Doctors Swear by These Supplements – Are You Missing Out?

Did you know that numerous physicians not only recommend dietary supplements to their patients but also use these products themselves? That’s right! The findings of a study published in the Nutrition Journal revealed that a significant percentage of physicians across various specializations use nutritional supplements. Among dermatologists, three-fourths reported using supplements, while 57 percent of cardiologists and 73 percent of orthopedic specialists followed suit.

Why do physicians use and recommend dietary supplements?

Health professionals, including physicians, have an interest in adopting healthy lifestyles and habits that contribute to wellness — and this includes the use of dietary supplements. According to the study authors, some surveys suggest that physicians are just as likely as members of the general public to use dietary supplements.

The primary reason given by most physicians for taking vitamins and extracts is to improve overall health. Heart health and lower cholesterol also seem to be motivating factors for incorporating these supplements into their daily routine.

Multivitamins, fish oil and other omega-3-rich supplements, as well as treatments containing green tea, turned out to be the most commonly used nutrient-boosters among the surveyed doctors.

The same study highlighted that dermatologists, cardiologists, and orthopedic doctors were inclined to recommend dietary supplements to their patients. A whopping 66 percent of dermatologists suggested these products to their patients, along with 72 percent of cardiologists and 91 percent of orthopedic specialists.

Which dietary supplements should you consider?

Here’s a rundown of some popular nutritional supplements that may have potential health benefits. However, please consult a healthcare professional before starting any new supplement regimen.

  1. Multivitamins: These supplements can provide an array of essential vitamins and minerals to help fill any potential nutritional gaps. It is important to choose a multivitamin that suits your individual needs and offers a balanced mix of nutrients.

  2. Fish oil and Omega-3 supplements: Omega-3 fatty acids, particularly EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), found in fish oil offer numerous health benefits, including promoting heart health, reducing inflammation, and supporting brain function. If you’re not a fan of fish, you can also consider plant-based alternatives like flaxseed oil and algae-based supplements that contain omega-3 fatty acids.

  3. Probiotics: These live microorganisms, often referred to as “good bacteria,” have been linked to improved digestion, immunity, and overall gut health. Probiotic supplements can help restore your gut’s natural balance and come in varying delivery forms, including capsules, powders, and even probiotic drinks.

  4. Vitamin D: Many people are susceptible to vitamin D deficiency due to factors such as limited sun exposure, darker skin tone, and age. Low vitamin D levels have been associated with a weakened immune system, bone health issues, and mood disorders. A vitamin D supplement may help prevent deficiency and support overall health.

  5. Green Tea Extract: Green tea is packed with antioxidants called catechins, which provide numerous health benefits, such as promoting weight loss, improving brain function, and reducing the risk of heart disease. Green tea supplements can offer a concentrated dose of these health-boosting compounds.

Factors to consider before using dietary supplements

As with any health regimen, it is essential to consider particular factors before incorporating dietary supplements into your routine.

  1. Consult a healthcare professional: It’s important to consult your healthcare provider before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you’re taking medication, have existing health conditions or are pregnant or breastfeeding.

  2. Quality and safety: Dietary supplements are not regulated in the same way as prescription medications. Therefore, look for brands that have been third-party tested for quality and safety.

  3. Read product labels: Always read the labels and follow the recommended dosage, as overconsumption of certain nutrients can have potential side effects.

Ultimately, the key to optimal health lies in maintaining a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle. While dietary supplements can play a vital role in addressing specific nutritional deficiencies or health concerns, they should never be considered a replacement for a balanced diet.