Nutraceuticals vs Pharmaceuticals

You may be asking yourself “What are nutraceuticals?”

In the simplest of terms, nutraceuticals are used to describe a product that can support an individual’s overall health, wellness, and longevity. 

These products are generally naturally derived.  Many originating in Eastern medicine with supported uses spanning millennia. Your daily multivitamin or magnesium supplement fall under the umbrella of a nutraceutical. Other examples include ashwagandha or lion’s mane capsules, liquid ionic zinc, liposomal vitamin C and more.

You will find these nutraceutical supplements available over the counter; this means you can just wander into your local grocer or health food store and purchase them like you would an apple or an orange. If you find yourself in this position you are hoping the product will support your health, wellness and longevity.

The nutraceuticals market is regulated by the FDA officially. Unofficially, much of the market is self-regulating. This can be scary, because it means you must trust that the product you are purchasing was manufactured in a clean environment with high quality standards for its ingredients, manufacturing and bottling process and more. Unfortunately, you will find a high variability in quality and reliability from custom manufacturers. So, if you are considering purchasing or creating your own nutraceutical supplement – be sure to do your homework on their current good manufacturing process.

So then, what are pharmaceuticals?

Earlier we mentioned apples and oranges. Nutraceuticals and Pharmaceuticals are like apples and oranges when it comes to source, purpose, manufacturing and more. Pharmaceuticals are synthetically derived and developed to acutely treat a specific symptom or underlying disease.

Pharmaceuticals are generally prescribed. Sometimes, they are sold as an over-the-counter drug such as aspirin. Pharmaceuticals can be considered intellectual property. This can encourage a monopolized market with only one purveyor of a certain drug. In these instances, price control and price gouging can occur for highly sought-after products.  This industry is much harder to enter as a new company.

Which one is right for me?

There is no one shoe fits all model here.  As a consumer, some of our ailments are treated with pharmaceuticals while others may be prevented with nutraceuticals. Research has shown positive results from a body kept in balance.  Talk with your trusted health professional today and see if nutraceuticals are right for you. If you are considering entering as a new brand, you will need to ask yourself the purpose of your product: Are you helping support health and wellness? Creating a nutraceutical may be right for you. Are you trying to treat and cure a disease? The pharmaceutical industry is the only one legally able to do this.