Report: Dietary supplements utilized as preventive health care can save health system tens of billions of dollars

WASHINGTON — The Council for Responsible Nutrition on Thursday released a report finding that dietary supplementation can save the healthcare system tens of billions over the next decade. 

The report demonstrated that supplementation at preventive intake levels in high-risk populations can reduce the number of medical events associated with heart disease, age-related eye disease, diabetes and bone disease in the United States, representing the potential for significant cost savings.

“This report reiterates what the dietary supplement industry has advocated for over the last several decades,” John Shaw, executive director and CEO of the Natural Products Association said. “Nutritional supplements proactively contribute to the overall health and well-being of American consumers. But as we can see from this data, the benefits of supplementation are much more far-reaching, with the entire health care system seeing positive results from this common-sense approach to staying healthy.”

“Chronic diseases are one of the greatest contributors to health care costs in this country,” commented Steve Mister, CRN president. “If we can identify and motivate those at risk to effectively use dietary supplements, we can control rising societal health care costs, but also give sick individuals a chance to reduce the risk of costly events and, most importantly, to improve their quality of life.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 75% of total health care expenses are spent on caring for people with preventable diseases, with only 3% spent on prevention. Between 2013 and 2020, the number of people with preventable diseases is likely to increase, as projected by the report. For instance, the number of U.S. adults over the age of 55 with coronary heart disease is expected to rise 13%. However, if these same U.S. adults with CHD take phytosterol dietary supplements at preventive intake levels, the risk of having a CHD-related medical event can be reduced by 11.2%, saving the system $26.6 billion over the next seven years.

The report, “Smart Prevention—Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements,” was presented by Mister at the latest educational briefing held for Capitol Hill staff week by the Congressional Dietary Supplement Caucus. 

In addition to CRN and NPA, the American Herbal Products Association, the Consumer Healthcare Products Association and the United Natural Products Alliance are members of the CDSC.

The full Frost & Sullivan economic report is available for free at



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