Fillers Used in Supplements

It’s pretty normal to assume that every supplement – especially natural ones – is indeed natural and made up of only the active natural ingredients listed on its label. It would shock you to know that most supplement producers pack their pills full with substances known as fillers in order to increase the bulk of their supplements.

Fillers are also known as bulking agents; they are added to tablets and capsules to increase their bulk volumes. For reasons best known to some supplement producers, they include these fillers to their pills to make up for the volume not covered by their active ingredients. You should watch out for pills that may contain fillers as they are composed of different substances that could result in diverse health complications when consumed. While labels would not inform you, these fillers often result in complications like itching, pains, sores, gastrointestinal complications and many other health troubles.

With O Essentials supplements, you need not worry about the health implications of fillers as they are not included in any of our supplements. However, you should watch out for the following substances when consuming supplement pills from other manufacturers:


Magnesium Stearate

This filler is usually obtained from Stearate acid extracted from foods like walnuts, cottonseed oil, palm oil, coconut oil, cheese, and eggs; and is usually included in pills because it is believed to keep the active ingredients from sticking to processing equipment. Magnesium stearate has been known to result in laxative effects which causes irritation in the bowels. It  suppresses immune cell function and collapses the T-cells in the immune system when consumed in excess. It could also cause breathing difficulties and varying degrees of skin reactions when consumed.


Calcium Carbonate

Commonly found in eggshell and the shells of marine animals, calcium carbonate is a natural filler usually included in supplements for its bulking properties. While it may be described as useful for calcium supply in the body, calcium carbonate results in milk-alkali syndrome, flatulence, reduced appetite and nausea when consumed consistently as in with supplement pills.



Starch is another filler commonly added to supplements to make up for the bulk of supplement pills. While starch is contained in nearly all carb containing foods, consuming pills filled with starch can increase your risk of type 2 diabetes, heart complications and weight gain.


fillers in supplements


Talc and propylene glycol

You might consider this overwhelming, but some companies actually include talc and propylene glycol in their pills as fillers. Without contradiction, these two substances are known to cause damage to the lungs, kidneys and liver and may increase the risk of ovarian cancer. You should steer clear from supplements that have talc and PEG contained in them.


This is another coating and binding used to make hard and soft capsules. It gives an unpleasant taste when added to drugs and has been known to cause heartburn, bloating of the stomach. If you’re allergic to gelatin, you should watch out for supplements filled with it.



Cellulose is another common filler obtained from the cell walls and is known to cause convulsions, drowsiness, and loss of appetite. Mood changes, nausea /vomiting and weakness are also associated with the intake of cellulose. You should also know that the human body is incapable of digesting cellulose, hence avoid using supplement pills containing it.