Pharmaceutical Grade

What is the difference between ‘food grade’ and ‘pharmaceutical grade’?

Food grade means -the label of a product can list the names and quantity of vitamins and minerals that the supplement contain,  but it does not necessarily have to contain what it states in the label of the product .

The nutritional supplement companies are not required to follow any standard quality manufacturing. Mostly they contain 20% of the listed ingredients. I always thought, what you see is what you get when it comes to nutritional supplement, am I in for a shock!!

The pharmaceutical grade means whatever listed has to be contained in the product no questions asked. If you buy a panadol, it does tell you in the label how much paracetamol it contains and that is a fact.

It goes for supplements too. We need to find quality supplements for the money we spend not the quantity. Quantity is the one we consider when we talk about value for money. Giving our body the complete, high quality and balanced nutrition is the low-cost health insurance policy that we can ever purchase.

Pharmaceutical-Grade Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)

Presently, nutritional supplement companies are not required to follow any standard of quality manufacturing. They are basically unregulated. Even if they follow what is known as food-grade Good Manufacturing Practices(GMP), they are only required to have about 20% of what they say is on the label actually in the tablet. Unless you take supplements from a nutritional company that follows pharmaceutical-grade Good Manufacturing Practices, you really have no assurance that what is on the label is actually in the tablet. Companies that voluntarily (they are not required by law to do this) produce their products in a pharmaceutical-grade fashion are required to have 100% of what is on the label in the tablet. In fact, some will even guarantee their potency.

I always encourage my patients to take pharmaceutical-grade nutritional supplements. This is the only way I can be assured that my patients receive what I recommend. When my patients bring a particular bottle of supplements into my office and want me to evaluate what they are taking, I must first determine that the supplements are pharmaceutical-grade. If they are not, there is really no need for me to even look at the label. There is no way I could actually know what patients are getting.

Dr Ray Strand
Nutritional Specialist

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