Natural Foods Merchandiser

Supplements Good for the Nation's Bottom Line

A new study showing that regular intake of calcium and folic acid could save more than $15 billion in health care costs during the next five years was presented to Congress on Sept. 22. The study, "Improving Public Health, Reducing Health Care Costs: An Evidence-Based Study of Five Dietary Supplements," commissioned by the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance and conducted by The Lewin Group, a Falls Church, Va.-based health care consulting firm, was presented to the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform's Subcommittee on Human Rights and Wellness.

Researchers, who found enough evidence to calculate the health savings of calcium and folic acid, used a Congressional Budget Office cost-accounting approach to arrive at the $15 billion figure. And, while The Lewin Group found that there is not yet enough research to analyze health care cost savings associated with omega-3s, glucosamine or saw palmetto, Lewin Group Vice President Joan DaVanzo called the literature "very promising" on all three.

For more on the study, see "Study Shows Calcium, Folic Acid Could Save $15B," in the upcoming October issue of NFM.

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