Supplementing saves real healthcare dollars

The results of two recent studies support the financial healthcare savings of using supplements. A new health economic study shows potential healthcare savings of $12.7 billion per year if U.S. adults would increase their dietary fiber to about 25 g, the minimum level recommended by health experts for adults. Currently, less than 1-in-10 Americans meet their daily fiber needs.

The study, carried out by an independent team of researchers in nutritional sciences, epidemiology and health economics from Exponent Health Sciences, evaluated the direct medical costs associated with regularity problems among adults in the United States. The research team developed a model to determine the potential money that could be saved through preventive, lifestyle-related measures, in this case, increasing dietary fiber intake.

Also according to the study, if only half of the U.S. population increased their dietary fiber intake by just 3g a day, there could still be more than $2 billion in healthcare cost savings.

A separate study found that there is an average of $3.9 billion per year in avoidable healthcare utilization costs to be realized if all U.S. adults older than 55 years diagnosed with age-related eye disease were to use lutein and zeaxanthin dietary supplements at preventive intake levels, according to a new economic report recently released by the Council for Responsible Nutrition.

“Smart prevention is protecting your health and also protecting your wallet. Age-related eye disease poses risks that are debilitating and expensive, so supplementing with lutein and zeaxanthin can help reduce those risks,” said Duffy MacKay, SVP scientific and regulatory affairs for CRN.

The report, “Smart Prevention — Health Care Cost Savings Resulting from the Targeted Use of Dietary Supplements,” was compiled by Frost & Sullivan, which conducted a systematic review of scientific studies that looked at the relationship between lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation and the risk of an ARED-attributed event, then applied a cost-benefit analysis to determine the cost savings.

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