Unlike Authentic Biotics, many supplements brands bulk up their products with unnecessary ingredients. If they don’t add value to supplements, why do brands use fillers? More importantly, are these fillers dangerous?

Some of the most common fillers, known as excipients, include:

  • Titanium dioxide
  • Magnesium stearate
  • Stearic acid
  • Carrageenan
  • Gelatin
  • Silicon dioxide

Why do supplement brands use fillers?

Cost reduction

On the labelling of some supplements, fillers may be grouped under ‘other ingredients’. The consumer rarely experiences any advantage from these additives, however. In fact, manufacturers often include these ingredients to make more money.

Photo by gemenacom via Getty Images Pro.

Including these additives speeds up and simplifies production, which is why you may see huge price differences in similarly-named supplements. However, the cost reduction for the consumer may not be worth the associated risks of the added ingredients.


Excipients can bind ingredients, making capsules and tablets appear more attractive by preventing cracks, splits and clumps. 

Image by Anna Shvets via Pexels


The micronutrient contents of supplements is generally a minimal proportion of the product since the quantities of vitamins and minerals we need are barely visible to the human eye. For example, adults should have around ten micrograms of Vitamin D per day. That’s 100 times smaller than one milligram!

For that reason, bulking agents are added to make supplements consumable – but also to make you believe you’re getting value for money.

A closer look

Magnesium stearate 

Function: lubricates

Magnesium stearate is used in manufacturing as an anti-adherent. With no nutritional purpose, it simply prevents ingredients from sticking to equipment during the production process.

It’s also part of creating soap scum in sinks and washing machines! Not exactly appetising, right? While magnesium stearate makes production more streamlined, it may compromise how effective supplements are. Magnesium stearate can cause the slower disintegration of tablets and make it more difficult for your body to absorb the nutrients.

Titanium dioxide

Function: whitening

Manufacturers may include titanium dioxide in formulations to make supplements artificially white.

Image by Meowcyber via Getty Images

Although this mineral may give tablets a ‘clean’ look, it may not be ideal for putting it in our bodies. 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.

Read more: How to check if your supplements are really all-natural

Although titanium dioxide is still used in the UK, the EU plans to ban it as an additive in food. 

Silicon Dioxide

Function: anti-caking and bulking

Silicon dioxide, also known as silica, helps manufacturers make everything from cement to glass. In addition, it is used as an anti-caking agent for the pharmaceutical and supplements industry. In other words, it stops ingredients from clumping together.

Image by phodopus via Canva.

Silica is generally considered safe for consumption, but scientists have urged that more research be done to establish whether it has any health implications.

Even if ingredients like silica are safe, we prefer to use only active ingredients, so our customers know exactly what they’re buying.

Hydrogenated Oils

Function: lubricates and bulks

Hydrogenated oils are sometimes used to bulk up supplements because they are low-cost and potential to extend shelf lives. 

Image by SashSegal via Pixabay

Unfortunately, hydrogenated oils are high in trans fat. They are considered the most unhealthy fat you can consume since they can increase type 2 diabetes, strokes, and heart attacks.

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 product 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. 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!