CRN Study Finds Pharmacists Use and Recommend Supplements

article by the Council for Responsible Nutrition


Reliv is not only a long-time member of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), Reliv Vice Chairman and Chief Scientific Officer Dr. Carl Hastings also serves on the CRN’s board of directors. CRN is the leading trade organization in the nutritional supplements industry and holds its members to a strict code of ethics, garnering the support and respect of government agencies around the world. The Council focuses on the science of nutrition, making an excellent partner for Reliv. Visit Life… Supplemented, the CRN’s website devoted to health and wellness, for more insight into our shared approach to healthy living.

As more and more Americans incorporate dietary supplementsinto their health routines as part of a comprehensive approach to wellness, pharmacists have become an influential information source for consumers, answering questions about dietary supplements and offering recommendations to their customers. Additionally, pharmacists themselves are incorporating dietary supplements into their lives as a means of increasing their overall health and wellness.

According to research from the “Life…Supplemented” Healthcare Professionals (HCP) Impact Study1, 93 percent of pharmacists recommend supplements to their customers, while 87 percent believe that supplements can play an important role in improving or maintaining the health of their customers.

“Pharmacists are able to help consumers choose the types of supplements that are right for their individual wellness plan,” said Douglas MacKay, N.D., vice president, scientific & regulatory affairs, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN) and a consultant to the “Life…supplemented” consumer wellness initiative. “A pharmacist’s training specifically qualifies him or her to take a comprehensive look at an individual’s current prescribed medications and determine if any potential drug-dietary supplement interactions or drug-induced nutrient depletions may need to be addressed. To maximize benefits and safety it is important to talk to a pharmacist or other qualified health care practitioner about all the things you are taking for your health.”

Eighty four percent of pharmacists said they believe it is a good idea for customers to take supplements, citing joint health (65 percent), bone health (61 percent) and flu/colds (51 percent) as the top three reasons they have recommended supplements to their customers. Pharmacists also noted in the survey that when they did speak to customers about supplements, two thirds reported that customers had initiated the conversation. With regard to which supplements pharmacists were most often asked about, the top three mentioned by respondents are omega-3/fish oil (mentioned by 73 percent), calcium (73 percent) and glucosamine/chondroitin (70 percent).

Pharmacists, like many other healthcare populations, also were willing to take their own counsel when it comes to supplements. Nearly nine in 10 pharmacists said they use dietary supplements (86 percent) citing “overall health and wellness” (44 percent) and “filling in nutrient gaps” (40 percent) as the top two reasons they personally take dietary supplements. Seventy six percent of those surveyed indicated that they take a multivitamin; other popular supplements taken by pharmacists include omega-3/fish oil (35 percent), calcium (35 percent), vitamin C (32 percent), B vitamins (25 percent), as well as vitamin D (23 percent) and fiber (19 percent).

~ Council for Responsible Nutrition

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