Excerpted from our Formulator K. Steven Whiting Ph.D., Director, Institute of Nutritional Science. Reproduced by permission.

I think it is important for your clients and customers to understand the value of GMP certification. GMP stands for good manufacturing practices, a certification given to you by the FDA if you follow 100% all of their guidelines.

While these guidelines are somewhat cumbersome, and perhaps a bit overdone, they do help to ensure that you, the consumer, are getting the very highest quality dietary supplement nutritional science is able to produce. The testing and record keeping for each raw material that goes into a dietary supplement is extensive. Each raw material is tested when it arrives in the manufacturing facility then, if all the raw materials meet the specifications blending begins to take place. After the blend is completed it is tested again for ratio, potency, and stability. Then the formula is allowed to rest for a specific period of time, depending upon the nutrients involved. Once this period has passed another testing takes place to help ensure the potency and stability remains. After these tests have been fulfilled successfully the formula is then encapsulated or tableted as the case maybe.

At this point the formula is tested again on a per capsule or per tablet basis to ensure that the potency, ratio, and stability are equal in each and every capsule or tablet. Once again, another resting must take place after this. The capsules and/or tablets are tested yet again. If the formula remains stable and the potency remains consistent the product may be released for sale. In addition to all this testing, accurate record keeping also must take place. Every time a raw material changes hands whether from company to company or from person to person within a company, the receiving person must sign off accordingly. These records as well is the test results must be kept for a minimum of two years following the release for consumption. While this is extremely comforting for the consumer, the costs involved in meeting these requirements are considerable.

Consumers often become frustrated with the ever increasing costs of dietary supplements as well as the often lengthy time specific formulas are on backorder. The reason for both of these issues are the regulations, testing, and procedures that must be followed. For every benefit there seems to be a price that must be paid. In the instance of dietary supplements the price paid for increased quality control is both time and money. The upside is that you, the consumers, are getting the very finest dietary supplements possible. In fact in many cases, the regulations for dietary supplements have now exceeded those for many pharmaceuticals, making them, in many cases and in many ways much safer. Don’t forget to check out www.healthyinformation.com for the latest information on health, wellness, and nutrition. Make sure to check back soon for information about liquid vitamins and minerals.

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