An ‘off the shelf’ product are those products you can grab right off the shelf. You don’t need to talk to a naturopath or nutritionist, you don’t need a prescription, you can just buy them as you please. These include the brands Ethical Nutrients, Blackmores, Nature’s Own, Nature’s Sunshine, Thompsons, Oriental Botanicals and many more.
With so many brands and options available, how do you know what is going to suit you best? Say you decide to buy some fish oil. You have heard that it’s good for inflammation, arthritis and brain health so you decide to take some.
When you look on the shelf, there is a big difference between the pricing and quality of the various fish oils. How do you know if the right one for you is the tub of 300 capsules for $14.99, or the tub of 120 for $39.95? Now for some people the choice may come down to price- getting value for money is an important consideration, but value for money may not be as straight forward as it seems.
Firstly, you are getting a lower strength fish oil supplement. This means to be effective, you’d actually need to take MORE capsules. To benefit from the anti-inflammatory effect of a regular fish oil, you may need to take at least 10 capsules per day. With a higher quality (and a more expensive product) you don’t need to take nearly that many! This may actually save you money. Your 300 will only last you a month if you take it in optimal levels, not ‘forever’ as you might have thought, taking one or two per day.
Dosage is very important. To actually make a beneficial impact on your health, you need to be taking the supplement in a therapeutic dosage range. If you are not someone who likes to take a lot of supplements, you may wish to take a higher strength product.
Secondly, you have to consider the quality of the product you are buying. In Australia we have strict guidelines of quality control of products, but there is a bit of leeway as to just how good that product might be. Thinking about fish oil again, there are allowable levels of heavy metals found in fish oils in Australia. The less expensive brands meet these requirements and are deemed safe. The more expensive fish oil brands often endeavour to keep their products as heavy metal free as possible, far beyond the acceptable Australian guidelines which makes the quality far superior.
Now, say you come in wanting something to help you sleep. There are about 10 choices on the shelf, so how do you know what is going to work for you? This is where talking to a naturopath can be your best option. During a personalised consultation, the naturopath will be able to determine just which products would suit you and your unique needs the best. Rather than trying four or five ‘off the shelf’ products until you find something that works for you, you will be recommend products that are more likely to suit you straight away.
It can also be very relieving to hand your health concerns over to a health professional. Instead of spending hours of Google, a naturopath will be able to identify and treat the cause of your health issues quickly and effectively. Good health is something that everyone is striving towards, but it can feel very difficult and confusing when you are trying to get there all alone.
No matter what your health concern, we are here to help. Please feel free to ask our friendly staff to help you determine the best natural supplement for you.