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Why vitamin supplements don't work

15 Jul 2014 4:50 PM - Tips for getting the best results...

Have you ever taken a nutritional or herbal supplement and thought it was a waste of time and money?  That it did nothing and didn’t work? Quite possibly you have. In spite of taking something you thought would help, you still felt tired, couldn’t sleep, had aches and pains, troubling digestion, depression, acne or whatever it was you started with.  Frustrating, right?


Well, I’m here to tell you why that might have been the case for you. Maybe one or more of these reasons could be the cause of your lack of satisfactory results.

  • It was the right medicine but at the wrong dose. Consider your garden…all your plants need water but some need a lot and others need very little…get it wrong and your garden won’t thrive.  The same goes for your supplement.  It may be what you need, but perhaps you weren’t getting enough to achieve the desired result. Everyone is unique. We are different sizes and we breakdown and absorb medicines differently depending on our digestive system. A dose that works for one person may not work for another.

  • You didn’t take it for long enough.  Sometimes, turning around a health problem that has been bugging you for months (or even years) can take a while. You may need to be prepared to persist and your health practitioner should be able to guide you on what to expect along the way.

  • You haven’t made any other changes to your diet or lifestyle. If the cause of your aching shoulders is poor desk ergonomics, for example, then magnesium might help a little but it won’t necessarily be the solution to your ongoing problem.

  • It wasn’t what you needed. You needed a screwdriver but you were given a hammer. It was the wrong tool for the job and you’re never going to get the desired or best result with the wrong tool are you? Maybe you’re taking a probiotic to help your digestion but what you need is enzymes. Or maybe your digestive issues are caused by stress.

To put it another way, if you want to know how to fix a problem, you first need to work out what’s causing it.  This can require some good detective work on the part of your naturopath…taking a thorough case history, knowing which tests to order and how to interpret the results, and then working out the best treatment option for you.  Sometimes, this involves a process of elimination and can take some time….digging, digging and more digging. The more you are prepared to involve yourself in the process, the better the outcome you will get.

To summarise…if a herbal or nutritional medicine is going to give you the best result it needs to be the right one, at the right dose, taken for the right amount of time. And if the cause of your problem is in your environment, diet or lifestyle then we need to work on that too.

So, don’t give up on herbal and nutritional supplements.  Just make sure you get what you really need. And that's where we can help.  Feel free to call us on 9620 9503.

If you liked this blog, please share it with family and friends. You might also like:

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In good health,


Kaye Wright
Naturopath
Melbourne CBD

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