Tricks Supplement Manufacturers Use to Hide Toxic Ingredients, Additives, and Fillers

by Stacy Facko

Supplement manufacturers often employ dishonest tactics to make their products appear more appealing while hiding potentially harmful ingredients. Deceptive jargon is commonly used in the natural supplement industry to make products seem better.

Here are some common tricks to watch out for:

Misleading Labels

Manufacturers may use misleading labels and claims to make their products seem more effective than they are. For example, terms like “GMP”, "natural," "organic," or "clinically proven" can be used loosely without substantial evidence to back them up. Many nutritional supplements have labels with quality assurance logos that have no validity.

One of the highest standards of purity can be found in Dr. Hulda Clark’s company, owing to her observation that most supplements, even those made with vegetarian capsules, have harmful ingredients like carrageenan.

Hidden Fillers

Some supplements contain hidden fillers and additives to bulk up the product, make it appear better, or make manufacturing easier. These can include artificial colors, flavors, stearates, and preservatives that can be harmful to your health.

The debate surrounding fillers like magnesium stearate, centers around two issues, the risk of contamination, since no excipient is pure, and it’s ability to bind to nutraceutical compounds, rending them less effective or ineffective. Studies have found that magnesium stearate could compose as much as 13% or more of a tablet, adding up to large amounts over time (St-Onge et al., 2005). Research has also shown that the adhesion of drug molecules to magnesium stearate can prevent the drug from dissolving and diffusing, potentially leading to decreased bioavailability. (Fathima, et al., 2011).

Inadequate Dosage Information

Supplement labels may list ingredients without specifying the dosage, making it difficult for consumers to know whether they are getting an effective amount. This can lead to underdosing or overdosing, both of which can have negative health consequences. Make sure that extracts are standardized, and that the active ingredients are not included in tiny amounts just so they can be listed on the label. For many supplements, it is best to buy them single and take together.

Top 6 Contaminants to Watch out For:

  • Carageenan (hidden in vegetarian capsules, soups, yogurt, condiments, etc.)
  • Calcium dioxide (poorly absorbed, may cause calcification)
  • Magneseum stearate (filler that binds to nutrients and may lead to biofilm)
  • Artificial colors (linked to cancer, endocrine and behavioral problems).
  • Gelatin (when untested to be derived from bovine with mad cow disease)
  • Titanium Dioxide (carcinogenic in animal studies according to Consumer Labs, also found to induce lung inflammation, kidney damage, intestinal inflammation)


Look for GMP certified products that don’t simply use the label, but lab-test their products for heavy metals, pesticides and, like VeriGMP, the overall purity and potency of the original source materials. VeriGMP is a trademark of PureNSM, a one-of-a-kind supplement manufacturer based in San Diego, California, that guarantees that its facility is both AUDITED and VERIFIED to be GMP compliant. VeriGMP uses the most advanced testing methods available, such as high-performance thin-layer chromatography, (HPTLM), considered to be even better than DNA analysis, and a full range of microbiological analytical systems, such as the 3M plate reader, BSL-2 lab plate count methods, and the Soleris rapid microbiology system.

Your supplement manufacturer should be able to test and verify the correct species, correct parts of plant used, and full potency of plant material. Our gelatin capsules are derived from hide only, no bones, and guaranteed to be free of toxic byproducts. Our veggie caps are also unique in that they are not made with carrageenan, as most others are, but without listing on the label. Carrageenan has been found to be carcinogenic in multiple studies, even the non-degraded, food-grade form, which has been found to nevertheless contain up to 20% of the degraded variety.

Remember to always do your own research, opt for products from reputable brands like Dr Clark Store, and consider third-party testing certifications when purchasing nutritional supplements. By staying vigilant and informed, you can enjoy the benefits of supplements without falling victim to misleading practices.

For a full line of vitamin and mineral supplements that have the highest standards of purity and quality available, check out Dr. Hulda Clark’s store, owned and operated by PureNSM, a premier manufacturer that has been dedicated to the cause of pure supplements for over 30 years.





Burca, N., & Watson, R. R. (2014). Fish oil supplements, contaminants, and excessive doses. In Omega-3 Fatty Acids in Brain and Neurological Health (pp. 447-454). Academic Press.

Fathima, N., Mamatha, T., Qureshi, H. K., Anitha, N., & Rao, J. V. (2011). Drug-excipient interaction and its importance in dosage form development. Journal of applied pharmaceutical science, (Issue), 66-71.

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St-Onge, L., Archambault, J. F., Kwong, E., Sabsabi, M., & Vadas, E. B. (2005). Rapid quantitative analysis of magnesium stearate in tablets using laser-induced breakdown spectroscopy. J. Pharm. Pharm. Sci, 8(2), 272-288. April 25, 2024. “Why You Should Stay Clear of Proprietary Blends.”

Skibola, C. F., Zhang, J., & Riby, J. E. (2017). Heavy metal contamination of powdered protein and botanical shake mixes. Journal of Environmental Health, 80(4), 8-15.

Yen M, Ewald MB. Toxicity of weight loss agents. J Med Toxicol. 2012 Jun;8(2):145-52. doi: 10.1007/s13181-012-0213-7. PMID: 22351299; PMCID: PMC3550246.

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