Filler ‘er up

I am at times perplexed by the willingness of even the most skeptical of us to put things in our mouths and never ask a question about what is in it. I am a skeptic at heart but when my functional medicine doctor advised me to take supplements I dutifully did so and did not read the labels. Apparently I am not “skeptical” if I think I could live a longer, healthier life by doing what I was told.

Fast forward six months or so after my appointment with my doctor and I started to read a lot of articles about fillers in supplements and the harm they can do. In my defense I did discuss this with my doctor and he felt that fillers are not a problem. I might agree if I didn’t take a handful of supplements most days and if they didn’t make me feel bad. Also to my amazement there are reputable manufacturers who make supplements with no fillers but they do cost more.

What are these fillers? Check your label sometime and look to see the words maltodextrin, magnesium stearate, stearic acid, ascorbyl palmitate, titanium dioxide, gelatin, etc. These ingredients have a variety of purposes but most are used as lubricants (magnesium stearate, stearic acid, and ascorby palmitate), some are just fillers that have  excitotoxin properties that will make you feel you are better when you aren’t (gelatin and maltodextrin can both have msg).

Magnesium stearate, stearic acid and ascorbyl palmitate are the ingredients that are the most egregious offenders as they are strictly there to make machinery run at maximum efficiency because they make the ingredients slippery. They are made by hydrogenating cottonseed or palm oil and according to Udo Erasmus “cottonseed has the highest content of pesticide residue of all commercial oils. In the hydrogenation process, the oil is subjected to high heat and pressure in the presence of a metal catalyst for several hours. The resultant stearates contain altered molecules, derived from fatty acids, which may be toxic. The metal catalyst may also contaminate the stearates produced.”  Up to 5% of the average supplement capsule is magnesium stearate, that is 25 mg. According to Ron Schmid, N.D. “if you take 8 capsules a day that is 250 a month-or 6250 mg of this hydrogenated oil, or nearly one-quarter ounce which in a year averages 3 ounces” of pesticide laden artery clogging hydrogenated oil.

Crikey here I am watching every mouthful of food I eat. I buy expensive extra virgin olive oil and grapeseed oil that is organic. I religiously exercise three to four times a week. I try to get my 7-8 hours of sleep at night. I travel to a farm 50 miles from my house to buy raw milk and my eggs come from pastured chickens 30 miles from my home. I eat only grass fed beef and bison. The chicken we eat has had the run of the prairie at Farmer Darryles and the pigs nosh on organic leftover veggies and eggs. All this and I am unknowingly consuming 3 ounces of pure poison and no one bats an eyelash. I am here to tell you that it isn’t necessary and until the consumer speaks up nothing will be done about it. I can also personally attest to the fact that even if you speak up you will be told they are necessary (Byron Richards at Wellness Resources right here in Edina, MN).

I am now on a mission to rid my diet of these fillers yet take the supplements that  might help my body thrive. A friend of mine and I are researching every possible source of filler and additive free supplement and I can provide you with a few sites and supplements to assist you if you are interested. They are as follows:

Dr. Rons Ultra Pure

Professional Supplement Center

HBC Protocols


Baseline Nutritionals

Paradise Herbs

Premier Labs

Viable Herbal Solutions


Dr. Ron’s supplements are pure and unadulterated, all of them. Professional Supplement Center carries Thorne Research, Pure Encapsulations and Metabolic Maintenance. HBS Protocols has some products without fillers like Masquelliers OPC and Idebenone. Iherb has a full line of Dr. Christopher’s herbal supplements that are free of fillers and are all natural formulas for what ails you and they carry Paradise Herbs. If you use my code YAN884 you will get a discount for first time users at Iherb. Baseline Nutritionals are a line of products by Jon Barron and most of his products are free of fillers but you have to watch the tablets or capsules. Premier offers some additive and filler free supplements but not all of them are, so read the label. Vitabase offers some supplements that are free of fillers but again you need to read the label.

I am hoping to entice Chloe to continue her research as she is a fabulous investigator and I will continue to provide you with more supplements that are free of fillers and excitotoxins, so stay tuned and stay healthy.


3 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by krisinsight on 8:46 at Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    I am going to amend the statement regarding Ascorbyl Palmitate as a useless filler. Through more research it seems that Ascorbyl Palmitate is often used as a source of Vitamin C and even Dr. Ron’s supplements use it as one source for Vitamin C (the other is Calcium Ascorbate).


  2. While it is true that ascorbyl palmitate is generally used as a lubricant, you must also remember that it is Vitamin C, therefore not an excipient (def: non-nutritional filler)


    • Posted by krisinsight on 8:56 at Tuesday, January 27, 2009

      It does appear to be the least bad of the fillers that manufacturers use but it does interfere with the absorption of oral supplements and that can be a problem for people who already may not have the most efficient digestive system. Dr. Ron demonstrates how his capsule contents dissolve quickly in a glass of water and how other supplements do not, so I just did a little experiment with one supplement that has no fillers (Dr. Ron’s) and one that does (Wellness Resources). Dr. Ron’s instantly dispersed in the glass of water and the other one formed small oily balls on the surface of the water. Even if the filler has something minor to offer (and the value of Ester C or Ascorbyl Palmitate is still debatable) why use it if you don’t have to?


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