December 11, 1981

Use of Nutritional Supplements by Family Practice Patients

Author Affiliations

From the School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle.

JAMA. 1981;246(23):2719-2721. doi:10.1001/jama.1981.03320230043023

Sixty patients and their physicians were interviewed to assess their attitudes and practices with respect to nutritional supplements. Forty patients (67%) used nutritional supplements on a regular daily basis or had used them to treat an illness. Thirty-two (80%) of the supplement users believed supplements were effective in increasing energy, vitality, and physical strength. The majority of supplementation was suggested by friends, family, and lay publications. Thirty-seven (62%) of the supplement users had never discussed nutritional supplements with their physicians. For the most part, physicians were unaware of supplement use in their patients and did not regard this as their responsibility. Implications of the independent and unmonitored action of the patient in this aspect of health maintenance is discussed.

(JAMA 1981;246:2719-2721)