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Beware of some health supplements

While I prefer to avoid watching commercial television as much as possible, sometimes it is beneficial when I do.  For example this morning I caught a snippet of a show called Dr Oz.  Today’s show discussed nutritional supplements and some of the information was valuable to consumers – even if many of the references and regulatory issues related to the USA, it was very relevant to Australians.

An interesting experiment conducted on the show related to how much of what you are taking can actually dissolve and be absorbed by your body.  By placing a tablet in vinegar they were mimicking stomach acid – obviously if the tablet does not dissolve in vinegar, it won’t be readily absorbed in our body [with the exception of enterically coated medication which is not meant to dissolve in your stomach].

Much of the show actually highlighted a trend I have noticed with increasing trepidation – that of self-prescribing, internet purchasing and over-the-counter (OTC) products.  It even leads me to concede to some warnings that health supplements may be dangerous – cheap, quick-fix and highly promoted synthetic supplements top that list.

Naturopaths study for many years and are required to continue professional education to ensure up-to-date information is incorporated in treatments.  Any prescription for supplementation follows a comprehensive health analysis, something that cannot be achieved in five minutes in a store, and definitely not when surfing the internet.

The occasions are too numerous to count when patients come to see me with a bag full of products purchased on line only to find that most are either sub-standard or even detrimental to their health.  In the end there have been no cost savings with some people requiring “repair” of damage done due to self-prescribing. 

Practitioner-only products are manufactured under strictest guidelines with the highest purity standards. The standards adopted by leading practitioner-only manufacturers often exceed those set by the TGA (Therapeutic Goods Administration). Practitioner prescribed products also provide therapeutic levels of nutrients to ensure the required health benefits.  OTC products often contain low quantities of ingredients with some being completely synthetic.  Many contain other ingredients known as excipients which don’t need to be disclosed but are often impure, may cause allergies or are simply added to ‘stretch’ the product.  Bottom line is that our bodies cannot use synthetic nutrients/ingredients.

Please resist the temptation to self-diagnose and research online any symptoms you may have, but rather consult a qualified naturopathic practitioner for a proper assessment of your needs.  More importantly, a naturopathic consultation also provides the education you need to understand your body, your health and how to achieve the wellness you desire.

Contact your local naturopath or give me a call on 07 5530 1863 and put your health in safe hands.