Further to my recent article on the dangers of self-prescribing and obtaining inferior quality nutritional supplements on-line or over-the-counter, here are some more reasons to seek qualified professional advice, in a clinic environment, to ensure you are getting the best possible care for your individual needs.
Australian Natural Medicine companies lead the world in manufacturing nutritional and herbal supplements. In contrast, supplements manufactured in other countries including the US, may not always meet the quality and safety standards expected by Australian practitioners and their patients. Manufacturing standards are not as stringent in the US, China, India or elsewhere as they are in Australia. Products produced in some of these countries may have elevated levels of heavy metals, pesticides, or microbial contaminants, as these are not screened for in many countries. They may also contain low levels of stated herbal active ingredients, the wrong herb entirely, or be adulterated with other unknown ingredients. This poses a serious risk to unwell and vulnerable patients. True Medicine uses only supplements which are tested extensively throughout production:
- Herbal ingredients are tested before they go into a formula to ensure the correct material is used
- Nutritional ingredients are tested to ensure correct composition
- Products are manufactured under stringent Good Manufacturing Practice conditions
- Finished products are then tested again to confirm that active ingredients have survived the manufacturing process
- Microbiological tests are performed to ensure safety before release
- Products are placed on stability trials so that you know what is on the label is in the product
Australian regulations insist upon the manufacture of natural medicines to pharmaceutical standards. In most countries supplements are considered “foods” so it is not compulsory to perform any of the above tests. For example, studies have confirmed that a high percentage of US made products do not contain ANY of the ingredients or contain different ingredients than stated on the label.
It is your health – don’t risk it!
Along with quality concerns, purchasing overseas products pose a significant risk. In contrast, consulting a registered practitioner ensures compliance with Australian regulations, and highest quality supplements. Furthermore, it should always be noted that only a Naturopath may prescribe nutritional and herbal medicines; a Nutritionist may only prescribe nutritional medicines. If in doubt, ask to see your practitioner’s qualifications and do not accept recommendations made by unqualified individuals.