Understanding Practitioner-Only Products: What You Need to Know

You may have heard “practitioner-only products” and wondered what it means. This blog will explore practitioner-only products and how they differ from traditional retail products.


What Are Practitioner-Only Products?

Practitioner-only products are typically high-quality, potent supplements only available through qualified healthcare practitioners. The idea behind the “practitioner-only” designation is simple: these products are manufactured to maximise impact and effectiveness and should, therefore, only be accessed under the supervision of a qualified health professional.


Quality: Ingredients, Bioavailability, and Excipients

Practitioner products are generally higher quality and more potent, but what does that mean? Quality can vary significantly due to many factors, including active ingredients, encapsulation, dosage, molecular weight, excipients used, conditions a plant is cultivated, and supporting evidence.

Here are three key areas to consider:

1.  Ingredients

The mineral’s form may enhance mineral absorption and bioavailability. Chelated minerals are minerals bound to a chelating agent designed to enhance their absorption in your body. In general, animal studies indicate that chelated minerals are absorbed more effectively. A therapeutic dose of co-factors and ingredients is also essential.

2. Bioavailability

Bioavailability is influenced by many factors from both the host (human) and the supplement itself. Bioavailability refers to how efficiently your body can use a nutrient. Maintaining a healthy gut is vitally important for proper nutrient synthesis and absorption. Other factors, including diet, nutrient concentration, nutritional status, health, and life stage also influence bioavailability.

3. Excipients

Excipients are selected for product formulation across the pharmaceutical and complementary medicine industries. Depending on the medication/supplement type, excipients may be nil to low. Each excipient serves a specific purpose for properly performing supplement dose and form.


Effectiveness and Accessibility

Practitioner-only products are not as accessible to the general public as they are designed specifically for dispensing by a healthcare professional following section 42AA of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989. As practitioner products are generally more potent, this lends itself to supervised use under the instruction of a qualified health professional.


Retail vs. Practitioner-Only Products: A Comparison

Let’s take a look at a comparison of a retail calcium supplement and a practitioner-only calcium supplement:

Retail (Brand A Calcium) vs. Practitioner-Only (Brand B Calcium)

Ingredient Types

Calcium supplements contain different kinds of calcium salts. Each salt contains varying amounts of elemental calcium. The most common calcium supplements are calcium carbonate (40% elemental calcium) or calcium citrate (21% elemental calcium).


The human body must be able to absorb calcium so that it is bioavailable and effective. Calcium carbonate requires more hydrochloric acid for its absorption than other calcium forms and can deplete the body’s hydrochloric acid supplies.

Side Effects

Calcium carbonate supplements tend to be cheaper, contain the highest amount of elemental calcium, and are often associated with gastrointestinal side effects, including constipation, flatulence and bloating.



Practitioner-only products are typically more effective in higher quality and should be taken with a specific context in mind. They are designed to be used under the supervision of a qualified health professional to ensure safety risks are minimised, and products are appropriate for an individual’s specific health needs.

It’s important to consult with a qualified health professional to determine which type of supplement is right for you.

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