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:
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.