This blog has kindly been written for us by The Naked Pharmacy.

We are an online pharmacy company based at Surrey Technology Park, where we research and develop safe and effective natural products including Saffrosun and Bergatone. Our pledge is to produce safe, quality and effective natural products that you can trust.

This blog is intended to help natural health practitioners understand the fundamental quality markers which help make effective and safe medicines and supplements. To that end we have prepared a short training webinar (click on the link below to view):

6 Minute Natural Medicine/Supplement Training Webinar for Practitioners

In this webinar you will discover our Quality checklist for developing exceptional natural products. This comprises:

1. Good Agricultural Practice

The growing regions and conditions can significantly affect the quality of the product; sometimes the extreme change in temperature and light can increase active content, for example the carotenoid content in Saffron (3.5%).

It is important to question, is this product grown in the best region and conditions for maximum effectiveness and quality?

2. Method of manufacture

High quality GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice) is very important for safety and effectiveness. You must always ask yourself whether the site of manufacture is quality assured with Good Manufacturing Practice. Is the quality of the product assured i.e. tested in every batch?

3. Choice of strength and dose

Is the strength/dose supported by high quality clinical trials? Many consumers confuse strength with dose; strength is the specified percentage of the active ingredient/ingredients in the product. Dose is the weight of the natural ingredient(s) required each day for effectiveness. It is important not to confuse the strength with the dose, as many tablets and capsules will contain inert bulking agents which will increase the weight of the tablet or capsule. Make sure you are checking the actual weight of active ingredients listed on the side of the pack.

You should also check whether the final product is the same strength and dose as stated in the trials.

4. Standardisation of active ingredients

Are all the required active ingredients present in the product at the correct level?

Key active components must be specified at the correct strength; some suppliers do not specify all the required active components on their packaging.

5. Evidence-based

Does the evidence specifically support the product?

Some products quote research from a different source or strength of product. Focusing on the specific condition in humans and not test tubes or animals is very important to ensure the research data is relevant.

Why did The Naked Pharmacy start?

We sought to apply the standards of evidence-based medicine (EBM) to natural product development. Evidence-based medicine uses information from well defined and conducted research.

We believe that people should be able to access trustworthy and transparent information about their health and treatment options.

Key markers used at The Naked Pharmacy to look for in products:

– Source ingredients and products from world-leading suppliers and technology
– Standards: products that have been tested for a minimum active ingredient levels and microbiology on every batch
– Effectiveness: products that have been rated levels 1,2,3 (Gold, Silver, Bronze) for completely transparent information indicators about the evidence base for our products

In our webinar, you can see how these principles have each been applied to our products, meaning they have truly effective results.

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