Why Most Vitamins can be a Waste of Money
I am not a fan of over-the-counter products generally. These products are not designed to be prescribed, but are made to be safe for anyone to take (children, elderly, those with serious health issues, on strong medications, etc.). Because any effect is very mild, they usually have very little therapeutic benefit. The aim is to sell as many as possible, and they compete with other products on price and advertising. As quality is not important, some contain nutrients in a form that is difficult to absorb, or they may contain fillers or other additives.
Practitioner-prescribed products are designed to achieve the maximum therapeutic effect. They are only provided by a trained therapist after assessing the client and giving careful consideration to precisely what their body needs, including
- What health issues they have (which increases the need for certain nutrients)
- The level of nutrients in their body already
- Any medications they are taking
- The strength of their digestion, and how well they are absorbing their nutrients
The therapist then chooses the ideal product for them and the appropriate dosage. As a small example, if someone has arthritis, the therapist may prescribe a mixture of high-quality glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate to help rebuild the cartilage. However,
- Most people with arthritis will also be low in other nutrients that help the glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate to work properly, so will likely need some of these in any product prescribed
- If the person’s stomach is a little underactive and they are not breaking down proteins well, they may need something to assist the absorption of the glucosamine and chondroitin sulphate
- If the person is taking a lot of fibre, they may need to reduce this to allow the minerals required to rebuild the cartilage to be absorbed
- Depending on how bad the arthritis is, the therapist may prescribe a higher dose than the one recommended for the general public. (However, higher doses should only be taken under the direction of a trained professional.)
Practitioner-prescribed products are of the highest quality and compete with each other on their therapeutic benefit. Each company is constantly trying to come up with products that work more effectively than their competitors, which will then be prescribed more often.
To improve your health, or to get good results for any condition, you need the right diagnosis, the right treatment, and the right dosage. I don’t feel that over-the-counter products look after any of these properly.
As a result, we see far too many people spending lots of money on products that are not helping them at all.
If you would like to see if the products you are taking are improving your health or not (or even making it worse), or would like to find out what nutrients are important for you, please book in for a 15 minute Focus Consult with our naturopath (currently at the introductory price of only $15). Be well!
You may also be interested in reading Australian Natural Medicines Lead the World.