as nutraceuticals, for ”overall health and wellness”.
More than two-thirds of surveyed respondents said they had multiple motivations for using supplements, including bone, joint, heart and immune health, flu or colds, energy and musculoskeletal pain.
When it came to recommending supplements to their patients, the most common reason was again overall health and wellness.
”Health professionals including physicians and nurses are just as interested in healthy lifestyles as members of the general public and are just as likely to benefit from rational supplementation,” said the survey, which questioned 900 doctors and 277 nurses online.
”This latest survey adds to the growing body of published data suggesting that healthcare professionals are among the highest users of supplements,” said CRN.
*Physicians and nurses use and recommend dietary supplements: report of a survey
Nutrition Journal 2009, 8:29
Authors: Annette Dickinson, Nicolas Boyon, Andrew Shao