As in many other fields our profession require us to take charge of the safety of the procedures and products we propose to our patients.
We all know that not all the supplements on the market are made the same.
We have to invest many hours every year to keep ourself up to date with issues like quality of products, safety and new researches on their effectiveness: to be able to guarantee safety requires knowledge.
Not only this is part of our ethics but it is a mandatory requirement from our associations, and is a fundamental component of our practice.
Aside of the ethical and professional reasons It is certainly our primary interest as practitioners to be successful and to maximise any benefits the patients gains from our therapies.
If we consider just these points it appears clear that the supplements you receive from your practitioners are the best available in terms of manufacture quality, safety, effectiveness and cost.
On the other side if we take in consideration how the use of Complementary Medicine is impacting on the overall societal risk, then we can refer to this study from 2011 and made by collecting data from a number of governative sources.
In the picture below Societal Risk is represented as the risk of death per million total population. Individual risk is represented as the risk of death per million exposed to that hazard.
Bubble size represents the relative risk to an individual. By way of example, the bubbles representing deaths due to preventable medical injuries in hospitals and military personnel in Iraq/Afghanistan are a similar size because the risk of death to a patient in an Australian hospital is similar to that for a soldier deployed to a war zone. Medical injury poses a greater risk to society simply because vastly more citizens are exposed to that risk and hence suffers dramatic consequences.
If you compare the Complementary Medicine bubble with the larger bubbles and what they represent it is clear why we are so passionate and proud to be part of this profession.
This does not mean that supplements have no risks, but if you get a supplement from your qualified practitioner this is certainly one of the safest things you can do.