When it comes to supplements, quality matters. When I look for a supplement, I consider the raw ingredients used, manufacturing process, processing of the supplements, whether or not they're organic, whether or not they're genetically modified, what they're shipped in, heat treatment, pasteurization, where they're from geographically, amount of bioactive compounds present, etc. There are a lot of factors that I believe need to be present for a supplement to be worthy for me to order for patients. I believe it can be easy to fall into marketing traps and ploys, especially when it comes to supplements sold at big box retailers and generic vitamin or supplement stores. In fact, I did a video a few weeks ago pertaining to an investigation performed by the New York State Attorney General's Office. This investigation looked at four national retailers that were selling supplements that were determined to have very little to no actual compound they were promoting within it. For example, gingko biloba was tested and found to have no actual gingko biloba within the product being sold. Other examples had very little promoted supplement ingredient within it, but were rather replaced with adulterants and things like wheat, radishes and mustard. This deception is unfortunate because people are spending their money on supplements in which they're getting no therapeutic benefits whatsoever. Quality of supplement has a big bearing on optimal health and noticing improvements, reversal of symptoms and eradication of diseases/infections.
I have found Standard Process and MediHerb to be reliable supplement companies and I feel comfortable ordering their products for my patients. Lets take a look as to why these companies are premier supplement companies with top-tier products.
Standard Process is located in Wisconsin, USA and specifically at the Kettle Moraine basin, which contains nutrient-rich soil. The farmland is certified organic meaning it does not employ the practices of using pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers. Standard Process regularly grows crops such as: alfalfa, barley grass, beets, Brussels sprouts, buckwheat, kale, kidney beans, oats, pea vine and Spanish black radish. The farmland is monitored annually by various certifying agencies to make sure that only approved farming practices are implemented. Standard Process is involved through the whole process, from when the seed is planted to when the supplement is shipped. The founder of Standard Process, Dr. Royal Lee, once said that "Whole foods are the best natural source of vitamins. The key to the highest quality is the manufacturing process." The manufacturing process at Standard Process, which involves the sequence from raw materials to the finished product, takes an average of 6 weeks. Throughout that time the materials are tested for quality and the facilities are monitored to make sure there are no threats of infectious microorganisms that would contaminate.
The manufacturing process begins after the harvest where the foods/crops undergo a grinding process to. Then the plants are pressed so that the juice is extracted and therefore separated from the pulp. Here we have a product that is concentrated that contains both fat and water soluble nutrients. Next is the separation process that really focuses on removing certain animal tissues to create what's called a liquid slurry. These are used in the Protomorphogen and Cytosol products. All of the raw animal tissues used are selected from USDA-inspected facilities. The raw materials then undergo a drying process which retains the nutrients because they are exposed to low-temperature, high vacuum dryers. The raw materials then go through a mixing process to create the compound formula products. Binding and processing occurs after this, if applicable to the supplement, in which honey, arabic gum, cellulose or calcium stearate (from vegetable sources) are added. Next the raw raw materials are incorporated into one of three forms of delivery - tablets, capsules or powders. Throughout this whole process, all the equipment used is taken apart, cleaned and sanitized. The production suites, floors, walls and vent covers are also cleaned. When it comes to packaging, Standard Process uses amber bottles to prevent damage from UV light. The products are sealed to prevent oxidation reactions to the supplements. Products are shipped in eco-friendly cardboard boxes.
The quality at Standard Process is unparalleled. Throughout a batch, testing for cleanliness and safety is conducted six times on average. Various lab procedures are conducted to further validate quality and safety of products, including: liquid chromatography, gas chromatography, inductively coupled plasma, thin-layer chromatography, infrared spectroscopy and LECO for protein analyzation. Soil samples are also assessed on an annual basis to check mineral and nutrients levels in the soil.
MediHerb is an Australian Company that is a leader in herbal products in the United States for health care professionals. Standard Process is a distributor of MediHerb products in the U.S. The products form MediHerb are developed by leaders and experts in the field of herbal therapy. They pride themselves on batch to batch consistency. MediHerb makes sure their plants and herbs are not only grown in the right way but also harvested at the right time to optimize bioactivity of herbal compounds. MediHerb uses raw materials sourced from quality herbs that undergo a variety of analytic procedures to ensure optimal quality. The herbs undergo a micro/macroscopic analysis, they're checked for pesticides/heavy metals/radiation, aflatoxins and presence of microbes. The herbs undergo chromatography and the samples are sent to a lab for identification, validation and efficacy. The strict testing regimes that MediHerb incorporates prevents substitution of species of herbs in products, guards against adulteration of herbs as well as poor quality of herbs. I believe MediHerb products are some of the best herbal supplements on the planet which contain bioactive compounds of phytochemicals, are tested to makes sure they're safe and don't have adulterants and because they undergo strict manufacturing and processing guidelines to ensure optimal quality and consistency in all their products.
MediHerb's Echinacea Premium has the bioactive alkylamides present. This is evident when one chews the supplement because they'll notice a tingling sensation on the tongue. This ensures that the echinacea is a quality supplement with therapeutic benefits to ensue.
When it comes to supplements, quality matters. They're not all created equal. Talk to a natural healthcare professional to ensure you're spending your money on supplements that are legitimate, have therapeutic benefits and adhere to strict manufacturing guidelines that ensure optimal safety and potency.
Dr. Seamus Allen
CFMP, DACBN, DC