Safeguarding Your Health: The Importance of Using Pharmaceutical Grade Supplements

Making healthy choices can be easy. Cheeseburger vs. protein shake. Jumping rope vs. skipping the workout. Sleeping for seven hours vs. pulling an all-nighter.

But when you start looking into the complex and daunting world of nutritional supplements, the choices can be confusing, misleading, expensive and even dangerous. Competition for your dollars is fierce in this multi-billion industry.

Marketers will use look-alike packaging and dubious unsubstantiated claims by “experts” to promote their untested and unregulated supplements. There are counterfeiters (domestic and foreign) who use expired products, relabeling and fillers such as sawdust to offer low-price supplements online. They may appear to be the deal of the century, but as is often the case, when the deal is too good to be true, it likely isn’t. And with online promotions, a global appeal can reach millions of unsuspecting consumers eager for bargain basement deals.

Rarely has the cautionary phrase “buyer beware” been more personal or valuable. We aren’t talking pirated DVDs or bogus concert tickets here, we are talking about pills and nutritional supplements that you intend to put INSIDE YOUR BODY on a regular basis, with the clear intention of doing your body some REAL GOOD.

Some experts in nutrition and quality control suggest that people should never purchase supplements from the big online sales groups such as Amazon and e-bay, with their bargains galore, but lack of quality control. Former FDA (Federal Drug Administration) special agent Gary Collins said, “Criminals are not moral, but they are often smart. They not only counterfeit health supplements, but also all of the paperwork that goes along with them. They have numerous distribution shell companies set up all over the world, so it is almost impossible to figure out the paperwork trail and the actual origins of these dangerous pills. The real-world result is that there are virtually no legal consequences to selling fake pills, capsules or vitamins, and the criminals know it.”

To get the best outcome with the least amount of risk, consumers should look for pharmaceutical grade supplements, which means they are 99 percent pure, with no binders, fillers, dyes, excipients or other unknown substances. They are also subject to high quality control standards during production and packaging, to ensure uncontaminated products. True pharmaceutical grade supplements are produced in an allergen-free facility with no exposure to products with dairy, gluten, wheat or nuts. If a supplement you are taking doesn’t specify this protection, and you have some kind of reaction, you won’t know if it’s the supplement or its processing that is causing the reaction.

Stacy Koski, R.N., B.S.N, is a nurse consultant and holistic nutrition specialist from Sarasota. She has seen a lot of good and not-so-good products over her years spent focusing on clients’ nutritional and pharmaceutical needs. She said, “The more synthetic components in a supplement, the less response one will receive. For example a B-12 supplement with filler will not provide the desired energy boost that you would expect to get from a pharmaceutical grade supplement. This industry’s regulations at this point are too lax and don’t provide the protections for consumers. It’s run more by lobbyists pursuing profits, not the scientists.” She added, “The cheaper the product, the more fillers and variables in the composition. Usually it’s just harmless, but you can’t be sure that some products aren’t actually harmful.”

The research to create and safely produce the pharmaceutical grade supplements does cost more, so you can realistically expect to pay more for these goods. But with that higher retail cost comes a lot of peace of mind. And you are worth it!