Frequently Asked Questions
Pharmaceutical Grade Supplement Facts
What you should know about supplements to enhance – not harm – your health.
Nearly 80% of the U.S population takes some type of supplement each day. There are literally thousands of brands and millions of products to choose from. How is the consumer to know what’s what?
Pharmaceutical Grade: What does it mean?
There are basically three different grades of raw materials used in products they are:
- Pharmaceutical Grade – meets pharmaceutical standards – same as “drugs”.
- Food Grade – meets standards set for human consumption.
- Feed Grade – meets standards set for animal consumption.
The difference between each grade type is one of quality and purity. In technical terms, no substance is 100% pure. There are always other substances added to various products. The difference between the grades is one of how much of these other substances are present in the product.
There are several criteria by which pharmaceutical grade are judged. The product must be in excess of 99% purity with no binders, fillers, excipients, dyes, or unknown substances.
The FDA allows questionable fillers and binders such as cork by products, chemical FD&C dyes, sodium benzoate, dextrose, ethyl-cellulose, and propylene glycol to name only a few. Although these ingredients may be legal, what are the nutritional benefits? Reports have indicated that some of these ingredients can be toxic at certain levels with prolong use.
How does FDA regulate dietary supplements?
Not super well, actually.
In addition to regulating label claims, FDA regulates dietary supplements in other ways. Supplement ingredients sold in the United States before October 15, 1994, are not required to be reviewed by FDA for their safety before they are marketed because they are presumed to be safe based on their history of use by humans.
For a new dietary ingredient (one not sold as a dietary supplement before 1994) the manufacturer must notify FDA of its intent to market a dietary supplement containing the new dietary ingredient and provide information on how it determined that reasonable evidence exists for safe human use of the product. FDA can either refuse to allow new ingredients into or remove existing ingredients from the marketplace for safety reasons.
Unlike drug products, there are no provisions in the law for FDA to “approve” dietary supplements for safety or effectiveness before they reach the consumer. Once a dietary supplement is marketed, FDA has to prove that the product is not safe in order to
restrict its use or remove it from the market. In contrast, before being allowed to market a drug product, manufacturers must obtain FDA approval by providing convincing evidence that it is both safe and effective.
The label of a dietary supplement product is required to be truthful and not misleading. If the label does not meet this requirement, FDA may remove the product from the marketplace or take other appropriate actions.
What is a GMP sticker?
In 2007, the FDA issued Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) for dietary supplements, a set of requirements and expectations by which dietary supplements must be manufactured, prepared, and stored to ensure quality. Manufacturers are now expected to guarantee the identity, purity, strength, and composition of their dietary supplements. For example, the GMP’s aim to prevent the inclusion of the wrong ingredients, the addition of too much or too little of a dietary ingredient, the possibility of contamination and the improper packaging and labeling of a product.
Is this a reliable way to determine pharmaceutical grade?
Due to poor monitoring and the ability of many unscrupulous manufacturers to and “hoodwink” the public with fancy big brands and advertising this isn’t any guarantee at ALL. In fact, here are just a few examples of really big OOPSIES!
A report in the New York Times revealed testing by the N.Y. State’s Attorney General’s office found severe flaws in supplements sold at GNC, Walmart, Target and Walgreens. Please DO read the details-I want you to “get” that buying OTC supplements is risky-really risky. Contaminants, toxins and NOT what is on the label are common. The same thing has also occurred with the popular Life Extension brand as well. Note that the Life Extension brand is “established” and claims to be pharmaceutical grade.
So seriously, what is a consumer to do here?
The USP (United States Pharmacopeia) provides assurance to the consumer, as well as those involved in manufacturing and processing, that the quality and purity of the raw materials utilized are of pharmaceutical grade. Consequently, the USP guarantees a certain standard of excellence sold only through physicians and selected pharmacies.
The bottom line is, if the product is not manufactured properly it may not work or could cause side effects. If you’re not sure what you are buying, ask for the facts. The USP allows manufacturers to voluntarily submit to pharmaceutical grade (higher than GMP) standards and if a manufacturer “passes” they can receive the rare and coveted NSF safety/quality/purity sticker which is issued to very high quality products such as SitoPharma™. This sticker assures the consumer that the USP and the National Formulary standards are being upheld.
So if you are not sure if something is pharmaceutical grade or not, what does purity actually mean?
The definition is the quality or state of being pure or unmixed with any other element in a nutritional product.
Impure ingredients are used by many companies. The FDA does not require manufacturers to list these ingredients (on the nutritional labels) if they are not added when making the final dosage form.
Many times the raw materials may contain only 90% or less of the listed ingredients along with 10% or more corn starch and lactose. Lactose and corn are known allergens for some people. Corn is, for the most part GMO and so is corn starch, naturally. These items have been known to cause digestive disturbances and weaken the immune system. A conscientious company will not compromise the integrity of a product with such raw materials. A conscientious company will use non-GMO ingredients and label their products thusly.
Supplements do not only work because of the ingredients. They work because of the way they are manufactured. Be brand specific when taking supplements. You bought them to enhance your health – not impair it.
- PDR for Nutritional Supplements, 2nd Edition, Hendler, Rorvik, 2008, Thomson Reuters
- Encyclopedia of Nutritional Supplements, Michael Murray, 1996, Prima Health
- User’s Guide to Nutritional Supplements, Jack Chalem, 2003, Basic Health Publications
- Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page
- National Institute of Health, http://nccam.nih.gov/health/supplements
- Council for Responsible Nutrition, http://www.crnusa.org
Returns and/or Damaged Product Questions
What should I do if my items arrive damaged or defective?
We make every effort to package your order so that it will arrive in great condition. Unfortunately, sometimes items may be damaged during shipment. We understand your frustration and we will do everything we can to replace the product as quickly as possible. If you have received a damaged item, please e-mail us at [email protected] or call us at 1 310 438-5567. The product will be replaced at no additional charge.
What should I do if I received the wrong item?
I want to return a product, whom do I call, and can I return it?
The following applies to AgeWell Solutions Clients who have placed their own orders via this website. Orders placed on behalf of Dr. Crawford’s private patients: refer to your Policies and Procedures for guidelines on product returns.
If you have questions or concerns, please email us at [email protected] or call us (772) 999-5322. We are fully committed to your satisfaction. You may return any non-refrigerated unopened item within 30 days of purchase for a full refund. In the rare happenstance that your opened product is defective, do not use it and we will replace it with the same item.
We ask that you return it to us and we will not charge you any shipping to ship a replacement item. Shipping fees, both to and from you, are nonrefundable, and you will be charged a 20% restocking fee, unless the return was made as a result of our error.
We regret that we cannot accept any returns of opened items which have been partially used. We follow the FDA guidelines regarding drugs, supplements and personal care items for your safety and ours. If you are unhappy with any of our policies, just call and we’ll find a way to make you happy, we promise!
When will my order ship?
Please allow one business day for processing of your order.
All orders received after 10AM will be processed on the following business day. On Fridays, orders placed after 10 AM will not be shipping until the following Monday.
Orders are processed and shipped Monday through Friday 8:30am – 4:30pm EST, excluding legal holidays or other factory/warehouse closings. Shipping can take between 2-6 business days via UPS Ground.
Orders that qualify for free shipping will be shipped by UPS. Allow for a 2-3 day delay for orders qualifying for free shipping. When your package ships, we will receive and hold onto the tracking information on your package from the vendor so that we can help you with any delivery issues.
I'm having trouble placing an order, what should I do?
When placing an order, please make sure that all required fields are filled out completely and accurately. If your billing address is not the same as your shipping address, make sure you click the “Enter a New Address” circle under the Billing Address header. Also, make sure that you click the terms and condition box that is located under the “Place Order.” If you are still experiencing difficulty, please email us at [email protected] or call us at (772) 999-5322. We will gladly assist you with any problems you may be having.
Do you ship internationally?
Unfortunately, we do not ship anywhere outside of the U.S., at this time. We only accept the U.S. issued credit cards MasterCard, American Express, Visa, and Discover.
My coupon code is not working. What do I do?
Call us (772) 999-5322 or email us at [email protected] – even if the date has expired we will honor it.
Once I find what I am looking for, how do I buy it?
When you find an item that interests you:
- Click the link that reads “Add To Cart”, next to the item description and price. This will add the item to your online shopping cart and this bring you to a “Your Shopping Cart” page that lists all of the products that you have previously selected.
- On the “Your Shopping Cart” page you may change the quantities, after which, you must press the “update quantity” link. You may also leave this page to explore other pages which might interest you. Your cart will remain available and you just need to add new items and “return to cart”.
- The “Your Shopping Cart” page will then reload and display the extended, total cost of your order. If it does not, just refresh your browser.
- Click on the “Proceed to Checkout” button once you are satisfied with your shopping cart to complete your order online. After having submitted your order, you will receive an E-mail Order Confirmation. Of course, all of our products can be purchased by phone as well, please call us at (772) 999-5322.
Supplement Usage Questions
I am not exactly sure what supplements I need, do you have consultation services?
Yes, in fact there are several ways to get this accomplished, depending on the amount of “hands on” help you desire. You can go to the module on the program page corresponding to your needs, if applicable. An example is if you have low energy or want to lose weight. You can click open those previews and find a self-evaluation questionnaire which are “for your eyes only” to help guide you in your choices.
You can also use our chat/call box found throughout the website for a quick consult with Dr. Kim or send her an email here. If you see that you have several areas where you would like Dr. Kim’s personal guidance you can purchase an email or phone consultation with Dr. Crawford.
We strive to take care of everyone’s needs and questions the way they want to do it. Just don’t short change yourself if you are not getting results on your own.
I am not quite sure how to take my supplements, do you have consultation services?
If you can look at the above question about choosing supplements you will see that the options are the same. Please click on the question above to see your options.
Skin Care Product Concerns
Are your products safe for pregnant women to use?
Our products are gentle and effective for all skin types. However, we recommend that any expectant mother check with her physician before changing her skin care routine with our products, or any other line of products.
Do you test on animals and do your products contain animal-derived ingredients?
Absolutely not on both counts. See the how to look younger articles!
Can men use these products?
Absolutely. Although your guy may be rugged, his facial skin is just as sensitive as your own. Products that claim to be strong enough for a man usually have caustic, drying and abrasive ingredients like alcohol, silicone based lubricants, petroleum based skin softeners and harsh preservatives that will dry out, irritate and inflame the skin. For your man, choose products, like Moor Spa or LifeLine, that are simple and natural as possible to help fight inflammation and balance the skin.
Where can I find more information about your products?
Right here on our site is the best place! Each product page contains in-depth information about that product and a link to an ingredients list. Additional information can be found at Moor Spa. You of course can use the chat box, the call box or any of the resources we have to obtain more information.
I am unsure of what my skin needs, are there any consultation services?
We have organized our products into collections to meet the needs of each individual skin type and concerns. In addition you can visit our “skin-care-only” site to read a comprehensive series of articles which start here to provide you with all the information you need to pick out a full skin care regimen for life. You are welcome to email us questions. For a full list of consultation services please see question 1 regarding supplement usage.
How can I get a listing of the natural sources or minerals that Moor Spa uses in their products? I am very interested in being all natural.
Moor Spa products are not 95% or 99% natural, they are 100% naturally derived. Moor Spa is designated as a champion by the Environmental Working Group* (EWG) for its dedication to product safety.
Their NATURAL SOURCE GUARANTEE:
Unlike many products which claim to be natural, Moor Spa is completely free of synthetic preservatives, parabens, sulfates, artificial colors and fragrances and petroleum-derived chemicals such as PEG, propylene glycol or mineral oil. The source of every ingredient that they use is listed in a 100% Natural Source Guarantee for each product. You can review the natural sources and minerals that Moor Spa uses here.