Browse Fillers and Additives A-Z
In the supplement industry, the addition of inactive ingredients is considered necessary because they provide bulk, stability, sweetness, thickness, or flavor, or they may make it easier to swallow the pills or stop them from sticking together. Many of the additives used in supplements are on the FDA’s GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) list, while others are on the FDA’s inactive ingredient list. In either case, the industry and government consider these ingredients to be safe, but not all scientists and consumers agree.
The majority of multivitamins, individual nutritional and herbal supplements, and protein products contain 25 to 50 percent fillers, regardless of whether you are buying tablets, capsules, liquid, or powder. Fillers and additives may include artificial colors, artificial flavors, lactose, corn, soy, sugars, gluten, egg, and wheat as well as stearates, shellac and partially hydrogenated soybean oil.
SOURCES: Centers for Science in the Public Interest; Food and Drug Administration; Elson Haas, Staying Healthy with Nutrition; PubMed.