Friday, February 7, 2014

Drugs versus Supplements

I just wanted to share a link to this article on Dr. Mercola's website about supplements, written in response to a recent interview on the Dr. Oz show, where Dr. Mercola was discussing the merits of supplements versus prescription drugs with a Dr. Paul Offit, who apparently believes that the supplement market is not regulated enough - with the implication being that since vitamins and supplements haven't been regulated by the FDA, they may not be safe. As Dr. Mercola points out, Dr. Offit is mistaken.

I'm not a daily vitamin kind of person (although, living in Maine, and because I don't eat nearly enough fish - the best dietary source for Vitamin D - I do take Vitamin D during the winter), but as most of my regular readers know, I am a huge advocate for use herbal medicines over their manufactured counterparts.

Herbal remedies can take longer to work effectively, and they also need to be used more consistently - often before the symptoms become severe enough to warrant medication - and so many people don't think they are effective, but where prescription drugs target *a* symptom, herbal remedies work to boost the overall immune system. In effect, herbal remedies work to make our whole bodies stronger - not just to attack one isolated portion.

As Dr. Mercola says, though, supplements and vitamins are regulated and approved safe by the FDA, and as the linked article points out, there have been zero deaths attributed to vitamin use in 27 years and counting. I guess the question is, do we want to take the time to allow our bodies to fight off whatever it is battling and offer it only a few tools, or do we want to risk side effects from using the prescription drugs? It's six of one and a half dozen of the other**, right?

Personally, I like to err on the side of caution** and as they say, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger**. In the case of supplements, which have a pretty good track record with regard to fatalities, this seems to be absolutely true.

** Please forgive all of the clich├ęs ;).

1 comment:

  1. That is a very good point about zero deaths from supplements :-)

    I had never really thought about allowing more time for herbal remedies to work. I make elderberry cough syrup and have found it is brilliant at stopping a cold in its tracks if you take it as soon as you have the first sneeze or snuffle. I would definitely like to make more remedies as medication is the very last resort in our house too.