Doctors look down their noses at patients who frequently take or inquire about dietary supplements. The standard answer is that these natural remedies are unproven, while doctors prescribe FDA-sanctioned drugs that have undergone double-blind placebo-controlled human studies – considered the gold standard for safety and effectiveness.
Furthermore, the biological action of most prescription drugs can be duplicated with vitamins, minerals, amino acids and herbal products at far less cost and side effects.
But cost and effectiveness aside, the primary reason why so many people search for alternatives to prescription drugs is that while there is treatment for disease, often there are no cures.
According to a study published in the British Medical Journalalmost four in ten adults and one in nine children use some form of alternative medicine. These are not the uneducated nor fanatics. Women with higher education levels and incomes are more likely to use alternative therapies.