Evidence growing that daily use of supplements can reduce national healthcare costs
Evidence is growing that daily use of supplements can decrease national healthcare costs. In a new article published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements, researchers explore a cost-benefit analysis that, when applied to at-risk populations who take supplements, shows a reduction in the odds of individuals experiencing a costly medical event.
The publication of this article follows a ‘game changing’ economic report released in September last year, which concluded that supplements could save billions of dollars in healthcare costs in the United States. Prepared by market research experts Frost & Sullivan, it presents a strong economic case that targeted dietary supplementation regimens can help control rising healthcare costs and produce considerable health insurance savings.
Significantly therefore, large scale statistical studies are already coming to similar conclusions. For example, a study published in February 2013 confirmed that supplement use can cut the length of hospital stays, decrease costs, and reduce the chance of readmissions. Particularly impressively, the researchers found that supplement use reduced the average length of hospital stays by over 2 days and the average cost by more than $4,700. Moreover, the likelihood of patients being readmitted to hospital was cut by almost 7%.
At national levels, research shows that tens of billions could be saved even by something as simple as making sure a population gets adequate intakes of vitamin D. A review published in 2010 found that ensuring people in Germany get adequate intakes of vitamin D could save that country around €37 billion ($47 billion) a year in healthcare costs. Similarly, in the United States, a report examining use of the basic supplement combinations calcium/vitamin D and lutein/zeaxanthin, as well as the individual nutrients folic acid and omega-3 fatty acids, found that even these could produce savings of $24 billion in national healthcare costs over a period of 5 years.
At the global level, the potential savings to be made from these types of preventative strategies are truly astronomical. A study published in 2011 by the World Economic Forum (WEF) found that the total economic impact of just the five leading chronic diseases alone – cancer, diabetes, mental illness, heart disease, and respiratory disease – could reach $47 trillion by 2030. Following the publication of this study, the WEF’s senior director of health admitted publicly – as we ourselves have been saying for many years now – that this outcome has the potential to bankrupt national healthcare systems.
As such, with a recent report commissioned by the International Centre for Monetary and Banking Studies warning that record levels of world debt threaten to trigger a new financial crisis, the time to act is now. With millions of lives and national economies at stake, we urge you to share this important information as widely as possible through your personal contacts and social networks. As we have said many times in the past, a new healthcare system is possible – but it depends on all of us, acting together, to bring it about.
10 October 2014
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