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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Do Alternative Vitamin and Mineral Supplements Work?

Complementary and alternative health and wellness supplements are used by millions worldwide. More than 10 million South Africans use vitamins and minerals regularly to enhance their health, address ailments, and reduce their risk of illness.

However, not all vitamins, minerals and alternative supplements are created equal. Many lack biological plausibility and are untested or proven ineffective.

With thousands of products on the market, it is no surprise that some consumers find it overwhelming to decide on the right supplements and brands and that their choice does what it claims to do.

Some on-the-shelf vitamins and supplements don’t stack up to the promises they make on their packaging, and consumers should know what to look for when selecting their supplements.

Unfortunately, some unverified alternative supplement brands have left a bad taste in consumers’ mouths. For this reason, the word “alternative” often comes with a dose of scepticism. However, certain “alternative” supplement brands are scientifically formulated, use quality ingredients, and are rigorously tested to ensure they are living up to their claims.

Education and information are key when selecting your supplements. Make sure the brands you select are credible and that you read the labels carefully to understand the doses. When in doubt, check with your pharmacist.

High-quality ingredients. Rigorous testing

Many supplement manufacturers use third-party testing facilities to validate that what’s on the label is in the bottle.

According to the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines, South African pharmaceutical manufacturers must get their products tested to ensure quality formulations deliver on their claims.

For some manufacturers, testing starts even before manufacturing. “All our ingredients are tested for quality. Thereafter,  testing continues during and after manufacturing, and may continue just as the final product goes on shelves to ensure quality is not compromised,” said Willco Janse van Vuuren, Managing Director for Releaf Pharmaceuticals, a thought-leading, South African, pharmaceutical manufacturer of Complementary and Alternative Medicines (CAM) focused on scientifically backed, best-in-class products that exceed CAMs and SAHPRA requirements.

Medical aid approved

One of the highest stamps of approval is the NAPPI code. “Customers know they’re buying quality formulations that deliver on their claims when medical schemes recognise their vitamins and supplements,” says Janse van Vuuren.

What’s the right vitamin for you?

Before purchasing your next round of vitamin supplements, make sure you know what essential vitamins and nutrients your body needs for your health goals. With all the options available, it is important that the supplements (and brands) you trust are absorbed correctly and do their work and don’t end up being flushed down the toilet.

What’s the scoop on CBD?

There has been much scientific research on the impact of cannabidiol (CBD) as an alternative medication. CBD is one of the chemical compounds found in the cannabis plant and is a powerful antioxidant used as a natural remedy for ailments. Many patients experience the powerful benefits of CBD to relieve pain and ease symptoms of chronic anxiety, sleeplessness, as well as many other ailments.

CBD scientific testing

How CBD reacts in the body is well understood and brands that have conducted the right tests provide reassurance that they are using pure CBD without any psychoactive molecules or harmful trace elements.

To ensure pure quality CBD is used in products, trusted brands, like Releaf Pharmaceuticals, go through vigorous testing on three levels to ensure that they release high-quality products. Before manufacturing, they test the raw materials for chemical and microbiological specifications. After manufacturing, tests focus on consistency across all batches, before packaging, one final inspection takes place before the product goes on shelf.

“CBD is possibly one of the best natural pain relief remedies, and when customers use high-quality CBD products, like the Broad Spectrum CBD Daily Oil or Capsules, they’ll experience the benefits of stress and pain relief. CBD Oil also assists with restlessness and sleeplessness,” says Janse van Vuuren, of Releaf Pharmaceuticals.

While research on the benefits of CBD is ongoing, studies also show that the compound is safe to use, will not cause addiction, and has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

When selecting a CBD product, it’s important to check that they have the seal of approval from the Cannabis Research Institute (CRI). One would be hard-pressed to deny CBD’s benefits to help maintain good health, regulate movement, mood, and the immune system.

Using complementary and alternative health and wellness supplements can be beneficial to your health and well-being if you are taking the right supplements for your body from credible brands. Regular supplementation combined with a healthy balanced diet can help you reap the benefits and get you a step closer to your wellness and health goals.

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