Supplements are substances that our bodies need to function properly. These may be obtained through the food we eat or isolated in capsule form. Herbs are plants that typically have multiple mechanisms of action that change gene expression or other functions. Technically, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, herbs, or homeopathic remedies are not classified as drugs. However, these substances can have significant effects on physiology and must be used appropriately.
Many conventional providers avoid using supplements. Some of the reasons are:
I, like most functional medicine providers, recognize these cautions, but choose to include supplements because:
Supplements have side effects and can interact with drugs, too. It is important to keep all of your healthcare providers fully informed about all medications and nutritional supplements, herbs, or hormones you may be taking.