Almost all vitamin/supplement companies use vitamin “isolates“, vitamins that are isolated in a laboratory then put into a capsule. They are often combined with other isolated vitamins, minerals, or herbs to create a vitamin combination such as a multivitamin, B-Complex, immune support, etc… Sometimes the vitamins they use are synthetic vitamins (i.e. a vitamin produced in a lab and not found in nature). Synthetic vitamins are often cheaper than non-synthetic. Mass-marketed vitamin companies often use synthetic forms.
Pharmaceutical grade vitamins and supplements are only sold through a licensed health care provider. Generally speaking, they are better quality, use better forms of vitamins (see last blog), use good manufacturing processes (c-GMP), and have 3rd party quality monitoring. Some of these companies include Xymogen, Orthomolecular, and Metagenics. My favorite of these companies is Xymogen.
Beware of “whole food vitamins“. There are many companies that dehydrate a little bit of fruit, put them in a capsule, and add low quality vitamins (see my last blog). “True” whole food vitamins are a wonderful idea. Vitamins are packaged by nature in a combination of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids, antioxidants, etc… that all work together to provide a certain function in our bodies. By purifying whole food and putting it into a capsule provides the benefit of the “whole package”. Two companies producing what I consider “true” pharmaceutical grade, whole food supplements are Standard Process and Innate Response.
Do not buy vitamins online unless you already know it is good quality. Anybody can package vitamins out of their garage or pest-infested warehouse and sell them online (scary). They can easily convince you to buy their product through slick marketing.
Knowledge is power… iff you haven’t read the last blog about reading vitamin labels, read it now…