Do not restrict the vitamins, restrict the drugs

Position Statement: If you are a health professional then you may have become aware of a research publication from the University of Hertfordshire, suggesting that there are risks when supplementing vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies.

The ANP do not think that supplements should only be taken following a consultation with a health professional, but that instead – possible dangers and contraindications for those on medications should be highlighted to people at the time of prescribing.

The ANP categorically rejects the idea that it is supplements, vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies be held responsible for adverse reactions, or that access to nutrients and herbal remedies should be limited or restricted.

A better solution to mitigate any dangers would be for pharmaceutical companies to clearly outline and communicate dangers to their patients, including vitamin and mineral deficiencies, nutrient side effects and interactions on their drug inserts.

It is absolutely the case that some medications will deplete the body of minerals, vitamins and important gut bacteria and in those instances the need for supplementation may be high and indeed life-changing. People who need supplementation for whatever reason should not be forced to see a health professional each and every time they need a supplement.

If healthcare professionals are worried about herbal remedies or supplements, ANP is happy to provide practitioners, workshops and resources so that health professionals are better able to give important and valuable advice on nutrition and herbal medicine to all of their clients.