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Study Finds Physicians and Nurses Both Take and Recommend Dietary Supplements
Date:11/13/2007

supplements to their patients for specific conditions that don't apply to the physician's own personal health."

Should Physicians Recommend More Supplements? The number of physicians recommending dietary supplements to their patients is highest among obstetrician/gynecologists (OB/GYNs) (91 percent), followed by primary care physicians (84 percent). In addition, the study shows that almost three quarters of physicians (72 percent) and more than three quarters of nurses (88 percent) say it is a good idea for patients to take a multivitamin.

The study found that almost half of physicians and nurses who take supplements most often do so for "overall health/wellness benefits," while 41 percent of physicians and 62 percent of nurses who recommend supplements most often do so for the same reasons. Primary care physicians, OB/GYNs and nurses recommend supplements as often for "general well-being/prevention" as they do for special conditions, while other specialists recommend supplements more often for special conditions.

According to Dr. Moore, "It makes sense to me that OB/GYNs are the group most likely to recommend supplements, although I am concerned that not all OB/GYNs reported they recommend them for their prenatal patients, given that women's health -- especially prenatal -- is one arena where the data supporting supplement use is overwhelmingly positive."

Among the physicians surveyed, 51 percent use dietary supplements regularly, 19 percent use them occasionally and two percent use them seasonally. Among nurses, 59 percent use them regularly, 27 percent use them occasionally and 3 percent use them seasonally.

Initiating the Discussion. "Given the current state of the science, it is not surprising that increasing numbers of healthcare professionals are incorporating dietary supplements into their personal health routines. However, the fact that only 25 percent of physicians actively counsel patients regarding their dietary supplement
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SOURCE Council for Responsible Nutrition
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