Neutraceuticals vs. pharmaceuticals vs. over the counter medications; what you need to know.
According to Wikipedia “Nutraceuticals are products derived from food sources that are purported to provide extra health benefits, in addition to the basic nutritional value found in foods. Depending on the jurisdiction, products may claim to prevent chronic diseases, improve health, delay the aging process, increase life expectancy, or support the structure or function of the body..” Read more here.
Most people are familiar with Pharmaceuticals, which are drugs or other substances synthesized and developed with the FDA for safety and effectiveness. The use of Neutraceuticals or food based medicinal products is relatively new, and growing in popularity internationally. Detractors cite quality issues, lack of studies, etc. Proponents actually have done clinical trials with many of these products. Many of the ingredients in Neutracetical preparations, from pain relievers to anti inflammatory preparations have passed the test of time, and are simply being bottled and dosed in a pill form for easy consumption.
Pharmaceuticals in the USA require a prescription because of safety concerns, yet many of these substances outside of the country may be available without a prescription and the cost outside the USA is often much less than in the USA because of the markup as well as the lobbying clout the drug companies have here. Most Neutraceuticals made in the USA are packaged to the exacting standards the pharmaceutical industry uses, with certain brands being more respected than others.
Our office recommends brands such as integrative therapeutics and anabolic labs, who have developed many clinically proven formulations that work surprisingly well, without the common side effects of most prescription drugs. From a safety perspective, Nutraceutical preparations often are free of side effects when used appropriately.
To make things simple, we have designed packs with instructions on how to use the products. For example, our pain pack uses products by Anabolic Labs that contains Bromelane, as well as other products that attack inflammation, help improve healing and adds nutrition to a damaged area. With this we include another product that contains willow bark, a known and proven natural pain reliever. Together, these two products help reduce pain and inflammation, while encouraging healing. When we compare this to non steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (over the counter), or some of the stronger narcotic based drugs that are now part of an American drug epidemic, with muscle relaxers which will cause stomach upset and can make you drowsy, our pain pack is a great option with a cost that is comparable to most peoples drug copayments which are usually anywhere from $45 up.
We have also developed a cold survival kit that includes Integrative Therapeutics Esperitox, which is much more effective than Echinacea alone. The formulation is quite potent in a chewable formula. We also include a vitamin C powder that is all natural and extremely effective as well. The kit of course comes with directions and dosage information.
Now, while we are in the fall, people are often allergic to mold and mildew. Another product we carry is Natures Way Nettle, which is very effective at reducing allergy symptoms naturally. It even works with colds at a higher dosage. For acute attacks, we carry Seasonal IC by Integrative Therapeutics. If you get hay fever, you want to have access to Seasonal IC, which, when taken with Nettle is very effective at relieving and shutting down allergy attacks.
We are constantly evaluating other companies and products that are in the Neutraceutical realm. Many medicinal herbs have been developed in Chinese healthcare regimens as well as in other societies. Some folk remedies actually were medicinal in nature and natural. Sometimes, you need to do things differently and we are often surprised at how well the products work.
Should you try the Neutraceutical approach? Considering many of them cost what your copayment is for a brand name drug, without the usual side effects, the answer is of course yes. You are likely to be very surprised as to how well these substances work.
What do you think? As always, we value your opinion.