Not all supplements are created equal; sometimes it’s not even close. Last year NY Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman sent cease and desist letters to GNC, Target, Walgreens, and Walmart in response to the results from state-sponsored testing of various store brand supplements. The results of these tests showed that the store brand supplements tested contained contaminants not identified on the ingredient labels and that just 21% of the supplement tests identified DNA from plant species listed on the labels. That means 79% of the supplements tested DID NOT include DNA from the primary ingredient listed on the label—79%!
It’s well known that the supplement industry is poorly regulated and the onus is put on the FDA to inspect manufacturers to make sure that safe manufacturing processes are taken. The good news is that between January and September of 2012, the FDA was able to inspect 410 supplement manufacturers (about a 400% increase over the previous year); unfortunately, this only represents about 18% of the total supplement manufacturers out there. It can be a cat and mouse game to find the bad players in the industry, while making it difficult to ferret out the honest companies that deserve your business.
Since the year 1820, the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) has been the first and best line of defense in ensuring an FDA approved quality for all nutritional products. They are a scientific non-profit organization dedicated to the research and manufacturing of pure, potent, and safe Pharmaceutical Grade supplements.
In order for a supplement to be marked as Pharmaceutical Grade, the USP must test the raw materials, while also making sure they are accurate to the label by 99%+ with no “fillers” such as lactose and corn starch. “Fillers” can be harmful to those with allergies if they aren’t made aware.
So what separates Pharmaceutical Grade from your typical Food Grade supplements?
Food Grade (or Store Grade) is a basic human supplement or multivitamin that you can find lining the shelves of your local grocery or pharmacy. The sad truth is that a lot of Food Grade products can easily slip through the cracks and never be reviewed by the USP, so you never know how effective or safe they might be. Most companies manufacture Food Grade that contains 90% or less of the actual raw ingredients listed on their bottles, with the other 10% being stuffed with “fillers.” It’s also common for the companies to include unhealthy chemical dyes, dextrose, glycol, and sodium benzoate in their supplements, sometimes not even labeling them.
Keep a sharp eye out for that USP approved label, and you’ll be just fine.
The USP label guarantees a Pharmaceutical Grade supplement that you can depend on to give exactly the intended effects, without any of the impure ingredients to spoil the nutritional benefits. Don’t settle for anything less than Pharmaceutical Grade Supplements or you won’t be giving your body much needed essential ingredients.
In the great search for a healthy body and mind, we shouldn’t ignore the huge amounts of evidence that surrounds the products we buy. As consumers, we deserve a quality of life that comes with the highest standards of nutrition, and self-care.
Check out our pharmaceutical grade supplement line: Ferrigno Fuel!