WASHINGTON The vast majority of nurse practitioners are actively recommending dietary supplements to their patients, the CRN Foundation, an educational affiliate of the Council for Responsible Nutrition, announced Wednesday.
According to a recent survey linked to its Life … Supplemented 2009 Healthcare Professionals Impact Study, 96% of nurse practitioners recommend dietary supplements to their patients, and their reasons are varied — most often for bone health (63% recommend for this reason), overall health and wellness (47%) and to fill nutrition gaps (44%).
As many as 81% of nurse practitioners personally inquire about which supplements patients are taking (and only 3% stated that no one in the practice inquires about supplements). When asked who brings up the subject of supplements most often, 55% of nurse practitioners said they personally ask, with 28% crediting nurse practitioners and patients equally, and only 17% crediting solely the patient.
"Nurse practitioners are very interested in integrative healthcare options, looking at the overall wellness picture, and figuring out how we focus on health maintenance and preventive approaches," stated Barbara Dehn, a practitioner with Women's Physicians in Mountain View, Calif. and advisor to the "Life...supplemented" program. “I recommend my patients start with the basics: eat right, incorporate vitamins and other supplements and exercise regularly."
According to the study, nurse practitioners are personally incorporating the three pillars of health into their own lives: 84% said they try to eat a balanced diet, 95% take dietary supplements and 64% exercise regularly.
More than three-quarters of nurse practitioners are currently supplementing with a multivitamin; 64% are supplementing with calcium; 48% omega 3/fish oils; 23% botanicals like green tea; 18% glucosamine/chondroitin; and 17% fiber.