Supplements could save $24b in healthcare costs, DSEA

By staff reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Folic acid, Dietary supplement

A recently released study supports what the dietary supplement
industry has been saying all along: the industry could save the
nation billions of dollars in healthcare expenditure.

The study was commissioned by the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA) and outlined how over the next five years, a strategic use of certain dietary supplements could improve the health of Americans and save over $24b in healthcare. The report highlights the use of the supplement combinations calcium and vitamin D, lutein with zeaxanthin, and the individual supplementation of folic acid as well as omega-3. The study is an update of a previous one DSEA has commissioned from The Lewin Group, which involved scientific literature review. "Rapidly escalating health care costs in the U.S. have severe implications for our society as a whole,"​ said DSEA president Jon Benninger. "This study provides valuable data that may lead to preventative health care solutions and address the budgetary problems facing federal and state health insurance programs, corporate health cost managers and individual families."​ According to the research, a combined use of calcium and vitamin D could avert an estimated 776,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures over a five-year period, saving $16.1b. Equally weighty are the findings for folic acid, appropriate use of which DSEA says would save healthcare $1.4b and prevent neural tube defects in 600 infants. DSEA isolated the healthcare savings of omega-3 supplementation surrounding heart disease in senior citizens. It is estimates the price tag of such hospitalizations and the accompanying medical fees to be $3.2b. Finally, the $3.6b savings DSEA projected would occur if widespread lutein and zeaxanthin supplementation took place are attributed to maintaining independence for 190,927 people with age-related macular degeneration. "As an industry, it is important that we fund studies like this and publicize results, so that consumers and legislators realize the value of supplements,"​ said Benninger.

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