Supplementing Safely

Nutritional supplements have once again found themselves on the receiving end of negative publicity following the release of a recent study showing that around 23,000 emergency room visits every year are related to the use (or misuse) of nutritional supplements, especially energy and weight-loss supplements.1 The problem with stories like this is that they can paint a negative picture for all supplements, including those that are high quality and play an important role in healthy living.

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All Supplements Are Not Created Equal

Girl eating cheeseburgerImagine you order some hamburgers from the $1.00 menu at your favorite fast-food chain. A high school aged employee promptly fixes up your order and within minutes you are enjoying your meal. That night, while watching the news, you are surprised and horrified to discover that the very restaurant that you purchased your hamburgers from may have misled you with their advertising. You are shocked to learn that the “100% Grade-A Prime Rib all-beef patty” is actually made mostly of low-quality trimmings and non-beef fillers! It turns out that the only way for them to stay in business selling $1.00 burgers is for them to cut several corners to help limit cost and extend the shelf life of their hamburger patties.

Would this experience and knowledge forever change the way you view hamburgers at all restaurants? Are the hamburger-making practices of this fast-food restaurant chain representative of all restaurants’ hamburger-making practices? Of course not. While this may be the practice at some of the most common mass-marketed chains, you know that there are plenty of reputable restaurants that use high-quality ingredients and highly trained chefs that will prepare 100% pure beef hamburgers made from quality cuts – exactly as promised and advertised. Many restaurants can even point you to the specific farms that provided each specific ingredient. Sure, they cost a little bit more, but as they saying goes, “You get what you pay for.” Continue reading

What’s in your Supplements

Question Mark Written in Flour on Black BackgroundYou’ve just purchased a bottle of the latest and greatest dietary supplement that money can buy – at least that’s what the late-night TV commercial and Internet advertisements said – and you’ve done your diligent research on the key ingredients. It seems safe enough, and you saw that several of your Facebook friends and TV celebrities have been using it, saying it works for them. But what if the product isn’t what it says it is? What if the label that you assume is complete and accurate isn’t telling you everything you need to know?

There has been an unsettling history in the supplement industry with some companies routinely producing products that are mislabeled, contaminated, or otherwise adulterated.1–7 This unacceptable practice has led to untold negative consequences for people including illness, hospitalizations, failed drug tests (employment or athletic competition), allergic reactions, poisonings, and even death.8–10 The mass majority of these products come from companies and internet sites with questionable integrity, usually from foreign countries, however this practice has also occurred with many seemingly reputable companies including large pharmaceutical companies, and American manufacturers.2 Continue reading

Quality Matters

Scientist Examines LeafThink about the last time you were faced with a difficult decision about an item you were about to purchase, such as a new car. There are so many factors that go into the decision – cost, color, extra options, size, mileage – the list goes on. But at some point you need to make your final decision, and there is one factor that pushes you towards one choice or another. For many people, that final deciding factor comes down to a matter of quality. You expect a certain level of care has been put into every step of producing that vehicle so that you have the most dependable vehicle that money can buy – yet without spending your life savings to get it.

There should be no exception when it comes to deciding which nutritional supplements you and your loved ones use. You deserve to know that these products are consistently made with precision and utmost attention to purity and potency. You and your health care providers need to know that when you use a supplement, you are getting exactly what the label says.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where quality is not always a promise that some companies strive for. This is especially true when looking at nutritional supplements that can be produced or contain ingredients from all corners of the world with inconsistent regulations for quality control.  This is why it is so important to be able to recognize when your nutritional supplements are coming from a reputable source that adheres to strict quality standards.

How do I know if I’m Using a High Quality Supplement?

Quality of a product begins with selection of the ingredients that are going to be used. A good product will only include ingredients that are known to be safe and effective following intensive research and scientific scrutiny. Once the ingredients have been chosen, it is time to find sources for the raw ingredients. A responsible company will be diligent about each raw ingredient they use and only select them from trusted sources that adhere to the same principles of quality, purity, and potency.

group-imageRaw ingredients need to undergo intensive laboratory testing at a qualified third party laboratory that follows current Good Laboratory Processes (cGLP) with ISO certifications. Ingredients should be pharmaceutical grade meeting the strict requirements defined by the United States Pharmacopeia (USP) or National Formulary (NF).  In the case of plant-based ingredients, it becomes extremely important to find USDA or EcoCert certified organic sources that are free from toxins, heavy metals, and pesticides.  Organically grown plants have also been shown to contain higher concentrations of the beneficial phytonutrients and antioxidants that you want in a supplement.

After ingredients are verified at a cGLP laboratory, they can be used to make the final product at a manufacturing facility that follows current Good Manufacturing Processes (cGMP) with strict adherence to all regulatory guidelines.  Following manufacture, further testing is performed to verify the purity, potency, and stability of the final product. 

Leaf Test tubeUltimately, determining the quality of a product comes down to finding a company that is transparent with regards to their quality standards. In the world of nutritional supplements, it means finding a company that holds itself to higher standards than what is required by regulatory bodies and exceeding all expectations.

At Pinnaclife, we adhere to the principals of utmost quality for all of our products. We start by only using the finest raw ingredients that are independently tested at a cGLP, ISO:9001 facility before being incorporated into our final products at a our cGMP manufacturing facility based in the United States. All products are then independently tested for stability, purity, and potency before being approved for sale, meeting or exceeding all standards set by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). When you use the Pinnaclife Nutritional Supplements, you can rest assured that you and your family are getting an affordable scientifically proven product with a level of quality that goes above and beyond what is expected.


  1. Cohen P a. American roulette–contaminated dietary supplements. N Engl J Med. 2009;361(16):1523–5. doi:10.1056/NEJMp0904768.
  1. Barański M, Srednicka-Tober D, Volakakis N, et al. Higher antioxidant and lower cadmium concentrations and lower incidence of pesticide residues in organically grown crops: a systematic literature review and meta-analyses. Br J Nutr. 2014:1–18. doi:10.1017/S0007114514001366.
  1. Food and Drug Administration.  Current Good Manufacturing Practice in Manufacturing, Packing, or Holding Dietary Ingredients and Dietary Supplements; Proposed Rule.  National Archives and Records Administration: Federal Register; 2003 Mar 13.
  1.  FDA News.  FDA Proposes Labeling and Manufacturing Standards For All Dietary Supplements. Press Release 2003 Mar 7.
  1.  Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.  Overview of Dietary Supplements. Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition 2001; Available at:
  1. Watson WA, Litovitz TL, Rodgers GC, Jr. et al. 2004 Annual report of the American Association of Poison Control Centers Toxic Exposure Surveillance System. Am J Emerg Med 2005 Sept.;23(5):589-666.

 Disclaimer: These statements have not been reviewed by the FDA. Pinnaclife products are dietary supplements and are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any disease. The decision to use these products should be discussed with a trusted healthcare provider. The authors and the publisher of this work have made every effort to use sources believed to be reliable to provide information that is accurate and compatible with the standards generally accepted at the time of publication. The authors and the publisher shall not be liable for any special, consequential, or exemplary damages resulting, in whole or in part, from the readers’ use of, or reliance on, the information contained in this article. The publisher has no responsibility for the persistence or accuracy of URLs for external or third party Internet websites referred to in this publication and does not guarantee that any content on such websites is, or will remain, accurate or appropriate.

Copyright 2014 McCord Research – All Rights Reserved.