Increasingly, people are turning to supplements to boost their micronutrient intake. But unfortunately, not all supplements are created equally.

Cheaper supplements are more likely to contain potentially dangerous binders and fillers, as well as inactive nutrient forms.

Inactive vitamins

Your body must absorb a vitamin properly. If not, it will not provide the desired effect in the body. Unfortunately, some vitamin forms are absorbed more effectively than others.

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One example is Vitamin B12. It comes in three forms: hydroxocobalamin, cyanocobalamin, and methylcobalamin. According to research, the least effective form of Vitamin B12 is cyanocobalamin – yet it is often found in cheaper multivitamins.

The problem with Omega 3 supplements

Products marketed as Omega 3 supplements tend to be made from fish oil. One problem with fish oil supplements is that there is often an exceptionally long production time involved in their production – particularly in cheaper options. 

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By the time the supplements are made, the product may become rancid. Research suggests this occurs in up to one in ten brands. Rancidity means that the product has become oxidised, which may increase your cholesterol levels. To cover the foul smell and taste of rotten fish, manufacturers may add artificial flavourings.

Furthermore, some fish oil supplements may be high in substances such as mercury. High mercury levels are hazardous for children and women, particularly pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Anchovy oil, often used in DHA Omega 3 supplements, is often regarded as unsustainable. This is because the anchovy industry has a high carbon footprint and causes damage to marine ecosystems. 

Sugar content of supplements

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With many of us trying to reduce sugar intake, we must avoid any unnecessary sweet stuff. Vitamin gummies are common culprits, which often contain glucose and sucrose.

Palm oil in supplements

We’re increasingly aware of the environmentally destructive potential of palm oil. Farmers must eradicate large swathes of rainforest to make way for palm oil plantations, meaning habitats are destroyed, and carbon dioxide levels increase.

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Despite the ecological toll of palm oil, it is cheap to obtain. Manufacturers may use palm oil in supplements to coat capsules or maintain moisture. Common derivatives to look out for include Magnesium Stearate, Propylene Glycol, Vitamin A Palmitate, Glycerin, Polysorbate 80 and Polyethylene Glycol.

Talcum powder in supplements

Would you voluntarily eat talc? Magnesium silicate, its scientific name, is a popular ingredient in cheaper supplements. It’s used to bulk up capsules and prevent them from caking. 

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Rice that has been treated with magnesium silicate has been associated with increased stomach cancer risk in Japan.

There are also some fears that magnesium silicate may be contaminated with asbestos – a mineral notorious for its disastrous health effects. In fact, Johnson & Johnson were sued for billions of dollars by thousands of women who developed ovarian cancer after using their talcum powder.

Although the safety of food-grade talc is debated, safety is paramount. It’s best to avoid supplements that contain magnesium silicate, as the ingredient offers no nutritional value anyway.

Titanium dioxide in capsules

Artificially-white capsules may look appealing, but many contain metallic pigment titanium dioxide. 

Scientists have suggested it can induce oxidative stress, a process potentially contributing to developing cancers and diseases such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), multiple sclerosis, depression, and memory loss. 

Get Authentic

Authentic Biotics distinguishes itself from many brands as we fully commit to using zero fillers and bulking agents.

Not only may these extra ingredients potentially have some pretty scary health consequences, but they also are not necessary to create an effective supplement with high-quality ingredients. 

Read more: Do you know where your Ashwagandha comes from?

With so much contradictory and false information online, we understand how difficult it is to make nutritional decisions to meet your and your family’s health needs. So we aim to stay up-to-date on the science behind our ingredients, so our customers know exactly what they’re buying and whether it’s suitable for them.

Try our filler-free supplements for Brain HealthImmunity and Bone Health be sure of what’s inside!

Medical disclaimer

You must not rely on the information on this blog as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or therapist. If you have any specific concerns about your mental or physical health, you should consult your doctor and you should not delay seeking medical advice, or treatment for your mental health, because of the information on this blog.