Nutraceutical Supplements

Pharmaceutical Medicines vs Nutraceutical Supplements

nutraceutical supplements

When you are at your local drug store, it can be so easy to assume that the tablets and capsules that you see all function in the same way. You’ve probably never stopped to think about their differences. But you should! Because when it comes to health and wellness, everything that you consume matters. It can either have beneficial or harmful effects on your body. It is vital to become conscious of what you ingest. That being said, we’re here to elaborate the differences on pharmaceutical medicines and nutraceutical supplements. Find out below!

What are pharmaceutical medicines?

You’ve probably consumed pharmaceutical medicines at some point in your life. By definition, pharmaceutical medicines, commonly known as medicines or drugs are chemical substances that are designed to prevent, treat, or cure illnesses and disorders. These are classified in two broad categories. First you have your prescription drugs. This can only be used with a prescription of an authorized doctor. For the most part, these cannot be bought unless prescribed. However, there are also a few that can be availed without prescription like decongestants, vasodilators, antihistamines, and more. 

Next you have your nonprescription drugs or over-the-counter drugs (OTC). These are pharmaceutical medicines that can be availed locally without your doctor’s advice. Common examples of these are paracetamols and ibuprofen.

What are nutraceutical supplements?

Now you might be thinking that pharmaceutical medicines are all there is. However, through the latest advancements in science and nutrition, nutraceutical supplement have emerged. In fact, these are already topping the list in the both the food and supplement industry. So what are they?

Unlike pharmaceutical medicines, these don’t contain chemicals. Rather, these supplements contain whole foods. The process of this typically involves taking a whole food and packing into a non-food format. Great and popular examples of these are vitamins, minerals, and herbal supplements.

These produce medicinal and health benefits, as well as prevention and support for diseases. These supplements are also great to contain nutrients that can be incorporated to your diet to fill nutritional gaps. Unless you have any underlying allergies and limitations, these do not typically need a doctor’s prescription.

Pharmaceutical Medicines And Nutraceutical Supplements In Disease and Health

Now that you know what they both are in definition, let’s take a closer look on how they function on health and wellness.

There are a handful of excellent reasons to take nutraceutical supplements for everyday use. Because despite your best efforts to eat a hearty and balanced diet, you can be falling short of the recommended daily amount. Nutraceutical supplements are great for this. You can consume it to fill in nutritional gaps. It is especially beneficial for certain groups of people who need an ample amount of a specific vitamin. Along the side, it may also be a healthier option for every day. Why? Because unlike pharmaceutical medicines, most (if chosen correctly) do not contain chemicals. However, chances are, if you already have an underlying disease, pharmaceuticals may be what’s best, especially for severe conditions.

Because in diseases, nutraceutical supplements can only go so far. They may have the ability to combat certain diseases because of their nutritional value and properties, but they do not claim or guarantee to treat it. Rather, they can be a great preventive addition to your diet/

So, which is better?

These both influence the treatment, prevention, and healing of supplements. It all depends on your personal condition and preferences. When it comes to content, nutraceutical have big advantage since they are derived from natural resources. This results to very few (or none at all) harmful side effects. However, these are not made to cure diseases and disorders (especially severe conditions) alone. But they can be great  additions to your lifestyle to keep you healthier and stronger. It is a great preventive measure alongside healthy habits. Pharmaceutical medicines on the other hand, are made through laboratories. These are made safe to consume and use, however, in its nature they are still artificial. Most of these have side effects.

Key Takeaway

When you’re at your local drugstore, you’ve probably come across different capsules and tablets and think that they all have the same claims and use. Pharmaceutical medicines and nutraceutical supplements are very different in definition. Let this guide help you distinguish what is best for you.


Kyle Francis Ong is a freelance writer who has a knack for writing. While some writers prefer to have a particular niche topic, Kyle wishes to challenge himself by exploring different ones. In particular, these niche topics include businesses, home economics, or different lifestyle trends.

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