The Use of Dietary Supplements by Patients with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus

Written by Kovács Andrea oh., Kocsis Katalin oh., Vass Imola oh., Szabó Mónika, Fazakas Zita

Although diabetic patients in Romania get an efficient treatment for free, media and public opinion favors the use of supplementary products. Purpose: To study the frequency of use of dietary supplements by patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus. Materials and methods: We have interrogated 200 patients with DM2 (mean age: 60.07 years +/- SD) using a questionnaire. We divided their supplements in 4 groups: dietary supplements for diabetes, tea, vitamins and other dietary supplements without effect on diabetes. We gave a mark for each supplement. Results: 54.5% of the diabetic patients use some kind of dietary supplement; 22.94% use more than 1 type; 12.84% use dietary supplements for diabetes, 63.3% use tea, 31.9% some kind of vitamins and 17.43% dietary supplements without effect on diabetes. 38.5% of the patients don’t know the mechanism of action of dietary supplements they take. 41.3% couldn’t detect any effect after taking them. Supplements with positive effect were more frequently discussed with the doctor (p=0.0005) Young patients take them more frequently than elders (p=0.01). The dietary supplements recommended by doctors or books were cheaper than those suggested by pharmacists or media (p=0.03). Only 50% of the leaflets were adequate. Conclusion: Diabetic patients use very frequently dietary supplements. In half of the cases, particularly the supplements recommended by media, were expensive, ineffective and 8.3% even toxic.


Keywords: dietary supplements, type 2 diabetes mellitus

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