Many people take supplements regularly to make up for gaps in their diet and to boost their health. Yet, few people know that in addition to the vitamins you see on grocery store shelves, there are also prescription-grade supplements available. Discover the key differences between these two options below.

Over-the-Counter (OTC) Supplements   

Some people are surprised to find out that OTC supplements aren’t regulated by the government. Oftentimes, these products contain fillers, synthetic forms of vitamins, and reduced concentrations of the main ingredients. Thus, you may have to take several pills a day to meet the recommended dose, which will also lead to taking in higher volumes of additives. And in some cases, even the recommended dose will fail to deliver the intended results, since the vitamins don’t come in their most effective form.

Common fillers found in OTC supplements include dyes, cork, and other unnatural ingredients. In the case of herbs, sometimes the wrong portion of the plant is used. For instance, if the potency lies within the leaves, the manufacturer may include fillers like stems or fruit. Using the incorrect part of the plant – or worse, the wrong species – means that the herbal supplement will likely be ineffective.

Sometimes, OTC vitamins are also provided in the wrong type. Nutrients have different forms, which also have unique absorption rates. For instance, Ferro-C iron supplements comprise ferrous fumarate, which isn’t absorbed well by the digestive system and can even lead to gastrointestinal complications. An amino acid chelate of iron, however, would be better absorbed.

Also, some nutrients perform poorly when prepared in a capsule form, due to oxidation. Thus, you could be taking a daily vitamin that will have virtually no therapeutic effect.

Practitioner Supplements

Practitioner-strength supplements, also sometimes referred to as medical-grade or pharmaceutical supplements are made by following the same standards as prescription drugs. They boast superior quality to OTC vitamins and are prescribed in the same way medications would be.

These supplements must meet rigorous standards. For instance, their ingredients list must precisely match those within the actual product. They do not contain harmful toxins and must be absorbed by the body within 45 minutes to be considered medical-grade. Contrast this with OTC vitamins, which often have poor bioavailability.

Whether you’re deficient in a key nutrient or are seeking a supplement to help you manage a preexisting condition or overall health, practitioner supplements are the clear winner in terms of quality and effectiveness.

Stemedix offers 10% off your first order of practitioner-grade supplements available through Metagenics. Visit https://stemedix.metagenics.com/ and discover powerful supplements for your daily regimen. It is important to check with a provider to ensure you are taking the correct supplement and correct dose. Please call 800-531-0831 to find out more today!

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