I am frequently asked by fellow doctors why some supplement formulas work better than similar formulas that share many of the same raw materials. The simple answer is that all raw materials are not created equal. Some raw materials are standardized to contain specific amounts (usually in percentages) of the active constituents that are clinically shown to be effective in treating certain medical conditions. For example, Milk thistle (Silybum marianum), found in many liver formulas, is generally recognized as a highly beneficial botanical medicine in treating liver disease. In most professional liver formulas, you will find that the silymarin raw material used is standardized to contain 80% silymarin. The problem is that since all these companies are claiming to use the “same” standardized 80% silymarin, they would all contain the same ingredients. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
At Mountain Peak Nutritionals, we looked closely at the different raw materials offered by various venders and found they are indeed not of the same quality. We discovered many of the Chinese botanicals we tested contained higher than acceptable levels of solvents, silymarin being a perfect example. There are also ways to manipulate higher standardization values by adding certain compounds that inflate actual values. A less conscientious company may not know they are using a raw material that contains such solvents, falling short of the values and specifications they claim.
We made a decision when we first began Mountain Peak Nutritionals in 1996 that we would judiciously search for the highest quality and most bioavailable raw materials. For years, we have purchased many of our botanical raw materials from Euromed® because they are simply a cut above the other vendors offering similar, but certainly not equal, raw materials. Recently, we integrated three new raw materials from Indena S.p.A into our formula line, which utilize the most current phytosome technology: Meriva®, Siliphos®, and Virtiva®, offering far greater bioavailability and absorption than the traditional standardized alternatives. For example, Siliphos® (Silymarin) demonstrated a 10-fold higher bioavailability then it’s standardized counterpart, and Meriva® showed a 20-fold increase over standardized curcumin.
Mountain Peak Nutritionals is always on the lookout for more effective raw materials that will provide even better patient outcomes. We are delighted to integrate this new phytosome technology into our product line.
Yours in health,
Jim Massey, ND