Vitamin Supplementation and Why Pharmaceutical Grade?

Vitamin Supplementation and Why Pharmaceutical Grade?

The decision to add vitamin and mineral supplements to your daily health
regime is often a confusing one, with many conflicting points of view coming from
the many resources and experts that are available to us. Even as a healthcare
provider, I find myself struggling with the often-divergent information.

When making this decision, it is also important to take into consideration
that the vitamin and supplement business is a multi-billion dollar industry. Claims
made as to the benefits of certain products are extreme and their marketing
techniques often make you feel that you must use their product if you want to be
healthy and free of disease. In addition, when there are so many different brands,
levels of cost and reports of efficacy or bioavailability (that being, just how much
of this vitamin or mineral is actually getting into the blood stream and benefiting
my system) how do you make a decision?

It would seem that common sense would lead us to believe that we should
be getting most of our nutritional needs met by our diets. However, recent
published information contradicts this notion and we must conclude that most of
us need to supplement to optimize our health. These concerns include the over
processing of our foods, soil nutrient depletion, and the fact that over 80% of the
American population does not consume the recommended 5 fruits and
vegetables a day required for optimal health. Even the American Medical
Association (AMA) has recently reversed its long standing opposition to a daily
vitamin supplement and now recognizes in their policy guidelines that insufficient
vitamin intake is a cause of many chronic diseases including cardiovascular
disease, cancer, and osteoporosis.

So the next questions are: What to take, what brand, how much, how
often? That is very hard to answer, especially in the United States. Currently
there are no US regulations that enforce a minimum standard of practice for the
manufacturing of dietary supplements within the United States. This lack of
regulatory oversight has created a market that allows the production and sale of
potentially substandard, inferior products. There are also well-publicized
analyses of commercial supplements showing considerable variation in
ingredient quality and quantity. To address this concern, I have chosen to
recommend and make available to my clients, pharmaceutical grade
supplements. Pharmaceutical grade is the highest quality grade of supplements;
meaning the purity, dissolution and absorption meet the highest regulatory
standard verified by an outside party. Pharmaceutical grade vitamins and
supplements may be available without a prescription, but they are typically only
sold by licensed health care practitioners. This also assures that you are getting
the most for your healthcare dollar. If you have decided to add supplements to
promote health and prevent disease than taking a pharmaceutical grade
supplement allows you to have confidence that your choice will lead to the
desired goal.

Bothell Women’s Health