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Pure Caps: FAQs

Why should I purchase supplements from Pure Encapsulations?
Pure Encapsulations provides its customers with the most effective, hypo-allergenic nutritional ingredients available. We do not compromise quality for any reason. When you order Pure Encapsulations' supplements, rest assured that you and your patients will receive the highest quality supplements available.

Do you manufacture your own supplements?
Yes. We manufacture supplements in our own state-of-the-art facility in Sudbury, Massachusetts, and maintain an open plant policy to welcome our customers; it's our best marketing tool. Every step of the manufacturing process exceeds the requirements for nutritional supplement manufacturing. Our dedication to cleanliness is obvious from the moment you enter our plant. A large staff is dedicated full-time to the task of ensuring that every inch of our plant meets the highest standards. Every piece of equipment used in the manufacture of our supplements is dismantled and sterilized before each production run. This includes scales, blenders, powder fillers, encapsulating machines and capsule counters.

What are your Quality Control procedures?
We have built our business by producing the finest supplements possible. Ingredient quality, manufacturing excellence and quality control are our most important priorities. We differentiate ourselves by holding our suppliers to the highest standards and by following strict near-pharmaceutical manufacturing procedures.  
Please visit the Quality Control section of our website.

Product Manufacturing and Ingredients:

Where do you source your ingredients?
Our ingredients are selected solely on the basis of quality and purity and are provided in their most bioavailable forms. We source premium raw materials from trusted industry leaders, including the finest suppliers from the U.S., France, Japan, Switzerland, Germany and Italy. All ingredients are tested for purity and potency by independent certified laboratories. Ingredient suppliers must meet rigorous testing and quality criteria to qualify as a Pure Encapsulations supplier.

Is everything in the capsule listed on the label?
Our supplement labels have always listed all ingredients, including the composition of the raw material. Additionally, standardizations of herbal extracts are provided to indicate primary active marker compounds. Furthermore, minerals are listed by their true elemental weights.

Do your products contain wheat, rice, gluten, dairy, fillers, etc?
Our products do not contain wheat, gluten, nuts, egg, soy, dairy, preservatives or hydrogenated oils, unless specifically noted on the label. The beta glucan in IsoProtein Plus and PureWeigh PREMEAL Beverage is gluten-free. Furthermore, our products contain no hidden coatings, excipients, binders, fillers, shellacs, artificial colors, artificial flavors or fragrance. We do not use magnesium stearate, preservatives, BHA or BHT in our products.

Are your products kosher?
Our products are not certified as kosher.

What does hypo-allergenic mean?
The term hypo-allergenic is used to describe products that are free of binders, fillers, excipients, dyes and common allergens.

What is the hypo-allergenic plant fiber used to fill capsules for some products?
The hypo-allergenic plant fiber we use is a pharmaceutical grade alpha cellulose derived from purified specialty grades of wood pulp from Southern pine. Due to the nature of the raw material (wood pulp) and the manufacturing process, it does not contain alcohol, grain, corn, corn starch, sulfa, sulfites, animal products or gluten. In addition, it is free of pesiticides and heavy metals. There are no known allergens in this plant fiber.

What is the source of your Veggie Capsules?
The capsules are made from Southern Pine, grown in the US. The pine is pesticide free.

Your herbal extracts are standardized. What does this mean?
A standardized extract is one that guarantees the precise concentration of what is considered the active, or pharmacological, ingredient of the herb. When an herbal extract is not standardized, the amount of the key constituent cannot be determined nor can it be consistent from one capsule to the next. Herbs that are standardized provide consistent, maximum nutritional benefits.

Have your bovine-sourced products been tested for mad cow disease?
As a manufacturer of the highest quality nutritional supplements, Pure Encapsulations management and quality control personnel have (since the company's inception in 1991) purchased bovine ingredients from the US, New Zealand and Argentina.

All Pure Encapsulations bovine products are inspected by the USDA and certified to be safe prior to our accepting them into our inventory.

There is no practical or theoretical possibility of contracting BSE from any Pure Encapsulations supplement.

Pure Encapsulation's quality control and testing procedures are unsurpassed in the industry, and doctors and their patients can always place the highest trust in the Pure Encapsulations brand.

Product Use:

Do I take my supplements with meals or between meals?
General recommendations can be found in our catalog, on our website, as well as on the label of a product. Typically, amino acids and many botanicals are taken between meals, vitamins and minerals with meals. 

Can your products be taken during pregnancy or lactation?
Pure Encapsulations does not make recommendations concerning the use of products during pregnancy or lactation. Some products may have known contra-indications, while the effects of others have not been studied. 

Are there any known drug-nutrient interactions with any of the products?
We encourage you to visit the Drug Depletions & Interactions portion of Clinical Essentials featured in the Health Library section of our site to obtain information on potential positive or negative interactions between prescription drugs and the particular supplements, vitamins or herbs that interest you.

Do you have any supplements specifically formulated for children?
Our children's line includes PureBears chewable tablet, PediaNutrients, Nutrient 280, EPA/DHA liquid (lemon flavor), DHA Enhance, Optimal Immune, Cognitive & Calming, Ester-C extra, Probiotic 123 (dairy-free), G.I. Comfort and Complexion Factors. A complete brochure is available at, under the Health Library, under Brochures and Supporting Materials.

Pure Encapsulations Individual Products:

Borage Oil:

Does your borage oil contain Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PA)?
Pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) are found in very small amounts in the oils derived from borage seeds. PAs are soluble in both water and alcohol, but not very soluble in the oil.

There are only 0.002 mcg PAs/maximum dose of our borage oil. This is less than what the German Health agency recommends, which is 1 mcg/day of PAs.


Why is the ratio of magnesium to calcium in +CAL+ with Ipriflavone low?
+Cal+ with Ipriflavone provides a very complete formulation of calcium and the various nutrional elements best known for osteoporosis support. The inclusion of additional magnesium would require the elimination of other important co-factors for bone metabolism that make this formula so effective. Magnesium is relatively inexpensive and can easily be obtained from one of our magnesium supplements, including Magnesium citrate, aspartate or glycinate. In addition, it is available as Potassium/Magnesium and Calcium/Magnesium.

Is Calcium-d-Glucarate helpful for supporting healthy bones?
Calcium-d-Glucarate supports healthy cell structure and function by helping to target beta-glucuronidase activity, supporting the process by which healthy cells eliminate waste and foreign elements. Calcium-d-Glucarate only contains 12% calcium and is not used for bone health. Osteoporosis support formulas include Calcium Citrate, Calcium Citrate/Malate, Calcium Aspartate, Calcium (microcrystalline hydroxyapatite), Calcium Magnesium Aspartate, Calcium Magnesium Citrate, Calcium Magnesium Citrate/Malate, +CAL+ with Ipriflavone, Ipriflavone with Vitamin D3, OsteoBalance and Cal/Mag w/Cofactors (powder).

Why are the calcium supplements only 150 mg per capsule? I have to take 6-7 capsules to achieve 900 mg, and most recommendations are for 1,000-1,500 mg. 
Pure Encapsulations uses the most bioavailable calcium chelates available, including citrate, citrate/malate, and aspartate. These forms of calcium have been shown to be more bioavailable than calcium carbonate, especially for individuals with low stomach acidity.

Calcium citrate and the other calcium chelates that we use in our line take up considerable volume, resulting in a maximum capsule capacity of 150 mg elemental calcium (however, remember they are more absorbable). Because we do not use tablets, which contain excipients, fillers, shellacs, artificial preservatives, etc, we cannot compress this powder to provide a higher dosage per serving. Also, calcium is best absorbed and utilized when it is taken in several divided doses throughout the day. Six or seven capsules can be easily divided into two servings consisting of 3 capsules in the morning and 3 capsules in the evening, or 3 capsules in the morning and 4 capsules in the evening, respectively. Or, it can be taken in 3 or 4 divided doses daily, depending on compliance.

Dietary sources of calcium can enhance calcium intake to help meet the requirements of each individual as needed. For example, one 8 oz serving of plain lowfat yogurt contains 350 mg calcium, one cup of skim milk contains about 300 mg calcium, and 8 oz orange juice with calcium provides 350 mg calcium.

Does Pure Encapsulations carry calcium derived from coral?
No, we do not carry coral calcium. Coral calcium is composed of calcium carbonate and its absorption is based on the known properties of any calcium carbonate supplement. Calcium carbonate contains 40% calcium by weight as opposed to calcium citrate, which contains 21% calcium. However, the key difference between these two forms of calcium is their bioavailability. Calcium carbonate requires a substantial amount of acid to pry off the carbonate chelate and allow the calcium to be absorbed. Calcium citrate, on the other hand, is already acidic and therefore does not require a low pH in order to render the calcium available for absorption. Thus, while calcium carbonate supplements contain more calcium by weight, the majority of it is unavailable for tissue uptake. This can be a particularly important point when searching for the right calcium supplement, especially for those with low gastric acid levels common with aging. Even those with healthy stomach acid levels typically only absorb 22% of the calcium in calcium carbonate, whereas people with insufficient gastric acid output may only absorb 4%. In contrast, 45% of the calcium is absorbed from calcium citrate in people with low stomach acid.

Multiple studies have demonstrated an enhanced bioavailability of calcium citrate compared to calcium carbonate. Chelating with Krebs cycle intermediates, such as citrate, aspartate, and malate allows calcium to be easily absorbed and enhances the absorption of other minerals. Pure Encapsulations offers Calcium (citrate) and Calcium Magnesium (citrate), Calcium (citrate/malate) and Calcium/Magnesium (citrate/malate), and Calcium (aspartate) and Calcium/Magnesium (aspartate). All Pure Encapsulations calcium supplements are tested for heavy metals.

Cat’s Claw:

What is the TOA and POA content of Cat's claw? 
The content of TOAs (or tetracyclic oxindole alkaloids) is 0.27% and the content of POAs (pentacyclic oxindole alkaloids) is 2.73%.

Chromium Picolinate:

Is chromium picolinate safe?
An independent toxicological laboratory in Cambridge, Massachusetts assessed the toxicity of chromium picolinate and found no production of chromosomal damage.

Furthermore, the concentration of chromium picolinate used in this study was thousands of times greater than the amount used for human supplementation. Some rat studies have used doses of chromium picolinate 5,000 times and 80,000 times greater than a typical human dose of 200 mcg, without adverse effects.

In addition, the safety of chromium picolinate has been clearly established in over 25 formal peer reviewed and published studies.


Is your CoQ10 the cis or trans configuration? 
Pure Encapsulations' CoQ10 is obtained naturally by fermentation. A series of crystallization and evaporation steps follows in order to achieve optimal purification. This results in the production of CoQ10 with a side chain of 10 isoprenoid units in the trans configuration, the form of CoQ10  that occurs naturally in the body's cells.

How much CoQ10 should I take if I am on statin drugs?
Statin drugs have been shown to interfere with your body's production of CoQ10 and the amount suggested by Julian Whitaker, M.D., is 100-200 mg per day.


How does Pure Encapsulations Cranberry NS compare to cranberry juice?
Cranberry NS is a sugar-free, low-calorie alternative to commercial cranberry juice cocktails, which usually contain at least 30% sugar. Each Cranberry NS capsule has approximately three calories. 1 capsule of cranberry extract=10 oz Cranbery juice cocktail.

Fish Oil:

Is the fish oil microfiltered (molecularly distilled)? Has it been tested for heavy metals?
Yes, the fish oil used in EPA/DHA Essentials is molecularly distilled. Additionally, we test each batch for 17 dioxins and furans, 14 PCBs, peroxides, anisidines and microbial contaminants. Additionally, we test for heavy metals, including lead, cadmium, arsenic and mercury at levels exceeding industry standards. Our fish oil is sourced from sardines and anchovies from the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile. Please refer to our Fish Oil brochure for more details.


What is the difference between Panax ginseng and Eleutherococcus senticosus?
It is believed that Panax ginseng (also known as Asian ginseng) may produce a more immediate, stimulating effect than Eleutherococcus senticosus, which may have a calming, tonifying effect. The difference lies primarily in their active compounds. Panax ginseng is standardized to contain 15% total ginsenosides whereas Eleutherococcus senticosus is standardized to contain 0.8% eleutheroside E and B. Also, some professionals do not recommend Panax ginseng for female patients because of possible masculinizing effects.


What is the difference between Glucosamine Sulfate and Glucosamine Complex?
Glucosamine Complex contains three different forms of glucosamine: glucosamine sulfate, n-acetyl-d-glucosamine, and glucosamine HCl in addition to vitamin C and manganese. Some healthcare professionals feel that this provides broad-spectrum joint support not achieved with Glucosamine Sulfate alone. Glucosamine Sulfate remains the most well-researched form of glucosamine.

What is the difference between glucosamine HCl and glucosamine sulfate? 
Glucosamine sulfate is a form of glucosamine that is easily absorbed and has been extensively studied. Potassium chloride is added to provide product stability. Some professionals believe that their clients may experience enhanced joint support from the sulfate and potassium that this particular form provides. Glucosamine HCl is believed to be a slightly more stable form of glucosamine and has been only recently studied for joint support. Both have been shown to support joint health.

How do I know which joint support product is best for me?
For the most part, this may involve some experimentation. There is no easy way to determine which product might be the most beneficial for each individual. Products that provide important building blocks include Chondroitin sulfate, Glucosamine Sulfate, Glucosamne HCl, EPA/DHA-Glucosamine, Cartilage Factors, Bovine Cartilage, Arthred, Collagen JS, MSM, Glucosamine/MSM with joint comfort herbs, Glucosamine Chondroitin with manganese, Glucosamine Chondroitin with MSM and Glucosamine Complex. Support for joint comfort and the tissues that surround the joint include EPA/DHA essentials, Boswellia, Glucosamine/MSM with joint comfort herbs, Ligament Restore, Systemic Enzyme Complex, CMO, Ginger, Devil's Claw and Curcumin.

If I am allergic to sulfa drugs, can I take your sulfate products (e.g. glucosamine or chondroitin sulfate)?
Absolutely. A sulfa drug is any of a class of synthetic chemical substances derived from sulfanilamide and used to treat bacterial infections. These drugs inhibit the action of para-aminobenzoic acid, a substance bacteria need in order to reproduce. Glucosamine sulfate is not a sulfa drug. It is an amino sugar naturally found in cartilage matrix. As a dietary supplement, it promotes optimal joint health.

If I am allergic to shellfish, can I take Glucosamine Sulfate or Chitosan?
Most of our glucosamine products and chitosan are sourced from the chitin (hard shell) of crab and other shellfish. It may be best to avoid these products if you have an allergy. We do, however, have a shellfish-free Glucosamine HCl, derived from corn fermentation.


What is the source of hesperidin? What is the difference between hesperidin methyl chalcone and hesperidin? 
Hesperidin methyl chalcone is derived from sweet orange.

There are essentially three forms of hesperidin: hesperidin complex, purified hesperidin and hesperidin methyl chalcone, like we have. The three forms of hesperidin differ in terms of water solubility. For hesperidin methylchalcone, hesperidin from sweet orange is made alkaline to achieve hesperidin chalcone. Then in a synthetic step, the compound is methylated, providing a product that is no less than 98% hesperidin methyl chalcone. This is the most water soluble and therefore readily absorbable form for the bloodstream.


Is d-mannose safe for diabetics?
D-mannose is very safe, even for long term use (even though most people will only need to use it for several days or weeks). Although it is a simple sugar, very little of it is metabolized. It does not interfere with blood sugar regulation even for diabetics, though close monitoring is always advised. It creates no disruption or imbalance in normal microflora.

Mineral Chelates:

What is the difference between citrates, aspartates, glycinates, malates and picolinates?
Aspartates, citrates, malates, glycinates, and picolinates are superior forms of chelates because they are organic compounds (carbon-containing), which are better absorbed by the body. Most of these chelates are also krebs cycle intermediates, supporting the body's metabolic processes. Minerals chelated with inorganic compounds such as carbonate are not as well absorbed.

Technically, aspartate and glycinate are considered "amino acid chelates". Citrate, malate, and picolinate are not amino acid derivatives and are not categorized as amino acid chelates. Nonetheless, each of these is an organic chelate and most are krebs cycle intermediates supporting optimal absorption.

At this time, studies have not compared the effects of aspartates vs. citrates vs. malates vs. glycinates vs. picolinates enough to know whether a significant difference exists between these forms. It is believed, however, that any of these organic compounds and krebs cycle intermediates have the potential to be better absorbed than other forms.


Why do you offer Nutrient 950 w/out iron, copper or iodine? With NAC?
Postmenopausal women and most men do not need iron supplementation, and many individuals do not need additional copper or iodine. We added Nutrient 950 with n-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) because we make it by request for a large physician group and wanted to offer it to all other healthcare professionals. Please refer to our Multivitamin Brochure for more details and a full product overview chart that includes specific recommendations.

What is the difference between Nutrient 950 and UltraNutrient?
UltraNutrient combines the core ingredients of Nutrient 950 with advanced antioxidants and standardized phytonutrient extracts to provide a supplement of unequalled potency and effectiveness. These ingredients include mixed carotenoids, vitamin C as ascorbyl palmitate, milk thistle, reduced glutathione, hawthorn, coenzyme Q10, alpha lipoic acid, taurine, and ginger. Please refer to our Multivitamin Brochure for more details and a full product overview chart that includes specific recommendations.


What is the source of Neuromins™ DHA?
Neuromins DHA from Pure Encapsulations is extracted from microalgae under tightly controlled manufacturing conditions. The microalgae is Crypthecodinium cohnii, a non-GMO phytoplankton dinoflagellate.

Why is sunflower oil added to Neuromins DHA?
Sunflower oil is included to stabilize the DHA oil and to ensure consistent potency from batch to batch. DHA is extracted from algae, providing a 40-50% DHA concentrate. DHA above 40% is blended with sunflower oil in order to provide product stability and consistency. Vitamin E and ascorbyl palmitate are also added to further enhance stability.

Pancreatic Enzymes:

Is the pancreatin in Pancreatic Enzyme formula processed such that it contains lactose?
Our full-strength pancreatin does not contain lactose. At full-strength, the product is designated as "10x". When pancreatin products are not full-strength, such as "4x", they are "diluted" with either lactose or sucrose, as specified by the USP.


I ordered some of your probiotics and they have been left unrefrigerated for a few days. Are they still viable?
Our refrigerated probiotics are packaged in specialty insulated boxes with cold packs to maintain proper temperature and viability. Furthermore, capsules are manufactured to contain 20-30% more of the probiotic culture than indicated on the label to ensure full activity by the time it reaches you.


Are your soy products genetically modified?
The GMO Status of our soy-containing products is as follows:


There is no detectable GMO material in our Alpha-GPC product.

IsoProtein Plus
IsoProtein Plus soy protein isolate is sourced from Identity Preserved non-GMO soy.

Our PS100 is from PCR negative sources of soy but it is not guaranteed to come exclusively from nonGMO raw materials.

Soy Isoflavones 40 (40% isoflavones)
The source of the soybeans is nonGMO and they undergo an extensive identity preservation process. PCR testing is also performed on the material. PCR testing of the soybeans looks for any indication of the presence of genetic modification. The results for this product are PCR negative (negative for the presence of DNA from Round Up Ready soybeans), indicating an absence of genetically modified material.

Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) 
The soybeans used to produce this product are not nonGMO. However, PCR testing of the soybeans is conducted, which tests for the presence of genetic modification. The results for this product are PCR negative (negative for the presence of DNA from Round Up Ready soybeans), indicating an absence of genetically modified material.

Vitamin E (d-alpha tocopherol succinate)
The vitamin E found in the multivitamins does not come from soy that is nonGMO. It is, however, tested by PCR and certified free of genetically modified material.

Vitamin K2
There is no detectable GMO material in our Vitamin K2.

Vitamin B:

What is the difference between pantethine and pantothenic acid (calcium pantothenate) and can pantethine be used for adrenal support?
Pantothenic acid is a single molecule whereas pantethine is a double molecule. Panthethine consists of two molecules of pantothenic acid, which are also attached to molecules of cysteamine. Cysteamine is believed to play the primary role in the cardiovascular support properties of pantethine, and pantothenic acid primarily serves as a stable carrier for cysteamine. When digested, pantethine is hydrolyzed into cyteamine and two molecules of pantothenic acid. In addition to cardiovascular health, panthethine may be helpful for supporting similar applications as calcium pantothenate, including adrenal support.

What are the sources of your B vitamins?
The sources of our B vitamins are as follows:


Vitamin B1 (thiamine HCl): synthetic 
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): fermentation of corn 
Niacinamide and Niacin: synthetic 
Vitamin B5 (calcium pantothenate): synthetic 
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxal HCl): synthetic 
Vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin): fermentation of corn 
Folic acid: synthetic 
Biotin: synthetic

Vitamin C:

On the labels for Buffered Ascorbic Acid products, it indicates that 1,000 mg buffered ascorbic capsules provides 500 mg vitamin C or that 4,400 mg buffered ascorbic acid powder provides 2,200 mg vitamin C. What are the remaining mg made up of?
This formula is buffered with mineral ascorbates (calcium, magnesium and potassium ascorbates) to create a neutral pH vitamin C for sensitive individuals. The remaining mg are an excellent source of these minerals.

What is your vitamin C derived from?
Vitamin C contained in Pure Encapsulations Pure Ascorbic Acid, Ascorbyl Palmitate, and Buffered C is derived from corn dextrose fermentation. Sensitivity to this product, even for people with a sensitivity to corn, is rare since the protein has been removed.

Vitamin E:

What is the difference between Vitamin E and Tocotrienols?
Eight different compounds, 4 tocopherols (alpha, beta, delta, and gamma tocopherols) and 4 tocotrienols (alpha, beta, delta, and gamma tocotrienols) make up the vitamin E family. These eight members have some functions that are similar (both provide powerful antioxidant activity) and some functions that are different (vitamin E plays a crucial role in the cellular respiration of cardiac muscles, while tocotrienols maintain healthy lipid metabolism). Up until recently, d-alpha tocopherol is the member of this family most associated with vitamin E. This is mostly due to the fact that it is the most abundant form. Now, the other forms of tocopherol are receiving attention in addition to the tocotrienol members of the family, especially gamma tocotrienol.


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