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Naturally sourced active ingredients: The science behind the dose

Naturally sourced active ingredients: The science behind the dose

When taking a natural-based health product, it's important to pay attention to the recommended dose and check the evidence that supports this.

Clinical insight
Reading time: 3 minutes

More of a good thing isn’t always better

We often think that the more we do something, or the more of something we have, the bigger the effect may be. Like when you up your gym sessions to get ready for a summer holiday, or pile on moisturiser three times a day for super-soft skin. But with some things, there’s an amount that’s just right with research to back it. And that’s exactly what SFI Health intends to bring to you.

Natural based medicines and the optimal dose

The optimal dose of a medicine with naturally sourced active ingredients is the amount you need so you can get the desired health outcomes shown in clinical research. Working this out starts with understanding exactly what is in the product. Then, by conducting clinical studies and investigating the health outcomes of different doses, an optimal dose can be found.

It all starts with a consistent product

Natural based medicines can contain many different components. So it’s important to understand what active components are in your product, and also how much of certain components are in your product. By carefully measuring key components in a natural medicine, steps can be taken to help ensure that each batch is consistent with the last.

Clinical research help us get the optimal dose

When you have a complementary medicine that you know is a consistent product, you can test the effects of different doses in a clinical study. The results help tell you the ideal amount to take so that you may get the benefits you want from it. This is important because a dose that’s too low may have little effect, and a dose that’s too high might simply be more than you need or may also not have the effect that you are seeking.

An example of why more may not always be better

In 2012, a clinical trial was conducted using 3 different doses of the specific Ze 440 extract of Vitex agnus-castus found in Premular which is used for PMS relief. The 3 doses used were 8 mg, 20 mg (Premular dose) or 30 mg of  Vitex agnus-castus fruit extract Ze 440 and the primary outcome measured was improvement of PMS symptoms. The results showed that the daily dose of 20 mg of Ze 440 extract significantly relieved PMS symptoms over three menstrual cycles. This result was not achieved using the 8 mg dose and the 30 mg dose did not add further therapeutic benefit. Based on this research, women suffering from PMS symptoms are recommended to take a dose of 20 mg Ze 440 extract, which equates to one daily tablet of Premular.
Why it’s important to stick to the recommended dosing information

When taking a medicine with naturally sourced active ingredients, always be sure to take it as recommended according to the product information or as recommended by your healthcare professional. You should pay attention to the amount to take, the time of day to take it, whether or not it should be taken with food, and whether you should avoid any medicines while taking it.
You should also check how long you should preferably take the product for, and when it’s likely that you may be likely start to feel a benefit. If you try a product for 2 days and don’t see results, this may be because clinical research has suggested that health outcomes may be experienced over a longer period. So don’t give up before the product has a chance to show its potential effect.
References available upon request

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