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Why These Brands of Supplements?
You may be wondering why Dr. Mariotti recommends certain brands of nutritional supplements when the market is literally flooded with a plethora of options. Some choices are much less expensive than some of those that Dr. Mariotti is recommending. Many brands are available over-the-counter, whereas most of the brands that Dr. Mariotti recommends are available only through a qualified healthcare provider.
Now, it is true that we refer to these things as nutritional supplements but in reality they are medicines and we are treating them as such. You are being recommended to take a certain product or series of products in order to achieve a specific result, which is an improved state of health or an altered metabolic function towards a more balanced state of metabolic homeostasis. With an improved metabolic balance there will follow an increased metabolic function, which will result in a change towards better health.
The FDA has defined to certain standards of manufacturing for nutritional supplements. However, these standards are far from where they should be. What this means to you as the consumer is that you are faced with the daunting challenge of sifting through all the various options. Most often patient's will utilize the technique of trial and error, which can be not only expensive but have negative outcomes.
Just because something has a shiny, brightly colored label on it, and is marketed to look safe and appropriate does not mean that it has the weight behind it to support this image. For a nutritional company to attain this high standard they must invest enormous amounts of resources to back up these claims. They must use only the highest and purest raw materials, which are free of microorganisms, heavy metals, and other toxins. They must be able to verify that what they claim is in the product is actually present at no less than 100% of the claim. They must be able to prove that they utilize qualified third-party laboratories to support their claims.
This level of validation and testing is not the norm in the nutraceutical industry. The FDA requirements are far from the level they should be.
My primary motivation for recommending very specific brands is based on the high level of quality assurance these companies provide, the safety to my patients, and clinical results. In my clinical experience certain products produce better results than other products.
When I am considering the company, or brand, to recommend I first investigate their level of quality control and whether this particular company not only adheres to Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP), which was brought into final form by the FDA in June 2007, but exceeds them. This is not as common as you might think. In fact it is quite rare. It is very costly to these companies to exceed GMP standards. However, these are the companies… the only companies… I will recommend.
In addition to extremely high quality raw materials free of contaminants, heavy metals, and microorganisms is the quality of the inactive ingredients. These are fillers and excipients as defined by the Food Chemical Codex, nutrient compounds utilized for their physical properties to aid in the supplement production process. Some of these fillers and excipients can actually cause harm, or allergic responses. So, one must be quite sure that the fillers are free of allergens and derived from edible sources. Companies which create less expensive products are likely using lower quality fillers and excipients, which can have deleterious results.
So, in summary; guaranteed procedures of analysis, unsurpassed ingredient quality, hypoallergenic products, products free from food allergens, free from heavy metals, free from microorganisms and contaminants, superior quality control, and exceeding GMP standards are absolute and nonnegotiable standards that I require in order to recommend a product for the care of my patients.