Consumers maintain active dialogue with their healthcare practitioners over supplement use

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Consumers maintain active dialogue with their healthcare practitioners over supplement use

By Michael Johnsen - 09/26/2017

WASHINGTON — As many as 91% of supplement users let their physicians know about the supplements they are taking, according to the Council for Responsible Nutrition’s 2016 Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements. '

“The No. 1 goal of the dietary supplement industry is consumer safety,” stated Duffy MacKay, SVP scientific & regulatory affairs, CRN. “We are pleased to see that as more and more Americans incorporate dietary supplements into their health and wellness regimens, they are disclosing their use of these products to their healthcare practitioners in an effort to use supplements safely and responsibly," he said. "An open dialogue between a patient and a healthcare practitioner — whether a doctor, registered dietitian or pharmacist — is crucial for achieving good health, and, according to CRN’s survey, dietary supplement users recognize that.”

Historically, healthcare practitioners have served as the most trusted source for reliable information on dietary supplements. In 2016, medical doctors/physicians were the top sources supplement users trusted for reliable information on dietary supplements (56%), followed by nutritionists (42%), pharmacists (40%), physician assistants (28%), nurse practitioners (28%) and registered dietitians (27%).

“As consumers take a more holistic approach to healthcare, we will likely see an increase in supplement usage," MacKay said. "However, the onus to have the conversation about dietary supplement use should not be solely on the consumer. Healthcare practitioners have a responsibility, too, and we encourage them to have an open mind about the evolving consumer and the increased interest in integrative health.”

The survey was conducted Aug. 24–30, 2016 by Ipsos Public Affairs and was funded by CRN. The survey was conducted online in English and included a national sample of 2,007 adults aged 18 and older living in the United States, including 1,430 among those who are considered supplement users. The survey has been conducted annually since 2000.

Data from the 2017 survey will be released later this year, CRN noted.