Perhaps you have seen or purchased a supplement that promised to rise to the quality of standardized herbal supplements. What did that mean? Why should such a supplement be rated as an above-average supplement?
Buy Only Pharmaceutical Grade Vitamin Supplements
In each of the standardized herbal supplements, the amount of the main ingredient has been standardized with reference to an assayed chemical. In other words, the chemistry of the primary herbal ingredient has been compared to the chemistry of a pure chemical. That comparison has been completed by using various assay methods.
For some standardized herbal supplements, the comparison between the chemistry of the herbal mixture and the chemistry of the pure reference chemical is completed by using a spectrophotometer. The spectrophotometer measures the wave length of light in the spectrum of both assayed chemicals.
For a second group of standardized herbal supplements, the comparison between the chemistry of the herbal mixture and the chemistry of the pure reference chemical requires use of high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). Chromatography is a process whereby the various chemical components of a substance are separated according to how quickly they travel in an electrically-charged field.
For yet a third group of standardized herbal supplements, the comparison of the herbal and reference chemicals requires use of titrimetry. That is an assay method in which the chemist measures the amount of a reagent that combines with a known analyte. That measurement could take place in one of three fashions.
For most standardized herbal supplements, the type of titrimenty most often used for assay purposes is gravimetry. In gravimetry the reagent of interest in an assay is measured according to its weight. A standardized herbal supplement would therefore have the same weight as a previously-analyzed, herb extract and solvent duo.
Pharmaceutical Grade Vitamin Supplements
Some supplements contain vitamins in addition to their health-giving, herbal extracts. In that case, the user of such supplements could read that the product has pharmaceutical grade supplements. What does that mean? Why should someone consider the purchase of a product with pharmaceutical grade vitamin supplements?
When a product promises pharmaceutical grade vitamin supplements, then the person who buys that product knows exactly what chemicals that product does have, and what chemicals that product should not have. A product with pharmaceutical grade vitamin supplements has used safe and recognized fillers in the tablets that will carry the vitamin supplements down the digestive tract.
For example, a product with pharmaceutical grade vitamin supplements could pack those supplements into tablets that might also contain starch, gelatin, soybean oil, silica or magnesium stearate. By the same token, a product with pharmaceutical grade vitamin supplements would not be expected to contain wheat, gluten, corn, lactose, sugar, barley, egg products, flavorings, preservatives or artificial sweeteners.
When a customer buys a product with pharmaceutical grade vitamin supplements, then that customer should feel confident that the product is free from known and recognized allergens. In other words, one would not expect to develop an allergic reaction after using such a product.
So when a label includes the words “pharmaceutical grade,” then it is referring to the purity of a product, i.e. the degree to which that product is free of contaminating substances. When a label talks about a product’s standardized herbal supplements, then it refers to something other than purity. That label attests to an exacting measurement of the chemical composition of the product’s primary ingredient.
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