What is Pharmaceutical Grade?
The Difference Between Pharmaceutical Supplements and Over-the-Counter
You’ve heard the term “pharmaceutical-grade,” but what does it mean, really? Let’s dive into the ABC’s of this important term when it comes to your health, and why it is legally different than what you will find on the shelves of your typical store.
A pharmaceutical-grade compound (PGC) is defined as “any active or inactive drug, biologic or reagent, for which a chemical purity standard has been established by a recognized national or regional pharmacopeia (e.g., the United States Pharmacopeia (USP).”
In plain English, this basically comes down to the purity of the product you are putting into your body. Pharmaceutical-grade products – such as ProFunction – are designed and produced to be in a supplement’s purest form. This allows maximum nutrient absorption in the body, which is why we take these supplements in the first place, right? By USP standards, pharma products must be at least 99 percent pure, meaning the main ingredients are natural sources that do not contain binders or fillers such as cork, dyes or unknown substances (yes, these things do exist!). Less than 3 percent of nutritional supplements on the market are pharmaceutical-grade, which is why pure products like ProFunction may cost a bit more due to the strenuous regulations and quality control that ensure products are clean and pure.
Over the counter (OTC) vitamins and supplements are available in masses in two different grades, and can contain fillers and unknown substances such as cork by products, chemical FD&C dyes, sodium benzoate and dextrose. These are all legal ingredients, however they contain no nutritional benefits, instead taking up space where effective, pure ingredients should be.
Aging of supplements and vitamins are also a factor, as just like food, they lose nutrition potency over time. Medical issues can even develop over the years of consuming poor quality raw materials that may have been improperly produced or stored in transit. This is why it is important to trust your provider, and know that products meet standards of nutrition to put in your main powerhouse – your own body.
If the product is not manufactured properly, side effects can also occur, which is why it is important to know what you are putting in your body. Good manufacturing practices can also affect how nutritional products works. Be brand specific, and when you find a vitamin or product you like, stick with it.
The additional price tag on pharma supplements is well worth it when it comes to your health. Investing in your body means getting quality products that will absorb properly, giving you the nutrients you need fast.