Here’s one more point in favor of daily vitamins and dietary supplements: they might be able to reduce health-care costs.
A brand new study found that taking specific dietary supplements could reduce health costs by avoiding hospitalizations related to coronary heart disease (CHD). An article published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements looked at American adults aged 55 and older with CHD–people who are at a high risk for a costly medical event like a heart attack.
How Preventing Disease Saves Money
The adults in the study who took daily omega-3 and B vitamin supplements were less likely to have one of those medical events than those who didn’t take the dietary supplements, the researchers found. That’s obviously a big boon for those individual people, but it could have wider-reaching benefits too. CHD hospitalizations for patients older than 55 cost $64 billion in the U.S. in 2012, according to the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey.
Imagine the money that could be saved if we focused on preventing heart disease instead of treating it once it’s already happened. The study authors themselves predict that $12.1 billion could be saved between 2013 and 2020 if every high-risk person aged 55 and over took omega-3 and B vitamin supplements every day.
What Can You Do?
There are things you can do to prevent CHD now–and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute advocates a lifelong approach to avoiding heart disease. If you eat a healthy diet, get regular physical activity, maintain a healthy weight, quit smoking (or never start!), and manage stress, you’ll likely lower your risk of coronary heart disease. And as this new research shows, taking preventive dietary supplements could have an important role to play too.