Supplement use can significantly reduce healthcare costs

A new American study has concluded that the targeted use of dietary supplements can result in significant reductions in healthcare costs and should be used as a means for high-risk individuals to minimise their chance of costly ‘disease events’.

In its Smart Prevention — Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements report, Frost & Sullivan also highlights the fact that the current US healthcare system doesn’t place a strong emphasis on preventive medicine even though 75% of total healthcare expenses go on preventable diseases, yet only 3% is spent on disease prevention.

With regard to coronary heart disease (CHD) – which is the most costly disease in the US according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ­– the study ‘determined that the use of omega-3 and the B vitamins folic acid, B6, and B12 among all US adults over the age of 55 with diagnosed CHD can confer significant cost savings for healthcare cost payers given the overall state of knowledge regarding the efficacy of these dietary supplements”.

As an example, the study estimates the potential savings due to avoided hospital costs related to CHD through the use of omega-3 supplements taken at preventive levels among the target population at an average $2.06 billion per year.

In addition, the report says that if all women in the US over 55 with osteoporosis used magnesium supplements at preventive levels, it could result in average savings of $851 million per year.