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Encapsulation Practices

Encapsulation Practices: Magnesium Stearate and Silicon Dioxide

OVERVIEW

The process of producing dietary supplements and vitamins is complex and involves a multistep approach to encapsulate the active ingredient in its final form (e.g., tablet).

Since manufacturers want to produce large quantities of these supplements with the least expenses, they often rely on automatic machinery. However, there is always the risk of agents sticking to parts of the machine – a process referred to as caking.

To overcome this issue, manufacturers use anti-caking agents, such as magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide, which act as flow agents and lubricants.
The downsides of flow agents and lubricants
Although magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide are useful in preventing the aggregation of different ingredients to the production machinery, there are some side effects to using these flow agents.

It is important to note that some of these side effects are only significant when consumption exceeds certain amounts; however, since these flow agents are used as part of processed foods, the overall consumption might be larger than we think.
Here is a shortlist of some of these side effects
Magnesium stearate
Causes immune dysfunction – throughout the years, researchers attentively studied the immunosuppressive properties of stearic acid. Most notably, this compound alters the variability and function of T cells, which are part of the specific immune system that targets defected cells (e.g., infected by a virus, turned into cancerous cells).

Magnesium stearate can also be an allergen that triggers a hypersensitivity reaction.

Interferes with absorption – in general, tablets and capsules dissolute at different rates, depending on the incorporated inactive ingredients (e.g., magnesium stearate).
Silicon dioxide
According to the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), silicon dioxide is generally safe for human use. However, the consumed quantities must be within the recommended doses.

Some people claim that silicon dioxide is a carcinogenic agent, which means that it contributes to the occurrence of cancer. However, there is no scientific evidence that this substance causes or exacerbates cancer.
Age Immune encapsulation policies
According to recent reports, the demand for flow agent-free supplements is on the rise. The reason behind this boils down to the high incidence of digestive problems of unknown origin and other vague symptoms after taking supplements with magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide.

Interestingly, this rise of demand is constant despite the relatively higher price of flow agent-free supplements compared to conventional products.

Age Immune offers vitamins and supplements that were made using semi-automatic equipment.
Takeaway message
Focusing on encapsulation practices is extremely important to ensure that you are getting the most out of each dietary supplement without compromising your health.

We hope that this article managed to shed some light on the side effects of using flow agents and lubricants and why it’s worth it to buy products synthesized with semi-automatic equipment.

If you still have any questions or concerns regarding this topic, please reach out to us by clicking on this link.

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