PROPER NUTRITION CAN BE HARD to manage in today’s world of sub-par food options, especially if you live on-the-go. Fortunately, you can often times make up the difference by proper nutritional supplementation with vitamins and other natural compounds such as Calcium, Magnesium, or Fish Oil. There are many supplement manufacturers that have been shown to sell products that contain many extra ingredients, added fillers, and sometimes completely leaving out the main ingredient!
Fortunately, there are manufacturers considered by Doctors to produce pharmaceutical grade supplements—with pure ingredients, rigorous quality control, and often independently verified to be as-advertised. More than just a marketing slogan—pharmaceutical grade is a rigidly-governed classification of manufacturing practices required by the FDA—and manufacturers must take extraordinary measures to meet these guidelines. These brands offer a tremendous advantage for those seeking to boost their health, providing access to comprehensive nutrition with the least possible risk of exposure to unwanted compounds.
Some of the unique features of these professional supplement brands are their lack of toxic residue from production, use of organic ingredients, lack of GMO ingredients or pesticides, and a minimal amount of extra ingredients. Sometimes, ingredients such as vegetable cellulose is used to create the capsules—and will appear on the label. These types of ingredients are perfectly natural, and are sourced and processed under the same strict guidelines that the active ingredients are. These brands will also be free of Gluten, Soy, Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, Dairy, Wheat, and many other common allergens.
Products such as Fish Oil, or Lactobaccillus Probiotics will sometimes contain one of these major allergens, but they are required by law to be clearly listed on the label. These products are also produced on specialized manufacturing equipment, and will not share the same manufacturing facility as products containing these allergens. Larger companies, such as store brands, are often unable to offer this extra degree of purity.
The Best Supplements Support Natural Balance
With the growing awareness that something is bad wrong with the world’s health, more and more people are using vitamins and supplements to help treat such conditions as obesity, menopause, depression, anxiety, food intolerance, Celiac’s Disease, and many, many more chronic health conditions. Many of the factors standing accused of contributing to this global health crisis, such as GMO foods, synthetic food additives, and toxic residues are still found in many supplements that people turn to as alternatives to failing conventional treatments.
It’s unfortunate that such omissions of labeling are allowed to take place, but corporate interests run strong and often successfully lobby in opposition of shifting towards more transparent labeling regulations. For reasons such as these, it is important to know which manufacturers you can trust, and which ones offer pharmaceutical grade supplements approved for clinical use by many doctors. These manufacturers make up a short list, but are quickly growing to meet a rising demand from consumers for a better option. There are more companies that offer these types of high-quality, ultra-pure products than those listed below; these are the top brands of pharmaceutical grade, doctor-trusted supplement manufacturers.
I have personally taken products from each and every one of these manufacturers, and can attest to their quality, potency, and purity. To get a better understanding of the considerations made when qualifying a supplement as “pharmaceutical grade,” check out our article Pharmaceutical Grade Supplements. Now, without any further ado, and a much better perspective on why it is important to purchase quality supplements; here is the list of the best supplement brands—with pros and cons of each one.
This company is a stellar example of what one should expect from a pharmaceutical grade supplement manufacturer, and is constantly improving upon themselves and their products. Biotics Research manufacturers all of their own products within their own laboratories, never outsourcing. Them employ highly-specialized quality assurance teams that perform rigorous testing through the use of sophisticated analysis technologies such as high-pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC). This testing is conducted on all incoming raw material, during manufacture, and also on finished products before they are released for sale. All of their facilities are cGMP (current good manufacturing practices) certified, and is considered by many to not just be within this scope of compliance, but one of the companies that helps push such expectations.
Biotics Research is a brand that I trust highly, and have had an amazing personal experience with their products over the years. They are renowned for offering a highly-pure, highly bio-available product that helps to ensure effectiveness and viability once in your system. Biotics Research’s focus on co-absorption factors such as minerals for chelation or added enzymes for better absorption really set this brand apart. Not only are the products they offer of the highest purity on the market, but they are also formulated from science-backed research which demonstrates their most viable form.
For example, their product Neuro-5-HTP Plus is a market contender for 5HTP, which is used to help calm stress and acts as a precursor to serotonin—our bodies’ most abundant neurotransmitter. This product is also thought help in the body’s digestive processes, helping to maintain healthy Microvilli (they line the gut walls.) To ensure their 5HTP product is completely bio-available, Biotics Research has included Niacin and Vitamin B6 to help with absorption, as well as Superoxide Dismutase and Catalase to help with enzymatic breakdown. This is a prime example of why this company belongs at the top of this list—their products are developed and manufactured in a superior manner, which helps get superior results.
- cGMP Certfied manufacturing Facility
- Exceed FDA requirements
- Explicitly label all ingredients
- Highly formulated products available
- Very extensive product line
- Robust product quality assurance
- Used by Integrative Doctors and Health Practitioners
- Not sold in stores
Ultra-pure, hypoallergenic, and independently tested for potency and purity, Pure Encapsulations lives up to their name by providing one of the purest products on the market. They maintain an FDA-inspected facility, are GMP certified, and are among the elite tier of supplements brands that frequently sell directly to Health Practitioners. Pure Encapsulations prides themselves in the purity of their supplements, and guarantees that all supplements to be free from wheat, gluten, eggs, peanuts, glazes & coatings, GMOs, Magnessium Stearate, hydrogenated oils, and many more common allergens.
In addition to such rigid standards of ingredients Pure Encapsulations also tests their products after they’ve been manufactured, to ensure that no contaminants are found before the supplements are made available to consumers. Included in these tests are measures to verify or check for identity, potency, contaminants, heavy metals, pesticide residue, and several other specialized attributes. If you’re looking for high-quality, pure ingredients, Pure Encapsulations may be the brand for you. It’s my personal experience that this company excels in such supplements as Magnesium Citrate, Calcium Citrate, L-Theanine, and other types of supplements that typically involve a considerable amount of processing.
- Ultra-Pure Supplements
- Highly tested for contaminants
- Free of allergens, glazes, and coatings
- No artificial flavoring
- Identity Verfified products
- Slightly more expensive
- Only sold online and by licensed practitioners
Douglas Laboratories has been around for over 60 years, hailing as one of the most well-respected manufacturers of pharmaceutical grade supplements on the market. They offer a wide variety of supplements and are most-renowned for addressing metabolic issues through natural endocrine supporters as well as highly bioavailable enzyme formulas. Douglas laboratories operate a GMP compliant facility which is NSF registered, certified to produce organic products, and offers a unique guarantee to athletes that their products are free of any substances banned for formal competition. They are a socially-responsible company which donates a portion of their revenue to SOS Children’s villages, which helps care for orphaned and abandoned children.
Douglas laboratories has certainly earned their place on this list through many years of proving themselves as trustworthy. If you are looking for a natural means to address hormonal issues, Douglas Laboratories may be the brand you are looking for. It has been my personal experience that this company offers a highly pure product, and often helps to fill the gaps that are left in the product lines of other manufacturers. For example, they offer a specialized for of Calcium—Calcium D-Glucarate—which aids in detoxification and energy production within the body. This supplement is not commonly found on store shelves, and rarely offered in a pharmaceutical grade form. To learn more about this supplement, check out our article Calcium D Glucarate: Aids Liver Detox & Cancer Prevention.
- Well established company history
- GMP, VCP, & Organic Products Certified
- Highly trusted among medical practitioners
- Excellent hormonal support
- Offers hard to find compounds
- High Quality Ingredients, and no unneeded fillers or additives
- Smaller selection of products
- Rarely found in stores
Founded in 1983, this California based manufacturer prides themselves in their utilization of science-backed supplements. They have conducted extensive research in the field of nutrigenomics—using supplements to help establish and maintain balance on a genetic level. By using this unique and powerful approach, Metagenics have firmly carved out a position amid the top five list of best pharmaceutical grade supplement manufacturers. Metagenics boasts the following quality assurances:
- Triple GMP certified
- 400+ Product Assays per year
- 3000+ Raw Ingredients Tested Annually
- Integrated Lifestyle Management programs
- 230+ Patents
- 80+ Published Scientific Essays
Metagenics takes their research seriously, just as they do the manufacture of their products. They are well-known for their specialization in fish oils, although they feature a robust product line ranging to many more supplements as well. My personal experience with this company has been through the use of their superior oil products such as the Metagenics OmegaGenics EPA-DHA 720, which is a concentrated marine fish oil blend. Unlike some fish oils, this product had very little odor and a subtle, yet pleasant, citrus flavor. Metagenics is largely-regarded by healthcare professionals as the industry standard for healthy oils such as the EPA-DHA 720 blend.
- Ultra High quality products
- Continual product testing to ensure purity
- Conducts and publishes research related to their products
- Has filed over 230 Patents
- Industry standard provider of healthy oil supplements
- Free of Allergens such as wheat, dairy, gluten, and nuts (not fish though)
- Formulated with natural anti-oxidants to increase shelf life
- Hard to find in stores
- Limited product line
Known as a leader of quality assurance, Vital Nutrients is another pharmaceutical grade supplement manufacturer that is trusted by doctors to treat a variety of health conditions. They offer a wide variety of products, and excel in their offering of slightly more specialized types of supplements and vitamins. Vital Nutrients has their own team of qualified health professionals which develop their products in accordance with data from scientific research. This research is primary provided through data gained from human and animal clinical trials. Their manufacturing facilities are overseen by their own quality assurance team, and are certified cGMP by the FDA. Before one of their products hits the shelves, it is tested for Microbiological contaminants, residual solvents, heavy metals, aflatoxins, pesticides, melamine, PCBs, Dixions, and GMOs.
My personal experience with this company is fairly limited, and other than a few of their more basic minerals, I have only tried their Lithium Orotate. Their offering of this product is what first drew my attention to them, as this particular supplement is quite hard to find, especially in such high quality. Lithium Orotate is a specialized form of lithium that is much more able to cross the blood-brain barrier that that of Lithium Carbonate. For example, 5MG of Lithium Orotate is as effective as a 180MG dose of Lithium Carbonate. This allows for the neuroprotective benefits of lithium to be seen without the commonly-associated toxic effects from prolonged usage. To learn more about this supplement, check out the article Lithium Orotate: A Powerful Neuroprotective Supplement.
- Leader in quality assurance
- Trusted by Doctors and Health Practitioners
- Fairly wide line of products
- Offer many unique formulations of supplements such as Lithium Orotate
- Reasonably priced
- Rarely found in stores
Designs for health is another manufacturer that touts the classification of being doctor-approved, and is quite frequently prescribed by Health Practitioners and integrative doctors. Designs for Health have been in business since 1989 which is fairly new compared to industry averages, but still long enough to be considered an established company. They began their trip to the circle of most-trusted supplement manufacturers by providing nutritional counseling and educational services, which was so successful it lead to their development of customized supplements especially for their programs.
As with many manufacturers on this list, Designs for Health has been able to develop quality products and unique synergistic blends by relying on science-based research conducted by their own investigations. Quite appropriately, this company’s motto is “Science First.” For anyone abiding by the Paleo Diet’s guidelines, this company offers many products specifically designed to assist your unique dietary lifestyle, and is the self proclaimed “Paleo Company.”
Designs for help has an extensive product line, which covers all the basic vitamins and minerals that one is accustomed to seeing on the shelves. They have isolated compounds ranging from fish oils, minerals, and herbal extracts, to specially-formulated blends that offer a truly unique product such as their PurePaleo Protein Powder, their DermAvail Renew topical Anti-Oxidant skin cream m, and their Ribo-CarniClear.
My personal experience with this company is with their GI-Revive product, which is a synergistic blend of herbal ingredients as well as isolated compounds such as L-Glutamine. This product is designed to help restore digestive health, and is often recommended to take after exposure to prescription medications such as anti-fungals, anti-parasitics, and anti-biotics. I was very happy with my experience with the product, although there were a couple of items on the label that caught my attention, such as the “natural peach flavor.” Considering the quality of the brand, and their attention to details, I tend to lean towards assuming this flavoring is, in fact, all natural and poses little cause for concern.
- cGMP Certified
- Scientific Research team comprised of ND, DC, PhD, DACBN, DCBCN, MS, MD, APRN, CDE, DMD, & CN backgrounds
- Lots of Paleo-friendly supplements
- Pharmaceutical Grade Supplements
- Not Available in Stores
- Some extra ingredients
ProThera is a nutritionally focused health care company which does much more than simply provide high quality supplements. They run a NSF cGMP certified facility which also offers private label supplements, as well as specially-formulated blends. Founded in 2001, this company launched into the health care world with an integrative formulation approach hell-bent of maximizing the synergistic behaviors between supplements, foods, and the body. This mindset has led ProThera to create many products to be regarded by Health care Practitioners and Integrative Doctors as being the most-pure and potent available on the market.
ProThera offers a wide line of products which have a majority of focus on digestive health. Their probiotics are regarded as the purest and most potent available, and often provide results to patients that have otherwise seen little effect from probiotic use. They offer DNA verified probiotics that are tested for viability, and kept under continual refrigeration until purchase to ensure potency. ProThera provides unique nutritional support for bariatric patients’ unique dietary needs, as well as many other hypo-allergenic products which focus on delivering and helping maximize the utilization of critical nutrition to the body. ProThera is the parent company of another pharmaceutical grade supplements manufacturer, Klaire Labs. Klaire labs also has a strong focus on digestive health, and offers a very powerful like of digestive and proteolytic enzymes which are hypo-allergenic and very pure.
My personal experience with this company has been with their digestive health products, specifically their Betaine-HCL formula, which is an acidic supplement meant to help offset the decreased digestion associated with low stomach acid levels. This product was of a very high purity, and I noticed a considerable difference as I worked my way up from 2 capsules with each meal to 6. The majority of my experience with this company however has come from products produced by their subsidy, Klaire labs. Klaire labs has had much of the probiotics development shifted onto its shoulders, and now largely accounts for most all of probiotics sold under the ProThera umbrella.
Specifically, I have found their Ther-Biotic Detoxification Support probiotic product to be un-comparably potent. It can be a bit pricey, and has to ship 2 Day FedEx, as well as have special ice-pack packing supplied. However, if you want to feel the true potential that probiotics have to offer, Klaire Labs produces the most-potent products available for commercial sale. Also of note, is their biofilm-busting superstar Interfase Plus, which has a specially formulated blend of proteolytic and anti-fungal enzymes which offer powerful support in any anti-fungal or anti-biotic treatments by helping to “soften up” the targeted organisms making them more susceptible to effective treatment. Unfortunately these supplements are all limited to sale by licensed practitioners, which makes them unavailable in regular stores. You can, of course, still find them for purchase online.
- Multi-Company offering wide range of products
- Klaire Labs probiotics are most powerful available
- Doctor trusted brand
- Special formulas driven by research
- Synergistic Blends
- Great product line for detox and detox support
- Not available in stores
Thorne Research is one of the industries leading manufacturers of pharmaceutical grade supplements, with an extensive product line and a quality line of specially-formulated products that aren’t found anywhere else. They are a NSF cGMP facility, and maintain some of the most rigid quality assurance practices within the country. As opposed to many supplement manufacturers, Thorne Research doesn’t simply abide by FDA regulations; they help define them, and push to increase their stringency on a regular basis. Thorne Research has also partnered with such health authorities as The Mayo Clinic to develop clinical trials meant to help provide useful data on the effectiveness of supplements in addressing modern health concerns. For more in depth look at the history of Thorne Research, check out the article Pharmaceutical Grade Supplements, which discusses their company a bit more in depth. Simply put, this company is one that pushes product quality to a new level, and has seen a huge market response due to their dedication. You will be hard pressed to find another manufacturer putting out such a high quality product, while offering such a robust variety within their product line.
Personally, I am a huge fan of Thorne Research for several reasons including their manufacturing practices in general, their unique product line, but also their product availability and affordability. Thorne Research offers direct to consumer sales from their website, so you don’t have to mess with any third party should you have questions, issues, or concerns with your order. This is just something that isn’t seen very often, and is a welcomed change of pace. As far as availability, Thorne Research represents one of the few doctor-trusted pharmaceutical grade supplement brands that is often found in health food stores, as well as some chain retailers. I have tried, and loved, many Thorne Research products over the years, so rather than attempting to describe them all, I’ll describe my first experience with them. I was prescribed, on a licensed MDs prescription pad, Undecyn—a calcium Undecylenate & Berberine HCL blend to help with a SIBO issue I was having. First off, I was a bit skeptical because at $24.95+Tax, this product was more than half the price I was used to paying for natural compounds for fungal treatment. However, it was effective, and I noticed a very positive shift in my overall health. As opposed to many other anti-fungal products, this product doesn’t create the unpleasant Herxheimer reaction experience during die-off. Rather, Thorne Research has formulated this product to, more or less, simply trick the bad bacteria into releasing their grasp and being removed with other bodily wastes. I would recommend this brand to anyone, and continue to enjoy their products myself.
- Doctor Trusted
- Pharmaceutical Grade Supplements
- Prescribed by MDs (at least one)
- Very intuitively designed formulations
- Conducts Clinical Trials to investigate product effectiveness
- Mayo Clinic partnerships
- Available in many stores
- Direct to consumer sales
- Reasonably priced
There are many other pharmaceutical grade manufacturers out there that offer truly magnificent products, and often do so at a price I can hardly believe. With the rise in consumer demand for toxin free health products, as well as the growing interest in treating health conditions with natural compounds, these products are becoming more and more available. The following list details some of these companies that offer amazing products, and often manage to find a way to do so in an affordable way. Many of these brands are available in stores such as Whole Foods, The Vitamin Shoppe, and most local health food stores. All of them, can certainly be found online through the manufacturer’s website, or through many trusted retailers such as PureFormulas.com.
The battle to maintain proper health has become as large of a struggle as ever before, with nearly every aspect of modern life filled with toxic chemicals and potentially harmful “inactive” ingredients. Yoga mats and subway breads are made of the same chemical hormonal disrupters, linings of cans contain bisphenol-A (BPA), and nearly every product that isn’t certified Organic is accompanied by a laundry list of ingredients that make most commercial laboratories shutter in jealousy. It’s this barrage of toxic waste that necessitates us to turn to nutritional supplementation to provide a well-rounded diet, and to help balance our health in a more natural state. The dependence on these types of treatments and approaches to health care has given rise to a new generation of pharmaceutical grade supplements that offer the highest quality products that the market has ever seen.
If you are using these types of health care products for dietary supplementation, or the treatment of any health condition, you will be well-served to ensure you are purchasing the most potent, pure, and all-around high-quality products possible. By purchasing from any of the manufacturers on this list, you can ensure you are getting a high quality product that is trusted by health care practitioners, Integrative doctors, Naturopaths, and homeopathic doctors. You health is the most important facet of your life, and ensuring that it is managed and maintained with the most effective supplements available is paramount to survival in our modern time.