We are all guilty of taking things for granted until we don’t have them anymore. Much of the time, these are external things: people, pets, places, etc. However, the internal attribute that we often neglect is our own health. As the saying goes, “You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone.”
For context, an analysis of Canada’s health revealed several troubling statistics, including the following:
- More than one in five Canadian adults live with one of the following chronic diseases: CVD (cardiovascular disease), cancer, CRD (chronic respiratory disease), or diabetes.
- One in 25 Canadian adults aged 20 years and older reported having a mood and anxiety disorder and at least one of the four major chronic diseases.
- Approximately four in five Canadian adults have at least one modifiable risk factor for chronic disease (self-reported tobacco smoking, physical inactivity, unhealthy eating and harmful use of alcohol).
- Physical inactivity, sedentary behaviours and obesity rates remain high, especially among children and youth . . . more than 90% of Canadian children are not meeting current physical activity guidelines in Canada.
Of course, these increasing disease rates come with increasing costs, as well. Just this year, CBC reported that Canada spent $15 billion in the last 5 years on prescription drugs. Part of this is due to drug marketing, and doctors prescribing “name brand” drugs instead of less expensive alternatives.
Let’s isolate this into a single category. The government of Canada actually has a calculator to estimate the financial burden of disease in Canada. If we calculate just the cost of doctor’s visits and drugs for anxiety disorders (across all ages), the total cost for men and women (as of 2008) is $1,539,059,600.
Other side effects include:
- transient drowsiness commonly experienced during the first few days of treatment
- a feeling of depression
- loss of orientation
- sleep disturbance
- memory impairment
On top of this, benzodiazepines can be habit forming and easy to become dependent on. For a drug that is designed to do something as basic as enhance GABA, there are many risks.
Natural products can achieve the same results, except without the added risks. We recently had a product return from someone who suffered from anxiety. She had been taking GABA and said that while it relieved her anxiety, it made her yawn. She said that this did not occur with other, less expensive brands, so she wanted to return the product.
Interestingly, yawning frequency is correlated with GABA; even if holding Life Choice GABA to the “other” side effects listed above, the first point states that transient drowsiness at the beginning of treatment is normal. Yet, for her, the inconvenience of yawning outweighed the reduction of anxiety.
We can compare our GABA to pharmaceutical grade GABA because we use pharmaceutical grade raw material. This is not the same as pharmaceutical prescription grade drugs with a host of side effects. Pharmaceutical grade is the quality assurance that the material is thoroughly tested, of the highest purity and produced under GMP manufacturing practices. Most pharmaceutical grade material is also USP; United States Pharmacopeia quality is the worldwide benchmark seal of approval that it is of the highest possible standard best for human consumption.
If you have a natural product with raw material that is as potent as pharmaceutical raw material, but without the “extras” that cause side effects, why would you not take it? Why pay so much for drugs that cover symptoms instead of supplements that address the cause?
Until we can do our homework on supplements and the difference quality makes, we may never know what could have been until it’s too late.