Why is there a need for other ingredients?

The excipients or inert ingredients listed in the Other ingredients is common to almost all tablets and capsules that are manufactured in both the dietary supplement and pharmaceutical industries. For example, any tablet that is Sustained Released, even if it is an herb or vitamin/mineral uses those other ingredients (and sometimes more). Any tablet that is made from a powder to be compacted, even if its a whole food organic plant-based supplement, it still uses those ingredients to bind the tablet and also prevent the tablet from breaking apart in the manufacturing process. This is so the tablet can slide down the machines into bottles and not break into powder when you open the bottle and place it in your hands. Thus, when you look at all of the supplement markets, tablets/caplets are all made using these “inert” ingredients. That is how tablets/caplets are manufactured. Unfortunately most companies and people white label (private label) products so they do not know anything about manufacturing and only provide information that is given by sales reps and marketers. Anybody who tells you that their tablets and/or caplets do not use those or other types of ingredients to do so for making them is not telling you the truth.

Unfortunately, most companies do not disclose these ingredients (since most of the products on the market are just private label from contract manufacturers) and thus are not told about this since they are not measurable ingredients and thus recognized as “inert.” However, they should list them to comply with current dietary supplement regulations and disclose that information. Unfortunately they don’t. Even if they do disclose it, they use the generic name such as “natural lubricant” versus the chemical name like we do. However, they are the same. This inert and excipient aspect causes confusion to the customers in the health market, but that is the reality of manufacturing. Many people think it’s a major ingredient or even minor ingredient, but it’s not, it is an inert ingredient that is used in all manufacturing of tablets/caplets of supplements and pharmaceutical drugs. Being an inert ingredient basically means that it has come in contact with it (i.e. sliding down a machine) but can not be measured since its so small since its not a major or minor ingredient.  Many people, unfortunately, think that just because something is wildcrafted, organic and non-gmo doesn’t use such ingredient to make a tablet/caplet but they do – they just haven’t disclosed it.

~Dr. Sunil Pai

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