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Functional Medicine, Pharmacy, supplements, Wellness

Are Pharmaceutical-Grade Supplements Worth the Investment?

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Functional Medicine, Pharmacy, supplements, Wellness

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We hear it all the time… “aren’t supplements all the same?” or “there’s a cheaper one at my local drugstore.”

If you care about your health and what you put in your body, then you need to be investing in high-quality, pharmaceutical-grade supplements. With new supplement brands popping up each day and counterfeit supplements being found on Amazon.com or Ebay, it’s hard to know what you can trust.  And cheap, drug store brand supplements are generally a waste of your money.

It’s important to do your research and find a respected, pharmaceutical-grade nutritional supplement brand – one that can trace the process of a supplement from the time it was a bulk raw material, to when it is in your hand.

1. Pharmaceutical-Grade Means 99% Pure

Dietary supplements have to be pure. It must not contain binders, fillers, dyes, or other unknown substances.

Why does this matter? There are several recent studies showing a lack of transparency from certain supplements, including those available in places like Walmart, Target, GNC, and Walgreens. In some cases, herbal supplements contained no traceable herb that it was being marketed as. In other instances, supplements contained wheat or beans without listing them on the label,  which can cause severe allergic reactions for some people.

2. Pharmaceutical-Grade Companies follow Certified Good Manufacturing Practices

Pharmaceutical-grade supplements are manufactured in FDA-registered facilities that follow Certified Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP) protocol. cGMP is a system for ensuring that products are consistently produced and controlled according to quality standards. It is designed to minimize the risks involved in any pharmaceutical production that cannot be eliminated through testing the final product.

3. Ingredients Undergo Quality Control

The raw materials for pharmaceutical grade supplements are 3rd party tested for quality and purity and then tested throughout the manufacturing process. Often times, these companies will use multiple third party labs to ensure quality control.

4. Products Are More Likely to be Free of Allergens

Pharmaceutical grade supplement companies generally attempt to minimize the use of fillers and allergens. For example, Pure Encapsulations creates hypoallergenic supplements that are tested to ensure they are free from wheat, gluten, eggs, peanuts, trans fats, hydrogenated oils, GMOS, magnesium stearate, coatings and shellacs, artificial colors, flavors, and sweeteners, unnecessary binders, fillers, and preservatives.

5. Many Companies Offer Clinical Studies For Their Products.

Many pharmaceutical-grade companies work with medical practitioners, labs, and universities in order to execute clinical trials that have the ability to demonstrate the effectiveness of their specific formula. Xymogen, for instance, has Doctor’s Reference Sheets available for all of their products.

6. Trustworthy Source

Many Pharmaceutical Grade supplements, are considered professional-grade, and are only available through licensed health care professionals.

At Hill Country Apothecary, we have licensed pharmacists on staff. You know that our products are carefully vetted. They’re being shipped with refrigeration packs if heat-sensitive and immediately being placed on our climate-controlled shelves, which includes a UV protective film on the windows behind it.

7. Bioavailable Forms

In addition to using cGMPs, testing raw bulk material, and having clinical studies on their products, pharmaceutical-grade supplement companies are also prioritizing Bio-available forms in their products. 

For example, Numedica’s “Hemeplex” is an iron supplement that features a patented iron bis-glycinate chelate known as Ferrochel®, which is a well-tolerated, non-constipating iron that is much more highly absorbable than other forms of iron commonly used in dietary supplements. Another example is, Neurobiologix’s use of methylcobalamin  (a bio-available form of B12) in their products, which is beneficial for those who genetically have a hard time utilizing other forms of B12.


Visit Alive + Well or shop at our Online Store. Contact our Wellness Experts with questions about any of our supplements 512-351-9139.

Some of the Supplement Lines We Trust and Carry:

-Pure Encapsulations
-Ortho Molecular
-Charlotte’s Web
-Apex Energetix


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