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Pharmaceutical Grade Vitamins & Supplements

The use of dietary supplements has increased considerably in recent times—attributed largely to the growing awareness of the reduced nutrient content of foods grown in depleted soils, as well as the potential side effects from synthetic, prescription medications. Proper supplementation can help fill nutritional gaps in one’s diet, and address very specific imbalances within the body. With this increase in usage and demand has come the expected increase in supply and supplement brands to choose from.

While many manufacturers may sell a supplement labeled with the same vitamins and minerals, all supplements are not created equally and there are trusted brands offering pharmaceutical grade ingredients that are trusted and used by healthcare professionals. These high quality brands offer pure ingredients free of fillers, additives, contaminants, and are guaranteed to contain the nutrients listed on the labels, in the quantities specified and in the most bio-absorbable forms—these are considered to be pharmaceutical grade supplements.

You typically get what you pay for with supplements; the more expensive brands being the most pure, and the cheaper brands using extra fillers

Supplements are loosely regulated by the FDA as food products, and subject to much less scrutiny of efficacy than pharmaceutical drugs. Clinical trials aren’t required (as they are with prescription medication), which allow many manufacturers to get away with adding fillers and unwanted materials. The result, while you may have much easier access to supplements than prescription medications, you must pay much more attention to the quality of product you are getting.

When it comes to supplements, you get what you pay for with the more expensive brands being the most pure, and the cheaper brands using extra fillers, questionable inactive ingredients (which in the best case results in an inferior product), in the worst case these supplements can actually be harmful to your health.

As reported by The New York Times, a Canadian research group conducted a study among many different generic brand supplements, using DNA testing to verify their ingredients. They found that many of these supplements, most common to pharmacies, grocery and department stores, contained unlisted fillers, contaminants, completely different compounds than listed, and in some cases no active ingredients at all! They found that over 60% of the store brand supplements tested had incorrect labeling, and more than 50% of those tested didn’t contain the advertised ingredient! This study clearly demonstrated that the use of unproven supplements can not only be ineffective, but also dangerous.

Over 60% of the store brand supplements tested had incorrect labeling, and more than 50% of those tested didn’t contain the advertised ingredient!

With such a presence of inferior supplement products on the market, it is very important to make sure you are buying a high quality product from a highly-trusted manufacturer. There are many brands available that offer products that meet the requirements to be considered pharmaceutical grade supplements. These are supplements that are produced under rigorous laboratory conditions, tested for purity and potency of ingredients and finished product by independent laboratories, are are certified to be free of contaminants, allergens and other questionable ingredients. These supplements are regarded as the top-tier of quality within the vitamin and supplement world, and are often prescribed by Integrative Doctors as well as Holistic and Naturopathic Practitioners. These products are also offered with many synergistic compounds to increase the bio-availability of the active ingredient. This means that not only are pharmaceutical grade supplements ultra-pure, but in many instances they include compounds that make them significantly more absorbable thereby providing greater benefit. You can be sure that you will be getting only those ingredients listed on the labels in their most effective forms, and in the quantities referenced.

Why Pharmaceutical Grade Supplements are Important

pharmaceutical-grade-supplements-vs-standardQuality of Supplement Ingredients Matter

Our bodies are constantly working to produce the energy required to fuel our physical and mental activities, power our immune and detoxification systems, maintain healthy hormone levels and body weight, etc. In this way health is much like a balancing of scales, in that many things are inter-connected a deficiency (or excess) in one system or nutrient, may and often does affect another this as the body fights to maintain equilibrium. Dietary and nutritional supplementation is an effective means by which to fill the nutritional gaps in one’s diet and to address very specific imbalances within the body.

The complexity of the human body can often make narrowing down pathology and deficiencies a tricky business. That’s why we developed a science-based, personalized wellness program to not only help our clients regain their health, and improve their quality of life, but to achieve optimal performance. Functional lab testing is a crucial component in identifying the route cause of underlying health issues including nutritional deficiencies. When it comes to your health, we encourage you to test to assess… and not to guess. Click the link for information on our health and wellness program, Nourish Balance Thrive.

If you are taking supplements that aren’t considered to be pharmaceutical grade, you very well may be ingesting many more ingredients than you know, some of which may be hazardous to your health. If you have a negative reaction to this type of supplement, it can be difficult to determine if it is the active ingredient that is causing the issue, or if it is one of the “inactive” filler ingredients. Avoiding this type of peril is critical for those suffering from food allergies or food sensitivities. All true pharmaceutical-grade supplements are produced in a non-allergen facility that is free from dairy, eggs, wheat, gluten, nuts, and other ingredients viewed as common allergens. This means production equipment isn’t shared with food processing machines, nor produced in the same facility with other allergens. You’ve likely come across product labels indicating some variation of the following, “produced in a facility that also produces tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and dairy.” These are especially common to store brand food items, since manufacturers often use the same equipment to package all their products. You WILL NOT see this label on any supplement that is truly pharmaceutical-grade.

Trusted Supplement Manufacturers

Most health care professionals such as Integrative Doctors, Naturopaths, or Holistic Practitioners commonly prescribe these types of supplements to their patients—and often keep their own inventory. This is the best method of gaining access to these types of quality supplements—because it comes with the direction and consult of a trained professional.

You won’t find many of these pharmaceutical grade supplements online, in your local health-food store, or large chains such as GNC or The Vitamin Shoppe as their manufacturers strictly control their distribution and sales. You should never buy supplements online unless you are purchasing from a trusted provider, and you’ve confirmed with the supplement manufacturer that the retailer is licensed. Here’s the bottom line: If an above-board supplement or pharmaceutical drug is popular, you can bet someone, often in China or India, is counterfeiting it. One of the easiest ways to make a dishonest buck in the health and supplement world is to create a pill that mirrors a name-brand pharmaceutical drug or health supplement. Create lookalike packaging sell your counterfeit product on the Internet for a “discounted” price (on sites such as Amazon and eBay). The simple truth is it costs money to make quality dietary supplements such as vitamins, protein powders, fish oil capsules, energy bars, herbal blends, or sports nutrition products. “Bargain” vitamins and capsules are worthless at best, and at worst may cost you and your loved ones their health, and possibly their lives.

High quality brands will also have their version of most vitamins or supplements, as well as many other more specific options to choose from. When you get to this level of supplement quality, there are often several different versions of the same supplement; offered with different fortifying agents, different encapsulation methods, and several other variations used to ensure that these high-potency formulas are able to be utilized fully by your body. Many manufacturers also have specific targeted products: including men’s and women’s formulas, those for athletes who require additional nutritional support, formulas to address specific health or genetic issues, etc.


Pharmaceutical grade supplements offer themselves as powerful allies in the effort to help achieve, and maintain, a healthy balance. Health care professionals utilize these ultra-pure formulas to help ensure their patients receive the maximum benefit possible, without exposure to any unnecessary toxins, fillers, or otherwise unwanted ingredients.

If you are interested in learning more about this topic and discovering trusted pharmaceutical grade supplement manufacturers, I encourage you to check out our post The Best Supplement Brands: A Comprehensive Guide & Review, which compares the benefits of the leading supplement manufacturers on the market today.


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