Excipient Challenge

Take the Excipient Challenge!

Would you want to consume anything that is not nutritive?  Are you consuming supplements that are making you sick?


We believe it is unnecessary to take nutritional products that have questionable, potentially stressful, non-nutritive excipients.  You can avoid these damaging pro-oxidant, and in some cases, carcinogenic, neurotoxic and immune compromising supplement additives as well.  Learn about harmful excipients below and then follow the six easy steps to take the Excipient Challenge! 


Listed below you will find common tablet and encapsulating agents that are commonly used in the manufacturing of supplements.  Please check the supplements you are taking and discard any non-prescription supplements that contain any of the excipients below.  (Please note this is not an exhaustive list.) 

Povidone PVP is a synthetic polymer used as a dispersing and suspending agent in virtually all encapsulated nutritional supplements considered to be a potential carcinogen.

Magnesium Stearate:   this commonly used excipient can be made from animal or vegetable sources.  It is used as a flowing agent and lubricant.  It is insoluble in water and may hinder the absorption of nutrients.  Research shows it suppresses the immune system. 

Maltodextrin a refined sugar obtained by the hydrolysis of cornstarch.  It is used for flavor as a texturizer and bulking agent.  Maltodextrin may contain MSG which occurs as a result of processing.  MSG is a known neurotoxin.

Methacrylic Copolymer methacrylic acid a component of the methacrylic acid copolymer has been reported to act as a teratogen in rat embryo cultures.  Teratogens may cause birth defects or interfere with the development of a fetus.

Methyl paraben a benzoate family member and a known cancer-causing agent.

Microcrystalline cellulose used as a cheap bulking agent, microcrystalline celluslose is a term for refined wood pulp.  It is also used in supplements as a texturizer, anti-caking agent, a fat substitute, and an extender. (wikipedia)

Cellulose starch is starch made from plant material that is used as filler binder and disintegrant.  Starches processed from corn contain free glutamate (MSG), resulting from processing.  MSG is a known neurotoxin

Corn starch typically derived from cheap GMO corn which can invoke allergic responses.

Silicon Dioxide silicon dioxide is a transparent tasteless powder that is practically insoluble in water.  It is used as a cheap flowing agent in supplements.  It may hinder digestion or the uptake of other nutrients and deplete HCL. 


Talcum Powder a common excipient rarely listed on product labels and a suspected carcinogen. 

Titanium Dioxide a coloring agent

Triethyl citrate: a plasticizer.

Resin resins are used as binders and aid and in water resistance. They may be of plant or synthetic origin and are used in lacquers, varnishes, inks, adhesives, synthetic plastics and pharmaceuticals.  Synthetic forms include polyvinyl, polystyrene and polyethylene.  Toxicity is dependent on the ingredients used in the manufacture of resin. 

Dicalcium phosphate a mineral complex of calcium and phosphorus that is commonly used as a tableting aid, filler or bulking agent.  Phosphates can induce the same symptoms as MSG in those are extremely sensitive to MSG.

Polysorbate 80 a non-ionic surfactant that is a polymer containing oleic acid, palmitic acid, sorbitol and ethylene oxide and is formed by microbial fermentation.  It is used as an emulsifier, dispersant or stabilizer in foods, cosmetics, supplements and pharmaceuticals.

Titanium dioxide this is an inorganic white opaque pigment made from anatase (metallic mineral) that is often used in supplements as a whitening agent.  Titanium dioxide is a pro- oxidant.  It is also used in paints and coatings, plastics, papers, inks, fibers, food and cosmetics.

Polyethylene glycol 3350 this excipient is used as an emulsifier, binder and surfactant. It improves resistance to moisture and oxidation.  Polyethylene is a polymerized ethylene resin and glycol is a dihydric alcohol.

Pharmaceutical glaze this is actually shellac used to coat vitamin tablets.  Shellac is insoluble in stomach acid and supplements coated in shellac are difficult for the body to breakdown and assimilate.

Additional Questionable Tableting and Encapsulating Agents: D&C red #33, Propylparaben, Polyethelene glycol, Red ferric-oxide-orange shade, Methyl p-hydroxybenzoate, propyl p-hydroxybenzoate, Sodium Acetate, Methylparaben, Sodium metabisulfite, Eudragit.




  1. Familiarize yourself with the list of undesireable excipients above.  Grossed out?
  2. Remove all supplements from your cabinet and place them on your countertop.
  3. Inspect each label carefully paying close attention to the section where “other ingredients” are listed. 
  4. Do not keep a supplement just because you spent a lot of money on it or because you purchased it from a “trusted source”.
  5. Objectively look at each label. If there are questionable excipients on the label place it in the DISCARD pile.  If it is made of synthetic (non-natural source vitamins) place it in the DISCARD pile. If it is in tablet form, place it in the DISCARD pile.
  6. If you are unsure about an ingredient… do some research.  If the substance is synthetic your body will not assimilate it properly, discard it. 
  7. If you believe the supplement was derived from a once-living source, that was exquisitely grown in fertile soil without the use of chemical fertilizers and is contained in a 100% solvent-free vegetable capsule… place it in the KEEP pile. 


Congratulations!  You’ve just taken an important step in supporting your biofield and reclaiming your right to optimal health.  If you’re ready to keep improving, check out some of the other educational material and detox resources.  You deserve it!