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Healthcare Professionals Say Patients Need Iron but Struggle with Side Effects
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass., Dec. 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- It's nearly unanimous. Most health professionals (97%) agree that consumers want a gentler way to take iron. New research commissioned by Nelsons, one of the world's largest and oldest manufacturers of natural healthcare products, reveals that of the most commonly recommended vitamins and minerals, patients have the hardest time tolerating iron.
Researchers from Market Dynamics LLC surveyed 300 U.S. healthcare professionals including physicians, pharmacists, nurse practitioners, and dieticians/nutritionists to learn more about their patient conversations around vitamin and mineral supplements. Among the findings: iron led the way in patient complaints.
One in two healthcare professionals (48%) indicated that patients "regularly" complained about the side effects from iron. These professionals heard iron complaints at roughly double the rate they did for seven other common supplements including calcium (28%) and Vitamin D (27%), and Potassium (20%).
Most healthcare professionals (87%) agreed that consumers have a problem taking over the counter iron supplements. In fact, nearly 1 in 4 healthcare professionals (23%) indicated that at least half their patients who should be taking iron supplements aren't due to the side effects.
Recommending Supplements. Overall, healthcare providers were mostly likely to speak with pregnant women (47%), seniors (45%), vegetarians (38%), and menopausal women (35%) about iron deficiencies and supplements.
Of note, only about a third of dieticians (33% or less) reported talking to patients about supplements for iron deficiency, while physicians, pharmacists, and nurse practitioners were far more likely to counsel patients on this health issue.
When recommending specific dietary or nutritional supplements, healthcare professionals rank clinical research, no contraindications with over the counter medications, and side effects as the top factors they consider.
Calcium Issues. After iron, calcium ranked a distant second, as the next most common supplement patients wouldn't take. (Only one in 10 said at least half their patients who should be taking calcium aren't taking due to side effects.)
Confusion Over Dosage. In addition to educating their patients on the importance of taking supplements, healthcare professionals have the additional challenge of helping patients understand dosage recommendations. Most healthcare professionals believe their patients don't fully understand the relationship between recommended daily allowance, dosage, and absorption rates for vitamins and supplements.
The Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Survey was fielded through Market Dynamics LLC, a third party research group, between June 11 and July 11, 2013. The study was commissioned by Nelsons, manufacturer of the Bach® Original Flower Remedies, the RESCUE Remedy® family of products, Nelsons® H+care™ Hemorrhoid products, Nelsons® Homeopathy, and the Nelsons® Pure & Clear™ skin care system.
Nelsons also manufactures Spatone® pur-Absorb Iron™, a natural iron supplement with a clinically proven absorption rate of over 40%, compared to 18% from conventional iron supplements. Because pur-Absorb is more readily absorbed by the body, it can be taken in lower dosages, causing fewer reports of side effects among patients. For more information on Nelsons products, please visit http://www.nelsonsnaturalworld.com or call 1-800-319-9151.
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