The government only gives minimal guidelines on how supplements are stored and coated. So, you need to do most of your own homework.
What’s in Your Supplement?
When manufacturers chelate, or coat, a supplement, they are making it more resistant to damage during digestion. Manufacturers use binders, usually vegetable gums, cellulose, and microcrystalline cellulose to hold the tablets together. Capsules can also use binders to help affect the speed of a product being released into the bloodstream.
Fillers are also used in supplements. They act as a dispersing agent and add extra bulk, as active ingredients are often too small to stand alone.
Lubricants are a mainstay with most supplements. They are used as a necessary part of the manufacturing process. Supplements are also coated to make it easier to swallow and to avoid the damaging effects of oxygen.
Watch Out For Some Fillers
If you have any dietary restrictions because of allergies or digestive issues, watch out for supplements that contain yeast, gluten, shellfish, sugar, and salt. They should all be listed on the ingredient list.
As is the case with anything you put in your body, it’s good to know a little about natural versus synthetic. Remember that if something is natural that does not mean it’s automatically safe to use.
It’s a good idea to discuss supplements with your doctor or nutritionist. This is particularly true if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or undergoing treatment for a chronic health condition.
It’s easy to assume when we walk into a store that everything on the shelves is equally safe and effective. Your best bet is to not take anything for granted. Instead, ask questions and do your research.
November 6th, 2009