Sip Your Way to a Speedier Hospital Checkout: How Supplements Can Trim Your Stay and Save Cash

For anyone facing a hospital stay, it’s crucial to get your health back on track and return home as quickly as possible. One simple way to achieve this is by taking the right dietary supplements during your stay. According to a study presented at the European Society for Clinical Nutrition and Metabolism, oral nutritional supplements given to patients while they were in the hospital were linked to substantial reductions in the length of stay and hospitalization costs. The scientists also discovered that the risk of having to go back to the hospital within a month after the initial visit was significantly decreased.

Why Are Dietary Supplements So Important?

The secret to better health is often deceptively simple: a balanced intake of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients is essential to our well-being. Malnutrition—or even just specific deficiencies—can make many illnesses more severe and slow recovery after surgery or trauma. To avoid complications and ensure your hospital stay is as brief as possible, adequate nutrition is crucial.

Unfortunately, maintaining a proper diet during your hospital stay can be challenging. Hospital food, which is notorious for its bland taste and unappetizing appearance, often lacks the essential vitamins and minerals necessary for recovery. The good news is that dietary supplements can bridge the gap and help patients attain the optimal levels of nutrition.

The Science Behind the Benefits

The study analyzed more than one million hospitalized people in the U.S., and the results revealed impressive benefits from taking supplements during a hospital stay:

  • Hospital stays were shortened by 21 percent (an average of 2.3 days per patient).
  • Hospital costs were reduced by 21.6 percent (an average of $4,734 per patient).
  • The probability of returning to the hospital within a month decreased by 6.7 percent.

Lead researcher Marinos Elia explained that “patients identified as having nutritional deficiencies often face a longer and more difficult recovery process, resulting in higher health care costs and an increase in complication rates.” The study demonstrates that oral nutritional supplementation can have highly positive economic benefits and improve patient outcomes.

Choosing the Right Supplements

While it’s always advisable to consult with a medical professional before taking any dietary supplements, there are a few key supplements that may help shorten your hospital stay and speed up your recovery.

  1. Multivitamins: A high-quality multivitamin provides a broad range of nutrients required for optimal health. This would include vitamins A, C, D, E, and K and essential minerals like iron, calcium, and potassium.

  2. Omega-3 fatty acids: Omega-3s are known for their powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the body and promote quicker healing. They are available in fish oil supplements, krill oil, and algal oil.

  3. Probiotics: Maintaining a healthy gut is essential for immune system functions. Many hospitals use antibiotics as a preventative measure, which can disrupt the gut microbiome. Probiotic supplements help replenish the good bacteria your body needs for optimal health.

  4. B-complex vitamins: These vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, and B12, play a vital role in maintaining good health and well-being. They are essential for energy production, brain function, and cell metabolism.

  5. Vitamin D: Also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D helps regulate mood and supports immune system functions. Many people are deficient in vitamin D, which can slow down the healing process and prolong hospital stays.

Remember, it’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before adding any dietary supplements to your daily routine. They can provide personalized recommendations based on your unique health needs and ensure that your hospital stay is as brief and comfortable as possible.