Supplements: A scorecard - Harvard Health (2023)

Supplements: A scorecard - Harvard Health (1)

Dietary supplements are wildly popular. About half the adult population take at least one supplement. It's easy to understand why supplements are such big sellers. The public has a legitimate desire for good health, and the supplement industry has a strong desire for good sales.

Medications are regulated by the FDA. Before a prescription or over-the-counter drug can be sold in the United States, the manufacturer must submit data supporting its safety and efficacy, and after the medication is approved, the FDA continues to monitor adverse reactions. Even with all these safeguards, problems still occur, prompting the FDA to withdraw many medications and to require strong warning labels on others.

The Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act restricts the FDA's ability to regulate products marketed as "dietary supplements," even though most people buy them for health, not nutrition. Manufacturers can sell these products without submitting evidence of their purity, potency, safety, or efficacy.

For most claims made on product labels, the law does not require evidence that the claim is accurate or truthful. In fact, the FDA's first opportunity to weigh in comes only after a product is marketed, when it can take action against products that are adulterated, misbranded, or likely to produce injury or illness. Since nearly all supplements are used without medical supervision or monitoring, most of the estimated 50,000 adverse reactions that occur in the United States each year go unreported.

How do we really know?

If a supplement's label or ads won't give you reliable information, how can you find out if a supplement can help — or, for that matter, hurt? Although it's a slow process, careful, objective medical studies provide the guidance that counts.

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In most cases, scientific investigations of supplements start with simple observational studies, in which researchers compare the health status of folks who take a particular supplement with the health of people who don't take the supplement. It's an important effort, but the results don't always hold up. So the next step is to conduct randomized clinical trials, in which volunteers are assigned by lot to take either the supplement or an identical-looking placebo ("dummy pill") while researchers track their health. In the best studies, neither the volunteers nor the researchers know who is getting the real thing until the code is broken at the end of the trial.

What do we know?

Everyone wants to know if supplements can help. It's a good question. Here's where we stand today — but you should keep an eye out for new results, since recommendations will change as scientific studies trickle in. Unfortunately, in most cases, the studies have failed to confirm our hopes, though there are exceptions.

Many people take supplements in the belief that they will preserve health or ward off illness; many others use supplements in an attempt to treat specific conditions that have already developed. We'll have a look at popular supplements in both categories, starting with preventive supplements used principally by healthy people.

Supplements for prevention

Vitamin D. To get vitamin D the old-fashioned way, by producing it in the skin, we need lots of sunshine. But as work has shifted from the farm to the office and as we've learned to use sunscreens to reduce the risk of skin cancer and wrinkles, many people lack sufficient amounts of the "sunshine vitamin." Older adults, patients with chronic illnesses, and people of color are at particular risk.

Vitamin D is needed to absorb calcium from the intestines; that's why vitamin D is so important for healthy bones. Current guidelines call for 600 IU (international units) a day below age 71 and 800 IU a day thereafter. But many experts recommend 800 to 1,000 IU a day for most adults; daily doses up to 4,000 IU are considered safe, but more can be toxic.

It's very hard to get the vitamin D you need from your diet; oily fish and fortified dairy products are the only important sources. So supplements do make good sense for most adults. The form known as vitamin D3 is usually recommended, but D2 is also effective; for best results, take your vitamin D along with a meal that has some fat. If you want to be sure you need this supplement, ask for a blood test; levels of at least 30 nanograms per milliliter are considered best.

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Antioxidants. Vitamin E, vitamin A, beta carotene, and vitamin C were the favorites of the 1980s and early '90s. But many careful randomized clinical trials have not shown any benefit against heart disease, cancer, or other illnesses. And that's not the worst of it. In fact, even moderately high doses of vitamin A increase the risk of hip fractures, and high levels of vitamin A have been linked to an increased risk of prostate cancer; beta carotene increases lung cancer risk in smokers; and vitamin E increases the risk of prostate cancer and has been linked to an increase in respiratory infections, heart failure, and the overall death rate.

Do not take antioxidant supplements. One exception: people with moderate or advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) benefit from special antioxidant supplements that also contain zinc. Unfortunately, though, this preparation does nothing to prevent AMD in people who have healthy eyes.

The B vitamins

Vitamin B12 is found only in animal-based foods, so strict vegetarians may need supplements. In addition, many older people don't make enough of the stomach acid that's needed to liberate B12 from animal products so it can be absorbed. But B12 is also added to fortified grain products and other foods, and this synthetic B12 is easy to absorb even without stomach acid. That means a single bowl of cereal can provide your RDA of 2.4 micrograms (mcg) a day. Still, if your fortified grain consumption is erratic, a B12 supplement is reasonable.

Folate is more complex. The vitamin is essential for the production of red blood cells, and it has an important role in DNA production and in repairing defects in the genetic code. Although folate is present in a variety of leafy green vegetables, fruits, legumes, and meats, until the late 1990s, many Americans didn't get their RDA of 400 mcg from foods — and folate deficiencies during pregnancy sharply increase the risk of devastating birth defects. That's why the U.S. and Canadian governments issued regulations mandating folic acid fortification of all grain products (including cereal, bread, flour, pasta, and rice) from 1998 onward.

Folate fortification has eased the birth defect problem, but obstetricians still recommend supplements for women who are trying to conceive or who are already pregnant.

Multivitamins. Despite their iconic status, there is no evidence that multivitamins enhance health and well-being or prevent illness.

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Without disputing these conclusions, many doctors have continued recommending (and taking) multivitamins. One rationale is that they are a convenient and inexpensive way to get vitamin D — but most preparations provide just 400 IU, much less than the 800 to 1,000 IU currently in favor.

Other supplements

Fish oil. For years, doctors have known that people who eat fish regularly enjoy some protection against heart disease and stroke. For people with cardiovascular disease who don’t eat fish regularly, taking a fish oil supplement is reasonable. But check with your doctor first. People who eat fish at least twice a week are not likely to benefit from extra fish oil.

If you decide to take fish oil, don't choose fish liver oil, which has too much vitamin A.

Fiber. Most people think of fiber supplements as a treatment for constipation. But a high intake of fiber has many potential benefits for several health conditions, ranging from heart disease and obesity to hernias, varicose veins, and diverticulitis. The National Academy of Medicine recommends 38 grams of fiber a day for men younger than 50, 30 grams a day for older men, 25 grams a day for women younger than 50, and 21 grams a day for women over 50. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds are the best sources of fiber, but many people need supplements to meet these goals. If you need supplementary fiber, consider psyllium, which has the added benefit of lowering cholesterol levels.

Selenium. Few men had heard of this mineral until 1996, when American researchers reported that it appeared to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Subsequent reports were mixed, raising doubts. Then in 2009, a 35,553-man multinational trial of selenium and vitamin E, alone or in combination, reported that neither selenium nor vitamin E had any benefit against prostate cancer. Selenium also appears to increase the risk of diabetes, and earlier studies dashed preliminary hopes that the supplement might protect against heart attacks. Selenium is not for you.

Supplements for prevention?

It's a disappointing scorecard. Most people stand to benefit from vitamin D, many from fiber, and some from fish oil. And sorry to say, popular supplements used to treat medical problems fare no better.

(Video) The dangers of dietary supplements

For further information

National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Office of Dietary Supplements

Food and Drug Administration

Buyer beware

It's often hard to balance sober scientific judgments against simple, forceful claims for health in a pill. If you are considering taking a supplement, here are a few cautions:

  • Beware of extravagant claims; if it sounds too good to be true, it is usually not true.
  • Beware of testimonials and endorsements, especially from celebrities. Even the most sincere, well-meaning success stories offered by friends and relatives without financial incentives can't establish a product's safety or efficacy.
  • Beware of the idea that if a little is good, more is better. Although vitamin A is essential for health, for example, doses that exceed the RDA (3,000 IU a day for men, 2,330 IU for women) increase the risk of fractures. And as noted above, a high intake of folic acid may increase the risk of certain tumors.
  • Beware of meaningless terms. The list includes all-natural, antioxidant-rich, clinically proven, anti-aging, and other vague but seductive claims that a product will promote heart health, prostate health, sexual prowess, energy, weight loss, fat loss, muscle power, and the like.
  • Beware of interactions between supplements and medications. A survey of over 3,000 people ages 57 through 85 found that 49% used at least one supplement, 81% used at least one prescription medication, and 37% of men over 74 used five or more prescription drugs. Always tell your doctors and pharmacists about any supplements you take and ask specifically about potential interactions with your prescription and over-the-counter medications.
  • Beware of adulterated products. The FDA has withdrawn over 140 products that were laced with undisclosed pharmaceutical ingredients. Products touted for sexual performance, weight loss, and athletic performance are the most likely to be contaminated with medications.
  • Beware of products that contain less — or more — than they claim. Since you won't have the protection of FDA oversight, it's hard for you to know what you're actually getting. In general, products that are voluntarily submitted for approval by private organizations like the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) or NSF International are your best bet.

Supplements, not substitutes

Until (or unless) better oversight is available, supplements are likely to remain the Wild West of American health. At present, only a few are likely to help, some may do more harm than good, and most will be little more than expensive disappointments. But false hopes can be toxic in their own right if they keep you from taking good care of yourself or getting the medical care you need. So even if you take supplements, be sure to eat well, exercise regularly, and work with your doctor to keep your cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar in good control. And while you're seeing your doctor for check-ups, screening tests, and treatments, be sure to tell him about all your supplements. Many people are reluctant to tell physicians that they use alternative or complementary therapies, but full disclosure is important for health, particularly since supplements can have adverse interactions with medications.

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Can supplements be pharmaceutical grade? ›

Also referred to as pharmaceutical grade supplements, medical grade supplements are labeled as such because they're held to the same pharmaceutical grade standards as FDA regulated drugs.

What is the healthiest supplement to take? ›

Top 5 Supplements for Optimal Health
  • Multivitamin. A good quality multivitamin is one of the most important supplements for optimal health. ...
  • Fish Oil. Fish oil supplements provide the body with essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for regulating inflammation. ...
  • Magnesium. ...
  • Vitamin D. ...
  • Probiotics.

Do you need a daily supplement Harvard health? ›

"Supplements are never a substitute for a balanced, healthful diet," says Dr. JoAnn Manson, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and professor of epidemiology at Harvard's T.H. Chan School of Public Health. "And they can be a distraction from healthy lifestyle practices that confer much greater benefits."

What supplements are not a waste of money? ›

6 Supplements that Aren't a Waste of Money
  • Multi-vitamin. Like I said, if you eat fruits and vegetables and a variety of healthy, whole foods you probably are getting plenty of your vital vitamins and minerals. ...
  • BCAA. ...
  • Fish Oil. ...
  • Creatine Monohydrate. ...
  • Whey Protein. ...
  • Probiotic.

What makes a supplement medical grade? ›

Supplements must meet the USP, or the United States Pharmacopeia standards. The USP provides assurance to consumers of the purity of the capsule. It must contain in excess of 99% of the ingredients stated.

Why won't the FDA approve supplements? ›

In general, FDA is limited to postmarket enforcement because, unlike drugs that must be proven safe and effective for their intended use before marketing, there are no provisions in the law for FDA to approve dietary supplements for safety before they reach the consumer.

What is the number 1 supplement brand? ›

Best overall vitamin brand: Nature Made

The company website states that U.S. Pharmacopeia tests its products for purity and potency. As a result, this product meets key standards for ingredients, safety, reputation, and price. Nature Made offers vitamins and supplements with USP verification.

What is the most trustworthy vitamin company? ›

Thorne Research tops our list as a trustworthy and reputable vitamin supplement brand. Thorne partners with various research organizations, such as the National Institutes of Health, the Mayo Clinic, and the Cleveland Clinic, testing many of their products via clinical trials to ensure safety and efficacy.

What is the number 1 nutritional supplement in the world? ›

Nutrilite is the world's No. 1 selling vitamins and dietary supplements brand. * It is a vitamin and dietary supplement brand that provides a complete range of nutrition and well-being products, including essential vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, herbal supplements, sports nutrition and meal replacements.

What are the only supplements you really need? ›

When should you supplement?
  • Multi vitamin – dosage dependant – daily mid meal x2 per day.
  • Zinc – daily - Morning and evening pre-meal.
  • Magnesium – tri dosage – late afternoon, evening and pre-bed (increasing dosages).
  • Omega 3 –daily – throughout day – mid meal.
  • D3 – x2 per week in a boulders dose.

How much do you spend on supplements a month? ›

On average, Americans spend $68.30 on supplements every month and over $49,000 in supplements over their adult lives - you could buy a Tesla, Model 3 of course, with that kind of money!

Can I take 5 different vitamins at once? ›

You can—but it's probably not a good idea. For some supplements, optimal absorption can depend on the time of day taken. Not only that—taking certain vitamins, minerals, or other supplements together can also reduce absorption and may result in adverse interactions, which can be harmful to your health.

What supplements should you not take too much of? ›

Dwyer says vitamin D, calcium, and folic acid are three nutrients you may get too much of, especially through supplements. Adults who regularly far exceed the 4,000 international units (IUs) daily safe upper limit for vitamin D might may end up with serious heart problems.

Are fish oils a waste of money? ›

If you don't have heart disease, eating two servings of fatty fish weekly or following a healthy vegetarian diet rich in nuts, legumes, and healthy oils makes more sense than spending money on over-the-counter fish oil supplements.

What supplements are a waste of time? ›

5 Supplements That Are a "Total Waste of Time"
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids.
  • Multivitamin.
  • Collagen.
  • Beta-Carotene.
  • Selenium.
5 Mar 2022

What would be considered a supplement? ›

Supplements are ingested and come in many forms, including tablets, capsules, soft gels, gel caps, powders, bars, gummies, and liquids. Common supplements include: Vitamins (such as multivitamins or individual vitamins like vitamin D and biotin). Minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, and iron).

How do you know if a supplement is of high quality? ›

Yeung says that a good way to ensure that a dietary supplement is of high quality and not contaminated or adulterated with other materials is to purchase products with labels indicating they have been tested by either the independent, nonprofit US Pharmacopoeial (USP) Convention Dietary Supplement Verification Program ...

What makes a supplement high quality? ›

The supplement contains what's stated on the label and in the amounts listed. Products are standardized from batch to batch. The supplement is free of harmful levels of contaminants or other potential drug contaminants. The product doesn't contain any undeclared ingredients.

Are there any FDA-approved supplements? ›

The FDA doesn't approve dietary supplements.

15, 1994). Dietary supplement companies must ensure their products are safe before marketing and comply with other labeling and quality requirements, such as good manufacturing practices. The FDA inspects facilities for compliance and monitors adverse event reports.

Is it OK to take something not FDA-approved? ›

Unapproved medication

There are still some medications that have never been approved by the FDA for any use. No one should take these drugs. If a medication has never been through the FDA approval process, we don't know enough about it to know if it is safe.

Why is CBD not a dietary supplement? ›

However, the agency is not aware of any evidence that CBD or THC were marketed in conventional foods or dietary supplements prior to being subject to substantial clinical investigations. Therefore, both CBD and THC are excluded from the dietary supplement definition and cannot be sold or marketed as such.

What is the top 5 supplement brands? ›

  • HOME.
  • Brands. Brands (A – D) ABSN. Adreno Nutraceuticals. AP Sports. AS-IT-IS. Blackmores. Bold Care. Bolt. Calibar. Dexter Jackson. Dr. Morepen. Brand (D – I) Dr. Vaidya's. Dragon Pharma. Dynami Nutrition. Elite Labs. Evogen Nutrition. Evlution Nutrition. FA Core. Gaspari. ...
  • Collagen. Biotin.
  • Protein Powders.
  • Magazine. Authenticate.

What supplement companies can I trust? ›

The following are five of the best affordable supplement companies that are very trustworthy:
  • Solgar.
  • NOW Foods.
  • Source Naturals.
  • Nature's Way.
  • Country Life.
30 Nov 2021

What is the most popular supplement taken in the US? ›

According to recent National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) data, which the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS)—part of the CDC—regularly collects from people across the country, multivitamins, vitamin D, and omega-3 supplements are the most popular of all the options out there, among ...

What vitamin companies are owned by China? ›

vitamin industry

A News Corp investigation has found as share prices soar and Chinese consumers flock to Australian vitamin brands to avoid contamination risks, two of our biggest vitamin companies — Swisse and Vitaco — are now Chinese owned.

Is one brand of vitamins better than another? ›

For that reason, researchers and scientists say paying more for a name brand won't necessarily buy you better vitamins. “When we measure levels of vitamins in the blood, we find the levels are the same whether the person was taking a generic brand or a name brand,” says Dr.

Who is the world's number one selling vitamin and dietary supplement brand? ›

Nutrilite is World's No. 1 Selling Vitamins & Dietary Supplements Brand.*

Are supplements just a waste of money? ›

After reviewing more than 80 previous studies, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force says there is not enough evidence for or against taking most vitamin and mineral supplements, including multivitamins, to prevent cancer, heart disease, or death, unless someone has a real deficiency.

Do any supplements actually work? ›

But unlike medicines, supplements can't claim to cure, treat or prevent a disease. “There's little evidence that any supplement can reverse the course of any chronic disease,” says Hopp. “Don't take supplements with that expectation.” Evidence does suggest that some supplements can enhance health in different ways.

What supplements do doctors recommend? ›

10 Vitamins And Supplements Doctors Take Daily
  • Vitamin C. “Vitamin C is a super antioxidant that fights free radicals, supports the immune system, and aids in collagen production,” explains dermatologist Gary Goldfaden, M.D. ...
  • B-Complex. ...
  • Vitamin D. ...
  • Omega-3 Fish Oil. ...
  • Zinc. ...
  • Probiotics. ...
  • Turmeric. ...
  • Hemp Protein.
11 Oct 2019

How many months should I take supplements? ›

It's going to take between 6 weeks and 3 months to correct most nutritional deficiencies. Another good example is iron – it takes 3 months for the human body to make new red blood cells. So as a general rule we usually aim for 3 months of supplementation.

What percentage of Americans take a daily supplement? ›

Poll finds 86% of Americans take vitamins or supplements yet only 21% have a confirmed nutritional deficiency.

What vitamins Cannot be taken together? ›

What vitamins should not be taken together?
  • Magnesium and calcium. ...
  • Iron and green tea. ...
  • Vitamin C and B12. ...
  • Fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. ...
  • Vitamin D, vitamin K2, and other fat-soluble vitamins. ...
  • Magnesium and vitamin D3. ...
  • Copper and zinc. ...
  • Omega-3s and vitamin E.
21 Oct 2022

Can I take vitamin D at night? ›

While the best timing has not been established, scientific data to confirm anecdotal reports that supplementing at night may interfere with sleep is unavailable. Current research suggests you can fit vitamin D into your routine whenever you prefer.

Which vitamins work best together? ›

5 Nutrients to Take – or Avoid Taking – Together for Best Absorption
  • Nutrient Absorption Guidelines.
  • Pair: Iron + Vitamin C.
  • Pair: Vitamin D + Calcium.
  • Pair: Vitamin B12 + Folate.
  • Pair: Vitamin D + Omega-3s.
  • Avoid: Iron + Calcium.
20 Sept 2019

Which vitamin is toxic in large amounts? ›

Vitamin D toxicity, also called hypervitaminosis D, is a rare but potentially serious condition that occurs when you have excessive amounts of vitamin D in your body. Vitamin D toxicity is usually caused by large doses of vitamin D supplements — not by diet or sun exposure.

What vitamins can you overdo? ›

Any ingredient in a multiple vitamin supplement can be toxic in large amounts, but the most serious risk comes from iron or calcium. Additional risks are associated with large or toxic doses of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin A.

What should you not take with magnesium? ›

Magnesium can decrease the absorption and effectiveness of numerous medications, including some common antibiotics such as tetracycline (Achromycin, Sumycin), demeclocycline (Declomycin), doxycycline (Vibramycin), minocycline (Minocin), ciprofloxacin (Cipro), levofloxacin (Levaquin), moxifloxacin (Avelox) and ofloxacin ...

What vitamins are a waste of money? ›

The studies examined some of the most common dietary supplements on the market—vitamins A, E, and D, calcium, beta-carotene, and a standard multivitamin—and found that they all do essentially nothing when it comes to preventing cancer, cardiovascular disease, or death.

Do doctors still recommend fish oil? ›

Adding Omega-3s to Your Diet

The American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least once a week. Some studies have shown greater benefit from getting omega-3s from food as opposed to supplements. If you're a fish-lover — or just don't feel like taking fish oil in pill form — that's fine.

What are 3 healthy supplements that one should take every day? ›

Top 5 Supplements for Optimal Health
  • Multivitamin. A good quality multivitamin is one of the most important supplements for optimal health. ...
  • Fish Oil. Fish oil supplements provide the body with essential omega-3 fatty acids, which are important for regulating inflammation. ...
  • Magnesium. ...
  • Vitamin D. ...
  • Probiotics.

What is the most studied supplement of all time? ›

As one of the most studied supplements, creatine has been shown to provide several benefits for sports performance and health.

Are magnesium supplements a waste of money? ›

Furthermore, Haitham Ahmed, a preventive cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic, says that magnesium supplementation has not been proven helpful for most people. “No large clinical trials have shown routine supplementation to significantly improve blood pressure, reduce heart disease risk, or reduce diabetes risk,” he says.

Are supplements a pharmaceutical product? ›

Dietary supplements are regulated by the FDA as food, not as drugs. However, many dietary supplements contain ingredients that have strong biological effects which may conflict with a medicine you are taking or a medical condition you may have.

What does pharmaceutical grade mean in supplements? ›

Pharmaceutical grade – These are raw materials that meet the pharmaceutical standards for manufacturing. They are highly pure and contain no binders, fillers, or other unknown substances. Food grade – These materials meet the standards for safe human ingestion and can safely come into direct contact with food products.

What are pharmaceutical grade products? ›

A drug, biologic, or reagent that is approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in humans or animals or for which a chemical purity standard has been established by the United States Pharmacopeia-National Formulary (USP-NF), or British Pharmacopeia (BP).

What is considered pharmaceutical grade? ›

Pharmaceutical-grade substance: means any active or inactive drug, biologic, reagent, etc., manufactured under Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) which is approved, conditionally approved, or indexed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or for which a chemical purity standard has been written or established by a ...

Does the FDA approve any supplements? ›

The FDA doesn't approve dietary supplements.

The FDA is not authorized to approve dietary supplements for safety and effectiveness. In fact, many dietary supplements can be marketed without even notifying the FDA.

What's the difference between a supplement and a vitamin? ›

Vitamins are a type of supplement. Other types of supplements include minerals, herbs, or nutrients like fiber.” Dietary supplements typically contain a combination of these nutrients, as well as phytonutrients like carotenoids, or antioxidants, and flavonoids.

Does the FDA regulate any supplements? ›

FDA regulates both finished dietary supplement products and dietary ingredients. FDA regulates dietary supplements under a different set of regulations than those covering "conventional" foods and drug products.

How do I know if my supplements are good quality? ›

Look for the USP or ConsumerLab label

“A USP-verified product means it contains the listed ingredients at the strength indicated — and is not contaminated with any other substances, such as heavy metals or microbes,” Dr. Yeung explains.

What does an A rating for a generic drug mean? ›

Codes start with the letter A or B and contain at least two letters. A-rated drugs (e.g., AB) have been determined to be bioequivalent to the brand drug, and B-rated drugs (e.g., BX) are considered not to be bioequivalent.

What certifications should I look for when buying supplements? ›

Vitamin & Supplement Buyer's Guide: How to Find Products & Brands You Can Trust
  • NSF Certification.
  • USDA Organic Certification.
  • United States Pharmacopeia (USP, USP-NF)
  • Non-GMO Certification.
  • NPA GMP Certification.
  • Standardized Ingredients.
17 Nov 2019

What brands of vitamins are pharmaceutical grade? ›

“Some pharmaceutical-grade brands include Klaire Labs, Designs for Health, Ortho Molecular, and Metagenics. It is important to look for and avoid fillers, including dyes that make supplements less optimally absorbed.

Is USP a grade? ›

USP grade meets or exceeds requirements of the United States Pharmacopeia (USP). This grade is acceptable for food, drug, or medicinal use. It is also used for most laboratory purposes, but the USP being followed should always be reviewed prior to beginning to ensure the grade is appropriate for that methodology.

Is USP grade the same as pharmaceutical grade? ›

In short, USP is the same as pharmaceutical grade. If you are looking for pharmaceutical grade chemicals and solvents in bulk for the production of hand sanitizer, or other personal care products Ecolink can help. Ecolink is a trusted, environmentally-friendly bulk supplier of high purity chemicals.

What is Class A area in pharma? ›

The Grade A area is dedicated to high-risk operations such as fill/finish (filling zone), stopper bowls, open ampoules, vials, and making aseptic connections.

Does USP mean pharmaceutical grade? ›

The USP or US Pharmacopeia is the organization that sets the bar for potency and purity of chemicals in order for them to be considered pharmaceutical grade, which is a very high purity grade of chemical or solvent that is safe to be used in many pharmaceutical and personal care products.

How do I find out my pharmaceutical grade? ›

However, for vitamin supplements to be categorized as pharmaceutical grade, they should surpass 99% purity, shouldn't contain binders, dyes, fillers, and inactive ingredients. This explains why pharmaceutical-grade supplements are less than 3%.


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