Episode 031: Supplements, Multivitamins & The Difference Between Pharmaceutical Grade and Over the Counter, Part Two with Jennifer Klotz, MS, RD

Have you ever wondered why pharmaceutical grade supplements are so much more expensive? Or more importantly, are they even any more effective?

Have you heard that ‘over the counter’ vitamin brands are exactly the same whether they’re generic or brand name?

What about the multi-vitamin you’ve been taking … are you actually absorbing any of it, or just peeing it out?

We know these are loaded questions – but you’re health will greatly benefit from knowing the truth after listening to this episode.

Available to Listen on:  iTunes  &  Spotify.

Looking for Jenn’s Direct Link to her Pharmaceutical Catalog? FIND IT HERE

Reminders from This Episode: 

  • Get informed, flip your labels
  • What is actually in the supplement you’re taking? & how is it affecting you?
  • Where do you want to put your money?
  • What do you want to put in your body?
  • What’s ultimately the most important to you when it comes to your health?
  • You get what you pay for. Cheap isn’t always best, this episode explains why.

The Main Differences in Your Supplements:

Let’s Dive into pharmaceutical grade and OTC (over the counter) options & why the differences actually matter –

  • Providers will recommend pharmaceutical grade vitamins, minerals and herbs, and they’re known to be classified in a completely different category than OTC supplements
  • Most OTC brands consist of only of 10% raw materials.
    • The rest is fillers & binders
    • You’ll only absorb 10% of what your buying
    • The joke is that “you’re just peeing out money” and with poor quality supplements – sadly, this is actually true
    • In a way, they’re trying to protect the consumer by decreasing the absorbable amount – in order to avoid over dosing or, over supplementing
  • Pharmaceutical grade supplements are made with 99% raw materials
    • They’re very potent & very effective – because you will actually absorb what you take.
    • They have to be effective, because they’re being used by medical practitioners to treat and heal, with an end goal to create a specific action and outcome within the body.
    • They’re formulated to actually work
    • You have to be a practitioner or be working with a practitioner directly, in order to have access to supplements of this quality.
    • Jenn’s pharmaceutical grade catalog is open for you to access
      • Be well informed, know what you actually need to be taking, assess your lab work and know your numbers.
      • Don’t blindly supplement and Don’t take things your body doesn’t need – you can ultimately cause more harm than good, by doing this.

When it comes to your Multivitamin …

  • keep in mind these are just bulletpoints, listen to the full episode in order to hear Jenn explain the details around each of these critical nutrients and what you should be looking for

B vitamins –

  • they’re not absorbing at a cellular level unless they’re actually in the correct form
    • Hydroxocobalamin (across the board – works the best)
    • Methylcobalamin (this option is second best)
  • AVOID:
    • Cyanocobalamin (the cheapest form, synthetically made, & contains a cyanide molecule)

if your multivitamin solely lists “Vitamin B12” without listing the ‘form’ of the vitamin in parenthesis next to it – that means you’re getting the most generic & difficult to absorb version of the vitamin

Vitamin A –

  • The dose included in your multivitamin should never exceed 5,000 IU
    • Any more than that is dangerous and is linked to a multitude of health issues
  • Ideally, you want to see 2,500 IU in a Beta Carotene or Retinyl Palmitate form (most active and easily utilized by the body)

Vitamin E –

  • You never want to see the letters “DL” in the front of tocopherols or alpha tocopherols – as this is the synthetic version and has not been shown to be beneficial

Vitamin D –

  • Ideally no more than 400-800 IU should ever be in your multivitamin
  • Too much vitamin D can be dangerous and has been linked to toxic implications – specifically toxic to the liver
  • Get your blood work tested annually, so you know your levels and can adjust your daily dosage accordingly
  • It’s best to get your vitamin D from natural sunlight exposure if possible
  • Magnesium is needed for vitamin D to be effectively utilized by the body and/or stored
  • That being said – low vitamin D levels may be linked to a magnesium deficiency. Just something to consider.


  • Should be in capsule form, liquid or powder form ideally for best absorption
  • Tablets do not break down well in the body – they’re generally poor quality and you should choose to skip it if your multivitamin is produced in hard pressed tablet form
    • We have thresholds for each nutrient we can absorb at one time and one a day vitamins typically contain way more than we can actually utilize at one time … aka … you’re most likely wasting your money & peeing most of it out.
  • It’s best to take something that’s meant to be taken twice a day, if possible


  • Centrum
  • Garden of Life
  • Rainbow Light
  • My Kind
  • Costco ‘Kirkland’ Brands
  • Walgreens, Walmart, Target – generic “store brands” aren’t being regulated at all. 


  • Jarrow (considered pharmaceutical grade)
  • Now Foods
  • Enzymatic Therapy (sister to integrative therapeutics brand)
  • Seeking health


She has kindly opened up access for all Critical Conversations Podcast Listeners … all you have to do is sign-up with your email, HERE.

… & That’s a wrap of Season 3.

Thank you so much for joining us. Summer is officially here & we hope you make the most of it. We plan to do the same – and promise to be back around August or September with amazing new episodes you won’t want to miss!




Never hesitate to reach out to us directly, contact us HERE, or comment below. Because even though the episodes have paused for the summer, we’ll still be recording content and prepping for season 4. All suggestions, are always welcome!

Thank you so much for joining us.

Be an advocate for your own health.

Keep asking questions & seeking answers.

Where you put your money, matters.

& We hope to help create that small ripple effect of positive change with every conversation we have, and every purchase we make.

– Your Critical Conversations Team – @CriticalConversations

Briana Reesing . @beachlifebri . www.beachlifeorganic.com

Jennifer Klotz . @JenniferKlotz_RD . www.shechangeseverything.com

Last but not least – Don’t miss out.

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