"...all doctors should be able to diagnose and treat nutritional deficiencies."

Royal College of Physicians. Nutrition and Patients: A Doctor's Responsibility. London 2002


This page has been printed from the www.stewartnutrition.co.uk web site.


The use of nutritional supplements allows those with or at high risk of deficiency to be specifically targeted and treated appropriately.   In order for nutritional supplements to be used efficiently those with deficiencies need to be reliably diagnosed, the supplements need to be of an appropriate strength and safe and there needs to be an appropriate level of follow-up care.

Supplements of vitamins and minerals are provided free on the NHS to the most vulnerable groups in society:

  • socio-economically deprived women who are trying to become or pregnant or who are in the first  twelve weeks of pregnancy (folic acid)
  • all infants aged between 6 months and two years (vitamins A and D)
  • most children between 2 and 5 years (vitamins A and D)
  • the elderly especially those in institutions with osteoporosis (calcium and vitamin D)
  • those with anaemia (iron, vitamin B12 and folic acid)
  • some of those of all ages with other proven deficiencies or generalised malnutrition

In addition nearly 50% of the adult population in the UK elect to take nutritional supplements on a regular or occasional basis.  However, most of these supplements are taken by those with the best intake of nutrients from food and according to the National Diet and Nutrition Survey of British Adults supplement use only reduces the percentage of the population with an inadequate intake by approximately 1% for each nutrient.  Currently the UK population spend in excess of £ millions on food supplements. 

Copyright Dr. Alan Stewart M.B.B.S.M.R.C.P. (UK)M.F. Hom.
47 Priory Street, Lewes, East Sussex. BN7 1HJ
Tel 01273 487003 Fax: 01273 487576