Health/ Nutrition

What is Excipient Free?

Pure Vegan


You may be eating excipients in your vitamins and other nutritional supplements without even knowing it. What are excipients? Excipients are fillers, binders, flowing agents, and various types of glues that hold nutritional supplements and vitamins together. Most excipients generally test toxic and some of the commonly used excipients are animal-derived.

Excipient fillers and binders can affect the absorption rate and benefit of the rate by as much as 65%. This assumption has allowed their use to be wide-spread with little regard for their actual influence. Excipients, for example have been found to initiate or participate in chemical and physical interactions, which can compromise the efficacy of a medication or supplement.

Excipients are also present in capsules where they act as filler and flowing agent to keep the contents inside from hardening.

When choosing vitamins and supplements, read labels carefully to make sure that it is excipient free.

Here’s a list of some commonly used excipients and their potential health effects:

Magnesium stearate: Is a widely used excipient in pharmaceutical products as a powerful binder. Some studies have shown that it suppresses immune function. The absorbability of products is also questionable when magnesium stearate has been added to a formula.

Titanium dioxide: Is a common whitening agent used in some supplements and pharmaceutical agents. It has shown to be a potential carcinogen to humans.

MSG: Monosodium glutamate is a common flavoring agent in supplements. It is a known neurotoxic agent and should be strictly avoided when choosing supplements. Reactions to MSG may occur and they include: tingling and weakness around the face, temple, upper back, neck, and arms, with flushing of the skin and warmth. Some people experience heart palpitations, intense thirst, anxiety, nausea, and vomiting.

Parabens: Are a group of widely used preservative and anti-microbial agent in personal care products and supplements. There is growing concern that parabens can cause hormone disruptions and they have been found in high concentrations in breast cancer tumors.

Talc: A known carcinogenic.

Gelatin: Is derived from collagen in animal’s skin and bones. It is a gelling agent used in supplements to help coat the outside of capsules to make them easier to swallow. A vegan alternative to a gelatin capsule is hypromellose.

Tartrazine: A yellow coloring agent used in some supplements and pharmaceuticals has been shown to cause adverse reactions in certain individuals. This has been shown to cause behavioral changes such as irritability, restlessness, and sleep disturbance in children.

by Melissa Sanborn of Nutritional Brands, PureVegan

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