Are you taking daily supplements? If you are, you could be keeping yourself out of the hospital, and helping to keep your medical bills low.
A new study indicates that by taking your daily supplements you are helping to prevent certain health problems. And by preventing these problems you could be part of saving over $24 billion in national health care costs over the next five years.
The study looked at four specific supplements: omega-3 fatty acids, calcium with vitamin D, lutein with zeaxanthin and folic acid.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Omega-3 fatty acids are essential to the body, but we can not produce them on our own, so getting them from a food or supplement source is vital. Omega-3s have been shown to reduce the risk of coronary heart disease. Many foods today are fortified with omega-3s. Supplements are also a great source.
Due to their ability to lower the risk of coronary heart disease, taking your daily omega-3 supplement could help to keep you out of the hospital. The study suggested that if those over the age of 65 took 1800mg daily that around 374,301 hospitalizations could be avoided.
Calcium with vitamin D: We all know that calcium is good for the bones. Combining calcium with vitamin D allows for a 30 to 80 percent increase in calcium absorption. So if you don’t get your daily dose of vibrant sunlight, be sure to choose a vitamin D fortified calcium supplement.
In this study, calcium supplements are being looked at in direct relation to hip fractures. Chances are, if you’re in your golden years, you or someone you know has suffered a hip fracture from a fall. The cost over five years of the 776,000 hip fractures that could be prevented from a daily supplement is a whopping $16.1 billion.
Lutein with zeaxanthin: You may have started hearing about the benefits of lutein for your eyes. Zeaxanthin is a related cartenoid, also essential for good eye health. Both help to prevent macular degeneration.
Again, the study looks to seniors for age related macular degeneration (AMD). AMD could lead to serious vision problems including vision loss, which could result in the need for assisted care. Over a five year period the study estimates that 190,927 serious cases of AMD could be avoided with a daily supplement.
A daily dose of 6 to 10 mg of luetin with zeaxanthin is recommended.
Folic Acid: Now chances are, you’re already past your child-bearing years, but this may be useful to pass on to your children or grandchildren…
By taking a daily folic acid supplement neural tube defects could be prevented. The health care costs associated with these defects average to over $500,000 per child. The study estimated that in the first year 600 children would be saved from neural tube defects if 11.3 million women began taking a daily folic acid supplement. 400 mcg. daily was recommended.
By looking at just a handful of supplements billions in health care could be saved. That certainly makes the cost of supplements seem minor in comparison. Not to mention the huge health benefits of preventing disease and illness, and the added bonus of saving yourself a hospital trip or two!
As always, check with your doctor or health care professional before starting a regular course of vitamins and supplements.