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Most Doctors and Nurses Use and Recommend Dietary Supplements

Results of a survey appearing in the July 2009 edition of the Nutrition Journal show that a majority of doctors and nurses take vitamin, mineral and other dietary supplements and recommend them to their patients as well.

900 physicians, 83% of whom were male, and 277 nurses, 94% of whom were female, took the online survey in October of 2007. The survey was administered on behalf of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, a Washington, D.C. based trade association representing the dietary supplement industry.

The researchers, with Dickinson Consulting, LLC in St. Paul, Minnesota, found that 72% of the doctors and 89% of the nurses surveyed use some sort of dietary supplement regularly, occasionally, or seasonally. They also found that 79% of the physicians and 82% of the nurses recommend dietary supplements to their patients.

Improved general health and wellness was stated as the most common reason for taking the supplements.

The supplements that they took ranged from cardiovascular and cognitive health supplements such as fish oil, to joint and general health supplements like glucosamine, flax seed, chondroitin, and Echinacea. 27% of the doctors surveyed and 32% of the nurses reported using only multivitamins.

Despite such widespread use, most of the doctors and nurses surveyed admitted to having no formal education or training about the use of dietary supplements.

These results highlight that education about dietary supplements needs to become more readily available. In fact, 75% of the doctors and 79% of the nurses expressed interest in improved education on these products.

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