The number of Canadians taking five or more medications referred to as polypharmacy, has increased substantially over the past 20 years. The concern here is that multiple medications increase the risk of drug interactions, adverse effects, and poor adherence.1 Researchers even noted the need to ‘deprescribe Canada’ and state, “Inappropriate polypharmacy can increase the risk of adverse drug reactions and poor health outcomes while affecting patient adherence and quality of life.”2
Medications are not the only thing to consider as dietary supplement use has also increased, with many forgetting to mention this to their primary care providers. This is why research is so important, to understand the complex inner workings of the body and how systems respond to any new products.
Trusted Quality and Transparency
With rigorous testing and research, the transparency and quality of clinically researched natural health products are generally higher. Reputable brands in the natural health product space prioritize quality control, ensuring consumers are aware of what they are putting into their bodies. Researchers can determine the optimal dosage, potential side effects, and interactions with other medications. This information can be shared with consumers to help them make informed decisions about what natural health products to use. This transparency builds trust and credibility, a crucial factor in today’s health and wellness landscape.
Backed by Science
Clinical research is a beautiful process that echoes a core principle of Alfred Vogel himself – curiosity. A team of researchers looking at the historical use of natural products said, “Natural products (secondary metabolites) have been the most successful source of potential drug leads.”3 These botanicals and natural health substances have been used for centuries in traditional medicine. Despite well-established use, advancements in technology permit a deeper understanding of why healers of countless cultures chose to use those herbs. Scientific research elucidates, validates, or even challenges their health-promoting properties, providing a robust foundation for their effectiveness.
Sustainability and Environmental Impact
Natural health products are often more environmentally sustainable. They are derived from renewable sources and typically have a smaller ecological footprint compared to synthetic pharmaceuticals. A publication from a team led by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment in The Netherlands goes in depth to explore the cost of pharmaceutical manufacturing. They state, “The ecological footprint of pharmaceuticals includes greenhouse gas emissions, consumption of energy and materials, including water and solvents in drug development and manufacture, and impacts of [active pharmaceutical ingredients] on the environment after use.”4
Supporting the use of natural ingredients promotes sustainable practices, which align with the growing global movement towards eco-friendly and socially responsible choices.
Tailored for Personalized Wellness
Natural health products often offer a variety of options that can be tailored to individual needs. From herbal supplements to essential oils and nutritional elements, there's a diverse range of products available to address specific health concerns. This versatility allows individuals to choose products that align with their unique wellness goals and preferences.
In conclusion, the shift towards clinically researched natural health products signifies a conscious choice towards a more natural, balanced, and wholesome approach to health and wellness. The blend of traditional knowledge with modern scientific rigor offers a compelling narrative for those seeking effective, safe, and sustainable health solutions.
As consumers increasingly prioritize their health and well-being, the appeal of these products continues to grow. Embracing the goodness of nature, backed by solid scientific research, is not just a trend—it’s a sensible and promising choice for a healthier, more vibrant life.
Harris, Daniel A., et al. "Prevalence of prescription and non-prescription polypharmacy by frailty and sex among middle-aged and older Canadians." Health Reports 33.6 (2022): 3-16.
Desai, Mansi, and Tanya Park. "Deprescribing practices in Canada: A scoping review." Canadian Pharmacists Journal/Revue des Pharmaciens du Canada 155.5 (2022): 249-257.
Dias, Daniel A., Sylvia Urban, and Ute Roessner. "A historical overview of natural products in drug discovery." Metabolites 2.2 (2012): 303-336.
Moermond, Caroline TA, et al. "GREENER pharmaceuticals for more sustainable healthcare." Environmental Science & Technology Letters 9.9 (2022): 699-705.