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Practitioner vs over the counter products, is there really a difference?

Have you ever lost confidence in supplements you have taken and wonder why its not fixing what you thought it would? Probably. It’s common for people to come into clinic reporting the list of supplements they take without consulting with a health practitioner. The products you are buying (known as over the counter products) often do not even contain enough amount of that nutrient for a therapeutic dose or do not contain co-factors that are required for absorption of the nutrients.

Practitioner only products are formulated by other practitioners or manufacturers who follow evidence based research and understand the biochemical pathways of absorption, digestion and excretion of nutrients and herbs. Practitioner only products also contain the cofactors required for absorption of that nutrient. For example curcumin (turmeric) needs omega 3 for optimal absorption.

Practitioner only products also contain higher quality ingredients at therapeutic doses (this is why these products are practitioner only, as they can cause issues if not taken correctly). Whereas over the counter products contain ingredients with lower dosages and the quality is compromised with excipients and fillers. Over the counter products also contain cheaper forms of the nutrient which aren’t well absorbed. An example of this is magnesium oxide which is contained in over the counter products and is poorly absorbed into the body in comparison to magnesium chelate which is contained in practitioner only products and is best absorbed in the body.

It is also recommended to see a naturopath before taking products to ensure your health concern is treated rather than suppressed. Naturopaths also ensure no contraindications occur with current medication. For example St John’s wort a product available over the counter interacts with anti-depressants known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and the oral contraceptive pill. So if you were taking these simultaneously it could cause your oral contraceptive pill to be ineffective AKA you could fall pregnant. Naturopaths also understand the biochemical pathways of all products and therefore results will occur faster and they will be more effective and safe. Although you pay more for the consultation and practitioner only products you will get a therapeutic result, whereas over the counter products have no therapeutic dosage or result and are therefore, a waste of money.

If you have an ongoing health condition you need addressed please don’t hesitate to contact me. Stay healthy and happy, Balancedbeings x x

References

Please note I have left them in link form so you can easily click and access the studies I used for this post.

https://www.tga.gov.au/alert/st-johns-wort-important-interactions-between-st-johns-wort-hypericum-perforatum-preparations-and-prescription-medicines

https://nutritionj.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-2891-13-11

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5793269/

https://bmcfampract.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12875-017-0699-9


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