We currently live in a society that thrives on miracle cures – whether through traditional or alternative medicine. Many people are starting to lean towards the latter due to fewer side effects and the more organic approach that usually produces more favorable sustainable results. Now while there are countless supplements on the market, whether used to treat the myriad of health issues we need to sidestep, or to help out bodies to be more efficient, it goes without saying that not all are created equal. Just one of the reasons this the case is due to the use of excipients.
What are Excipients?
Excipients are inactive substances used alongside active ingredients in tablets, capsules and even liquid formulations (including and not limited to topical creams, transdermal patches and more). Many people know them as binding agents, fillers, bulking agents and diluents which may seem negative; for instance, why do you need a filler when you can just have the active ingredient? However, excipients aren’t used simply to improve the volume of a capsule and make it more marketable; but play a number of crucial roles.
These roles including acting as stabilizers to extend the shelf life of a product, prevent powders from clumping together in capsules, be used as coloring agents, but more importantly also affect the bioavailability and overall performance of a supplement. In short, excipients act as vehicles to help deliver the active ingredient to the body in the correct dosage.
Are Excipients Dangerous?
Artificial excipients have been known to lead to intoxication. For instance, even a harmless substance like lactose which is a common binder in many medications once caused intoxication in an epileptic medication called Phenytoin. The original binder was Calcium Sulphate, but the manufacturers temporarily replaced this with lactose which is much more soluble in water, which in turn led to a rapid release (rather than a more controlled release) of Phenytoin above the toxic threshold. This isn’t to say that lactose is dangerous as a filler, but proves just one point why it’s important to choose the right excipient for a product.
There are a number of excipients that can cause adverse reactions commonly found in supplements and medications today. These include, and are not limited to:
- Ethanol – A solvent which can lead to intoxication.
- Silicon Dioxide – An anti-caking agent that due to nano-sized particles can lead to lung disease if inhaled.
- Benzalkonium Chloride – A preservative that can cause bronchospasm alongside anti-asthmatic drugs.
- Magnesium Stearate/Stearic Acid – An anti-caking agent which can negatively affect the immune system.
- Dicalcium Phosphate – A binding agent that can negatively affect the skin, irritate lungs, upset the gastrointestinal system and more.
Another issue is that these excipients and others can have negative drug interactions with certain medications.
An Organic Solution with Organiflow
To avoid these potential issues, we use OrganiFlow™ in our products. The clever name stems from another excipient term – ‘flow agent’. Made from a proprietary blend of brown rice that has been grinded down into a fine powder and converted into an excipient through a three-step conduction oven drying process. It’s a completely safe flow agent with no side effects or drug interactions. We care about our customers so don’t like to use any ingredients in our products that can cause detrimental effects, when the goal is to provide a positive outcome.
* OrganiFlow™ is a trademark and property product of Ingredient Evolution.