Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Excipient Insanity- Don't fall for the Magnesium Stearate/Silicon Dioxide fear-mongering.

I've had some phone calls and emails over the past weeks and months with people asking me THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION OF ALL TIME, "do your products have Mag Stearate"? Or less commonly, Silicon Dioxide?

Nutritional supplements is a tough, competitive business, manufacturers try everything to set themselves apart from the crowd. Some have chosen a truly despicable tactic of smearing other companies who use proven safe ingredients by planting false information that these ingredients are somehow unsafe or undesirable. I call on you, the science-based, factually informed shopper to call their bluff and call them out when they see this garbage posted somewhere online.

I wince, physically and intellectually at how easily people fall for this marketing BS, that somehow mag stearate or silicon dioxide are "bad". In fact, I've now gone so far as to note in all the Relentless Improvement product listings this verbiage:

"Relentless Improvement brand (insert product name) is formulated with vegetable stearates. Mag Stearate does not support bacterial/mold growth and is proven safe, and that's why we use it. There are NO human studies and no evidence that indicates magnesium stearate, in the small amounts found in capsules, has shown to have harmful effects. Much of this misinformation that claim this substance is harmful is originated by companies who are trying to differentiate themselves from other vitamin companies by way of baseless fear mongering. If anyone tells you magnesium stearate in the extremely small amounts found in capsules or tablets is harmful, challenge them to provide you with peer-reviewed research that proves their point - they will not be able to. "

In regards to Other Ingredients (excipients) in general, sometimes I'm asked "why do you even use them?". Let's say you pour sugar down into a stainless steel funnel, it passes right through with no problem, right? Now do the same with flour, it sticks, right? There is the answer as to why some materials MUST have added ingredients for the manufacturing process (tableting or encapsulation). A real life example is our Na-R-ALA R-Lipoic Acid, the raw material a sticky powder. Super sticky. Either you add a "flow agent" (excipient/other ingredient), in this case Mag Stearate, or it simply does not pass through the encapsulation machinery, it will jam it up. The raw material in our CurcuWin Curcumin and Super Potent Green Tea/EgCG Extract for example is not sticky at all, and will run through the encapsulation machinery just fine with nothing added, so on those we can "brag" about them having no excipient content.

While I could rant for hours and pages, I won't. 

I hope this helps you understand a bit more about facts of the situation and helps you to be a better, smarter supplement buyer!