Health Supplements versus Drugs

Medicine-whether in the shape of natural supplements or pharmaceuticals-is big business indeed. With profit margins which can be nearly four times the average of any business, the pharmaceutical industry enjoys a top position being amongst probably the most profitable businesses in the world.

The nutraceutical industry isn’t far behind offering stiff competition to pharmaceutical counterparts. Research is booming and science-based studies have given successful impetus to the plant-based health supplement industry. Some of the more popular botanicals like as Echinacea, gingko biloba, ginseng, garlic, and St. John’s Wort are seeing sales that put them in exactly the same league with many prescription drugs. Actually, so popular is the supplement industry that pharmaceutical giants like Bayer, American Home Products, Johnson and Johnson and Boeheringer-Ingelheim have all begun to market supplements!

What is the Difference?

There’s very little of a distinction between nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals except for the method by which they are regulated in the United States although both are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drugs Administration. Major differences include:

* Pharmaceuticals which can be derived from plant proteins for vaccines and medical treatments are not the same as nutraceuticals. The major difference is that pharmaceuticals are made designed for medical use under a physician’s supervision, and are subject to Food And Drugs Administration approval.
Natural supplements do not require medical supervision, nor Food And Drugs Administration approval.
* Pharmaceuticals need prescription from a certified doctor for purchase. The option of a natural supplements is as much as the individual. vitamins and supplements Natural supplements are sold without restrictions at health food stores, supermarkets, drug stores, national discount chains, mail-order and Internet.
* You will find no strict regulating laws governing health supplements. Just about anyone can come up with a product, notify the Food And Drugs Administration , and put it in the market. In stark contrast, it requires ranging from 8-12 years for a new drug to be approved by the Food And Drugs Administration.Pharmaceuticals undergo intense regulatory reviews by the Food And Drugs Administration.
* Because of stricter regulations, pharmaceuticals have greater proof efficacy and safety. Whereas natural supplements are derived from tradition with insufficient proof safety and efficacy. However, this is changing as new research builds as much as support the benefits of some of the accepted nutrients. Eg omega 3 fatty acids.
* Pharmaceuticals are patented. Herbs and natural supplements aren’t patented and which means profits are limited with stiff competition from all sorts of health supplement manufacturers.
* Pharmaceuticals spend an incredible number of dollars for research and paperwork for a new therapeutic claim of an established drug all to satisfy Food And Drugs Administration requirements. Food And Drugs Administration requirements for natural supplements are never stringent apart from barring them from making any false health claims about their product and adding a disclaimer: “This statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product isn’t intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.”
* Pharmaceuticals come with various side effects. Known unwanted effects are expected to be disclosed on the label. While natural supplements don’t need a listing of unwanted effects, there tends to be fewer cases of unwanted effects connected with the utilization of health supplements.

Complaining about the high cost of traditional medicine and unwanted effects, many people are turning to alternative medicine in the shape of health supplements. A report by the Hartman Group, a number one market research firm called, “The Wellness Trends in 2002” found that Americans are beginning to put the family and a healthy body above the daily routines of life. Those types of interviewed many expressed frustration with U.S. healthcare system and wanted more control over their own health. The report said, “Dietary supplements … (allow) them a way of self-managing their own health … giving them an expression of empowerment,” the report states. This is a plus over pharmaceuticals.According to the Nutrition Business Journal fast growth in the nutraceutical market sometimes appears in weight-loss products.

The demand for such products is growing as you consider the significantly more than 120 million overweight Americans and 17 million diabetics who are looking for supplements that increase metabolism, suppress or satiate appetite, and control blood sugar. Such sectors in the supplement industry have gained footage over pharmaceuticals.In America, 60% of the consumers take some sort of food supplement and 30 to 40% take herbal supplements. Natural supplements are gaining such credibility that numerous physicians are recommending them to their patients before prescribing riskier pharmaceuticals. Of the supplement users 95% are content with supplements.In the meanwhile, research remains booming in both industries! Health supplement manufacturers continue steadily to unveil groundbreaking products as new evidence supporting the benefits of nutraceuticals emerges.

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