Supplements vs Medications Help Treat Specific Diseases And Conditions
When it comes to the health of an individual, we all want to live as long and as healthy as possible. To achieve this goal, many people are turning to dietary Supplements vs Medications in the hopes of bettering their health. While some of these supplements may provide real benefits, it is important to remember that they are not the same as drugs and must be carefully studied before being used.
Pharmaceutical medicines are drugs that are prescribed by doctors to help treat specific diseases and conditions. These medicines undergo extensive clinical trials and have a lot of research behind them before they are allowed on the market. Most of us will take at least one prescription drug in our lifetimes. Medications are made in laboratories by pharmaceutical companies and are designed to accomplish specific goals like decreasing inflammation, for example. These medicines are often the best option for managing chronic health conditions because they can be individualized to each patient and are highly effective.
Supplements, on the other hand, are vitamins, minerals and herbal extracts that are sold without a doctor's prescription. The FDA regulates dietary supplements under the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. Because the agency does not consider supplements to be medications, they do not have to go through the same rigorous testing and approval process as pharmaceutical medicines.
Instead, the FDA has established good manufacturing practices that manufacturers must follow to ensure their supplements are safe and contain what is listed on the label. However, this doesn't mean that all supplements are free of contaminants or that the dosages are accurate. For this reason, it is always a good idea to talk with your doctor before taking any supplements and let him or her know what other medications you are currently taking.
In most cases, a supplement can interact negatively with the side effects of a medication that you are taking, especially if it's an antibiotic or antiviral drug. This is because a drug will likely work in different ways in the body than a natural product. If the interaction is not well understood, the two products can interfere with each other and cause serious harm to the body.
While the majority of dietary supplements are based on scientific research, it is important to understand that many of these studies have been performed in animals and make overstatements about the benefits that humans will experience. "This, combined with commercial pressure to promote some of these products, leads to confusion about what is actually useful," Cohen says.
If a supplement has been found to be harmful due to consumer adverse event reporting, the FDA can step in and remove the product from the market. However, this happens rarely and suspect supplements are sometimes on the market for years. This is why it's essential to disclose all of your dietary supplements to your doctor. He or she can then help you determine whether they will benefit your health or not.