,Drugs vs. Supplements
According to the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as amended, Section 201(g)(1), the term drug is defined as an “article intended for use in the diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of disease.” 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 rationally.
Here at Richmond Integrative & Functional Medicine we provide nutritional counseling and make individualized recommendations regarding use of these supplements in order to upgrade the quality of foods in a patient’s diet and to supply nutrition to support the physiological and biomechanical processes of the human body. Although these products may also be suggested with a specific therapeutic purpose in mind, their use is chiefly designed to support given aspects of metabolic function.
Use of nutritional supplements may be safely recommended for patients already using pharmaceutical medications (drugs), but some potentially harmful interactions may occur. For this reason, 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. It is also important to consult with a health care provider who is trained and knowledgeable in the use, interactions and reactions that may occur as a results of using supplements.
We determine quality by considering:
- The quality of science behind the product
- The quality of the ingredients themselves
- The quality of the manufacturing process
- The synergism among product components
For more information about our supplement recommendations, read “Supplements & Nutritionals: Ensuring Their Safety … And Yours” by Dr. Hartman.
Legal Code Regarding Supplements
18VAC85-20-40. Vitamins, Minerals and Food Supplements.
A. The recommendation or direction for the use of vitamins, minerals or food supplements and the rationale for that recommendation shall be documented by the practitioner. The recommendation or direction shall be based upon a reasonable expectation that such use will result in a favorable patient outcome, including preventive practices, and that a greater benefit will be achieved than that which can be expected without such use.
B. Vitamins, minerals, or food supplements, or a combination of the three, shall not be sold, dispensed, recommended, prescribed, or suggested in doses that would be contraindicated based on the individual patient’s overall medical condition and medications.
C. The practitioner shall conform to the standards of his particular branch of the healing arts in the therapeutic application of vitamins, minerals or food supplement therapy.