Almost every form of ‘medicine’ has its ‘medicines’, and Nutritional Medicine is no exception.
Specialised forms and doses of certain nutrients and nutraceutical compounds are used by Clinical Nutritionists for modulating various physiological functions and yielding specific clinical effects.
Most modern medicine traditions originated under the context of a practitioner preparing individual medicines for individual patients.
The work of ancestral healers led to botanical apothecaries, which in turn led to modern day pharmacies. However throughout the past century this process included a transition from custom compounded medicines to the industrialisation and mass production of generic medicines.
Seeing as much of the science of nutritional medicine has emerged over the same time period (post the industrialisation of medicine manufacture), most nutritional supplements in the modern era are also relatively mass produced and generic.
However given the fundamentally personalised nature of Nutritional and Functional Medicine, the necessity for personalised medicines becomes evident.
The synergistic combination of modern science, combined with age old practices of personalisation, may provide one of the most powerful levels of health care.
Which Types of Ingredients Are Used in Compounded Nutritional Medicines?
- Proteins & Amino Acids
- Vitamins & Pro-Vitamin Compounds
- Lipids & Fatty Acids
- Saccharides & Fibres
- Botanical & Functional ‘Food’ Ingredients
Which Dosage Forms Do They Come In?
Powders, Liquids, Gels, Creams, etc.
Why Dry Powders Are Preferable
- Easy and predictable to mix
- Easy to measure and dose
- Comparatively stable and spoilage resistant (Translates to longer shelf life preparations)
- Requires minimal excipient use
- Readily ‘Activated’ simply by mixing with water (as and when required)
Benefits of Compounded Nutritional Medicines
1. Tailored Supplementation (To meet individual needs – better than any mass-produced product)
2. Better Flexibility / Adaptability (Ability to monitor and adjust prescriptions based on efficacy or changing needs over time)
3. More advanced formulations (access ingredients and combination not possible in a mass-produced product)
4. Less risk of overlap with other/multiple supplements (reduced wastage).
5. Increased Safety (Avoids potentially burdensome overlap of ingredients interfering with clinical success and safety)
6. Greater precision, quality and control (higher grades and forms of ingredients in variable pack sizes)
7. Higher Purity (avoidance of unnecessary or undesirable excipients or common allergens and irritants for sensitive patients)
8. Ease of administration (compliance and convenience through single dose)
9. Better clinical outcomes (using potent forms, doses and customisation = increased efficacy)
10. More cost effective (more value for efficacy, and consolidation of costs)
If you are a Health Practitioner, and would like to know more about how to compound nutritional formulas in your practice, please see the Compounding 101 video training course here.