A new survey has found that 72% of doctors and 89% of nurses use dietary supplements to improve their own health. And as many as 79% of doctors as well as 82% of nurses said they also recommend them to their patients to promote fitness and well being.
Multivitamins were the most commonly-used supplement, according to the survey.(1) Also popular among health professionals were single vitamins and minerals like vitamin C, a B vitamin complex, vitamin D, vitamin E and calcium.
Doctors also said they were most likely to use green tea, followed by fish oil, glucosamine, soy, flax seed and chondroitin to boost their own health. Nurses favored green tea, fish oil, echinacea, glucosamine and flax seed.
Some 40% of physicians and 48% of nurses said they took supplements for "overall health and wellness".
More than two-thirds of participants said they had multiple motivations for using supplements, including bone health, flu or colds, heart health, immune health, joint health, energy and musculoskeletal pain.
When it came to recommending supplements, also known as nutraceuticals, to their patients, the most common reason was again overall health and wellness, followed by bone and joint health, flu or colds, heart health, immune health, musculoskeletal pain and energy.
"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.
Annette Dickinson, Nicolas Boyon, Andrew Shao. Physicians and nurses use and recommend dietary supplements: report of a survey. Nutrition Journal, 2009.
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