Most of us assume that by simply taking a supplement we are automatically improving our health. We trust in what the supplement companies say will benefit us by taking their products. Unfortunately, most of the so-called “healthy” supplements out there are anything but healthy. Many big name companies spend millions of dollars on advertising yet produce cheaply made products that can take hours to dissolve and are loaded with harmful fillers (excipients). At Vita4Life we often preach the importance of choosing supplements that do not contain fillers because they have a severe impact on the quality and effectiveness of the supplement and your health.
So what exactly is a supplement filler?
Fillers, along with binders and flow agents, are inactive ingredients/ chemicals that are added to tablets, capsules, and softgels to bind the ingredients together, make them seem fuller or larger, and help make the manufacturing cheaper. It is a dangerous way to produce less expensive supplements and trick consumers into thinking they are getting more vitamins and minerals than they actually are. When you see a product marketed as “natural” and these chemicals are listed as “other ingredients”, you should know that there is nothing natural about the product.
What makes a filler harmful?
If the idea of taking a supplement that has random chemicals doesn’t scare you enough, understanding the health effects of these commonly used excipients should:
-Magnesium Stearate: Used as a cheap way to keep ingredients from sticking together, Magnesium Stearate has been found to weaken the immune system, is toxic, often contains GMO’s, and impacts the ability for the body to absorb nutrients (a bit counterproductive when taking a supplement!).
-Carrageenan: Used as a thickening agent, Carrageenan has been found to cause inflammation in the digestive system and may cause the formation of tumors.
-Titanium Dioxide: Often found in topical beauty products, Titanium Dioxide is an unnatural chemical coloring agent to give supplements a specific color. This chemical has been linked to increased risk of cancer when taken orally. Seeing variations in color in your supplements is a good thing because they should be coming from naturally sourced raw materials that vary in color.
-Hydrogenated Oils: One of the most common fillers in supplements is genetically modified Hydrogenated Oil. These trans fatty acids are linked to increased low density lipoprotein (bad) cholesterol and decreased high density lipoprotein (good) cholesterol. They increase the risk of heart disease and heart attack.
There are many other dangerous additives out there. As a rule of thumb, before you purchase a supplement you should check the “other ingredients” and if you see something you do not recognize, research it before you buy it. It would be nice if we could trust the companies when they say their products are healthy but unfortunately that is not the case. It is up to you to make sure what you are taking is healthy.
Vita4Life products never contain fillers and dissolve quickly for maximum absorption. Our supplements are designed specifically for patients of bariatric surgery that depend on the full bioavailability of the vitamins and minerals. We will never cut corners in our manufacturing methods to make sure we are providing the highest quality supplement possible!
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