Supplementation is very important. Supplementation is a science, and when done correctly it changes lives. I often get asked, “Which supplement is best to choose from? Should I pick one up at Walgreens, Wal-mart, Whole Foods, The Vitamin Shoppe, or online?”

In my experience, I have personally practiced and recommended a few basic rules when deciding which supplements to choose, regardless of where you go to pick them up.

Watch for these ingredients in the “inactive ingredients” portion of the label.

  1. Magnesium Stearate
  2. Calcium Stearate
  3. Sodium Starch
  4. Lactose, Wheat, Soy, or Corn Starches/Products
  5. Anything you can’t pronounce or is abbreviated

I have found that following these few rules have allowed me to choose high quality products without the concern of adverse reactions. Here’s why…

The ingredients above are all binders, fillers, and expedients, i.e. they hold the pill together and/or they allow the pill to slide down the processing machine quicker, so that mass amount of pills can be produced. They necessarily do not have any nutritional value.

The inactive ingredients above have been shown to keep pills from being broken down when patients with poor digestion cannot produce adequate stomach acids. The pill is so strongly bound up, it can’t be torn apart.
Buildup of binders and fillers in the body can eventually become toxic to the person. They are listed as inactive, which basically means they don’t hinder the action of the active ingredient(s). The effects of buildup of these inactive ingredients have been researched more in recent years.

Researchers found that they created symptoms related to:

  • Allergies
  • Toxic Liver Loads
  • Lymph Congestion
  • Digestive Problems

I am not saying that all pills which contain stearate as a binder are bad. I have seen many patients use supplements with calcium or magnesium stearate and have had great results. Vegetable stearate is okay and so are forms of vegetable cellulose, both of which break down easily.

As a general rule however, avoiding binders or fillers can insure that the pill can be broken down as easily as possible and that no sensitivities to the product occur.

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