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Supplements for People with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity

Dear Dr. Jen,
I have been struggling with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS) for many years and need to take several different supplements. But I seem to have reactions to certain products and I think it is because of the added ingredients, such as magnesium stearate or silica. What are these ingredients for, and are there brands that don't use them?


Dr. Jen;s Answer:

Dear E.O.;
Thanks for sharing your question; added ingredients are quite a common concern for many NEEDS customers. We understand the frustrations involved with finding clean products that have few or no fillers and excipients. Those ingredients have a few purposes. Some act as "flow" agents which help in the manufacturing process. They prevent the vitamin powder from being sticky to avoid gunking up the machinery that mixes and fills capsules. By helping the "flow," the capsules can be filled faster and more efficiently. An example of a flow agent is magnesium stearate.

Another reason for added ingredients is to act as "filler," meaning it helps fill up space in the capsule that is left after the active ingredients are added. An example of filler is cellulose, derived from plant matter or other inert powders. A filler could also be an inexpensive oil to fill up a soft gel capsule.

Most people aren't sensitive to fillers and flow agents and don't have a problem with them, but others can't tolerate certain ingredients. So the trick is to know what you may be sensitive to and which companies use those ingredients. Certain manufacturers are committed to avoiding magnesium stearate and other flow agents to help keep their products pure. Sometimes a good way to find products that are clean is to get them as a powder or liquid. This reduces the need to have faster flow and there is no need for fillers. Be sure to read the labels and look for preservatives, sweeteners, and flavorings and make sure they are acceptable.

Most of the companies with the cleanest products are physicianbrand manufacturers. For extra savings on these brands, be sure to call in your order at 800.634.1380 because they have price discounts which we are not allowed to show on our website. If you need help finding the best ingredients to accommodate your sensitivities, be sure to talk to our wellness educators for customized recommendations!

~Dr. Jen

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