Dietary Supplements Could Save Billions

in Healthcare Costs

A study released in May 2007 shows that over the next five years, the appropriate use of select dietary supplements could improve the health of key populations, saving the U.S. more than $24 billion in healthcare costs.

The study, commissioned by the Dietary Supplement Education Alliance (DSEA), updated research conducted by The Lewin Group in 2004 and 2005 that included a systematic literature review of the most rigorous scientific research available.


Appropriate use of calcium with vitamin D for the Medicare population shows potential reduction of about 776,000 hospitalizations for hip fractures over five years, as well as a decline in the number of stays in skilled nursing facilities for some proportion of patients. The five year (2008-2012) estimated net cost associated with avoidable hospitalization for hip fracture is approximately $16.1 billion.

Lutein Intake

A daily intake of 6-10 mg of lutein with zeaxanthin saved an estimated $3.6 billion over 5 years by helping people with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) avoid dependency. Across the five-year period, approximately 190,927 individuals avoided the transition to dependence that tends to accompany a loss of central vision resulting from advanced AMD.

"This study provides valuable data that may lead to preventative healthcare solutions," said Jon Benninger, president of DSEA, "and address the budgetary problems facing federal and state health insurance programs, corporate health cost managers, and individual families."