Falls Church, VA—There’s good news for the more than half of U.S. adults that take dietary supplements. They may help them to live longer, more independent lives, a new study says.

The Lewin Group, which conducted the study, found that in the last five years, omega-3 fatty acid supplements have saved a reported $3 billion in healthcare from avoided hospitalizations and physician’s visits, while lutein with zeaxanthin supplements have saved over $2.5 billion. Though experts warn that supplements cannot make up for a healthy lifestyle, they can act as a sort of insurance for some of the key nutrients that the typical American diet is lacking in.

Omega-3 supplements may help to prevent coronary heart disease and lutein with zeaxanthin may help to prevent macular degeneration. Senior citizens who were taking these supplements lived independently longer, and reduced their level of disability associated with the aforementioned conditions, said the firm.

The most commonly taken supplement in the United States is a multivitamin, and it is estimated that in 2006, 39% of adults took one daily.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, June 2011