One In Three Doctors Recommends Herbal Supplements To Patients

September 16, 1998

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 16, 1998--Herbal supplements are now entering mainstream medical practice, with one in three primary care doctors recommending them to patients at least weekly, most frequently for people with mood and emotional complaints, according to a national survey released today.

Doctors also practice what they preach, with one in four doctors personally consuming herbal supplements, showed the survey released during the annual meeting of the American Academy of Family Physicians in San Francisco. The survey was sponsored by Pharmaton Natural Health Products, makers of a new, advanced hyperforin-rich St. John's Wort extract called MOVANA.

The herbal supplement doctors find most useful and effective is St. John's Wort (27 percent), which helps provide emotional balance, followed by ginkgo biloba (18 percent), which helps mental alertness.

"Primary care physicians are not as resistant to herbal supplements as some might think and, in fact, are recommending herbs and using them personally to a surprising degree," said Derrick DeSilva Jr., MD, a practicing internist who teaches at JFK Medical Center in Edison, NJ, and is author of Ask The Doctor: Herbs & Supplements for Better Health (Interweave Press 1997).

The survey of herbal attitudes among family practitioners, general practitioners and internists revealed that doctors most frequently recommend herbs for people seeking emotional balance (20 percent). About as many doctors recommend herbal supplements for fatigue and lack of energy.

While patients seek advice about herbal supplements more frequently from younger doctors, it's the older doctors who are more likely to consume herbs themselves. Overall, 67 percent of patients ask doctors about dietary supplements at least once a week, with most questions directed at doctors age 50 and under (73 percent vs. 60 percent over age 50). At the same time, 28 percent of doctors personally use herbal supplements, with higher use among physicians over age 50 (35 percent vs. 20 percent age 50 and under). On average these doctors have been using herbal supplements for 5 years, and they are most popular among family physicians (39 percent vs. 25 percent for general practitioners vs. 18 percent for internists).

Personal experience with dietary supplements strongly influences a doctor's willingness to recommend them to patients. Overall, 33 percent of doctors recommended herbs to their patients each week, with those who use supplements themselves twice as likely to suggest them for their patients (57 percent vs. 23 percent who do not use herbs themselves).

The telephone survey of 153 doctors nationwide was conducted by Bruskin/Goldring Research of Edison, NJ, from July 30 to Aug. 14, 1998. The margin of error is plus or minus 8 percent.

Pharmaton Natural Health Products, of Ridgefield, CT, is committed to bringing safe, effective, standardized, clinically tested, dietary supplements to the U.S. marketplace. As a leader in the category, the company's mission is to enhance the reputation and growth of the natural health care industry as a whole. Part of that charge is to adhere to the guidelines set forth in the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) and to self-police the industry for unfair or misleading marketing tactics. Pharmaton Natural Health Products is the U.S. consumer products division of Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and is part of the Boehringer Ingelheim worldwide group of companies, based in Ingelheim-on-the-Rhine, Germany. Boehringer Ingelheim is a major pharmaceutical, chemical and animal health company with operations in 160 countries around the world. Currently, its GINKOBA and GINSANA brands are among the top-selling brands in the United States.
-end-
Contact:
Barbara Goldberg
Creamer Dickson Basford
(212) 367-6849 (NY Office)
(415) 772-5000 (SF Hotel)

James Heins
For Pharmaton
Natural Health Products
(203) 798-4715
-end-


Creamer Dickson Basford

Related Dietary Supplements Articles from Brightsurf:

Dietary supplements an important weapon for fighting off COVID-19
Supplements containing vitamins C and D and other micronutrients, sometimes in amounts exceeding the federally recommended levels, are a safe, effective and low-cost means of helping your immune system fight off COVID-19 and other acute respiratory tract diseases.

Dietary supplements may delay aging in animal models
Patients with Werner Syndrome age significantly earlier than others. In animal models for the disease supplements of the drug NAD+ prolong life and delay age-related diseases.

Save your money: Vast majority of dietary supplements don't improve heart health or put off death
In a massive new analysis of findings from 277 clinical trials using 24 different interventions, Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers say they have found that almost all vitamin, mineral and other nutrient supplements or diets cannot be linked to longer life or protection from heart disease.

New research on diet and supplements during pregnancy and beyond
The foods and nutrients a woman consumes while pregnant have important health implications for her and her baby.

Dietary supplements linked with severe health events in children, young adults
Consumption of dietary supplements sold for weight loss, muscle building, and energy was associated with increased risk for severe medical events in children and young adults compared to consumption of vitamins, according to new research led by Harvard T.H.

Ketogenic supplements delay seizures without dietary restrictions
Researchers have discovered supplementing a normal, carbohydrate-rich diet with specific ketogenic agents may significantly delay tonic-clonic seizures caused by exposure to high levels of oxygen.

Certain dietary or nutritional supplements could improve sperm quality
Infertility affects 15 percent of the world population and is recognized by the WHO as a global health problem.

Dietary fat is good? Dietary fat is bad? Coming to consensus
Which is better, a low-fat/high-carbohydrate diet or a high-fat/low-carbohydrate diet -- or is it the type of fat that matters?

College education aids in proper use of dietary supplements among young adults
Young adults who are educated about dietary supplements in college are more likely to use them appropriately, according to new research from Binghamton University, State University at New York.

Unapproved ingredients in over-the-counter supplements
Potentially harmful and undeclared pharmaceuticals were identified in more than 700 over-the-counter dietary supplements in an analysis of US Food and Drug Administration warnings from 2007 through 2016.

Read More: Dietary Supplements News and Dietary Supplements Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.