Do you know what you are taking? We are getting better at reading labels, but do you ever look at the “other ingredients” section and wonder what those are there for? Any ingredient listed as a “non-medical ingredient” or as an “other ingredient” is there to modify the taste, color, consistency, or longevity of the product. This is where bulking agents, thickeners and other fillers will be listed because, by law, all of the ingredients in the product must be listed on the package.
These fillers and additives are used for various purposes in the manufacturing process, but are they actually needed? Or perhaps a better question is, do they pose any harm? Read on to learn more about common fillers used, what they are intended for, and if they have any impacts on your health.
At Alkaline Labs, we are highly selective with our sourcing of the raw ingredients used in our products, including A.M Greens. We have done extensive research on various different additives and any of the ingredients listed below are not used in any of our formulas. This list is not exhaustive but is intended to show how we put your health first.
Ingredients that we do not use
Cellulose comes from plant and vegetable fiber and is used as a coating or glaze on supplements. It is considered an insoluble fiber which just means that your digestive system does not have the enzymes required to break it down. As a result, it will pass right through you without being absorbed. There is no harm in adding cellulose to supplements, but because it has no added benefit for our products we don’t use it.
Gelatin is a popular capsule coating and filler because it is inexpensive and fairly well tolerated by the body. It is derived from animal sources, usually pig, therefore anyone who follows a dietary pattern that excludes animal products or any animal byproduct from a pig should avoid taking supplements with gelatin. All our products at Alkaline labs are vegan, therefore we do not use any gelatin or gelatin-derived ingredients in our products.
Stearic Acid or Magnesium Stearate
Stearic acid is a filler that helps modify the consistency of supplements because it acts as a lubricant. This allows the supplements to be manufactured easier because it prevents clumping and sticking. Like gelatin it is most often sourced from animal by-products, although it may come from plants in rare circumstances. To ensure our products are as inclusive as possible we do not use any animal by-products in our formulas.
Carrageenan is another filler, like cellulose, that is popular in vegan and vegetarian supplements. It is derived from algae and acts as a thickening and bulking agent. However, it may cause a variety of gastrointestinal side effects including constipation, diarrhea, and bloating. Carrageenan has been linked to increased food sensitivities or allergies in some people.
Artificial Flavors or Colors
Artificial flavors and colors have been approved for use in various supplements and have been labeled as safe for many years. However, new research is coming out with possible side effects stemming from over-consuming artificial colorants and flavorings. We have chosen to exclude any ingredient that modifies the taste and color of our products. What you taste and the colors that you see are a result of the medical ingredients in our formulas!
Aspartame or Sucralose
Along the same lines as above, we have also chosen to exclude aspartame and sucralose from our formulas. Instead, you will notice that we have added stevia leaf extract to some of our formulas, including A.M Greens. Stevia is a naturally-occurring plant that is sweet and has a host of health benefits including supporting a healthy gut microbiome.
Heavy metals have a well-documented history of negative health effects. Most botanical or herbal preparations will contain trace amounts of heavy metals due to heavy metal content in our soil. At Alkaline Labs, we have all of our products third-party tested to ensure that if there is any heavy metal contamination in our products that it is within the globally recognized safe limits for those substances.
Hydrogenated or Trans Fats
Hydrogenated or trans fats are unsaturated fats that have been altered using heat or chemicals to be more temperature and shelf-stable. Trans fats have been listed as a risk factor for many chronic conditions including cardiovascular disease and diabetes. At Alkaline Labs, we do not use any hydrogenated fats or trans fats in our formulas.
Titanium dioxide is a whitening agent that improves the look and color of various supplements and medications. It has been linked to increased oxidative stress in the body along with various health conditions.
How should I choose which supplements to take?
When choosing which supplements or products to add to your daily routine there are a few important questions you should ask before purchasing.
- How is this product going to benefit me?
Which form should I take this product in? Which form will be most effective? Which form will I be more consistent with?
Keep in mind that some supplements are more effective as liquids and powders while others are more effective as a tablet. The other factor determining the effectiveness of a supplement will be your consistency. If the supplement is a liquid because it is more effective in a liquid form, but you keep forgetting it, it is not going to be effective for you.
- Are there any “non-medical” or “other” ingredients and what is their purpose? Are they essential to the product (i.e. vegetarian capsule is an ingredient that would be classified as essential)
- Is this brand or product third-party tested?
The bottom line is that many, if not most, supplements will have non-medical ingredients and it can be difficult to discern what is needed, what is beneficial, and what is potentially harmful. At Alkaline Labs, we are committed to full transparency with our products. If you ever have any questions, reach out. We would be more than happy to answer any questions that you may have.
Learn more about our flagship product, A.M Greens here