This Independence Day, one more thing to celebrate is your freedom from unnecessary ingredients and the freedom to be confident about what you put in your body. That’s because at Thorne, our number one objective is to provide you with everything you need in a supplement – but nothing else.

Why do so many supplements contain unnecessary ingredients? 

The short answer:  it makes it easier and cheaper to make them. These extra ingredients often include:

  • Flowing agents and lubricants – Often in the form of fatty acids, these unnecessary ingredients improve manufacturing speeds, but can inhibit nutrient absorption.
  • Preservatives – Preservatives like BHT and BHA can extend the shelf-life of supplements, but studies show they can be potentially detrimental.
  • Artificial colors – Artificial colors, often in the form of FD&C-numbered color pigments, enhance the color or appeal of a supplement, but add nothing of value. In some cases, the color pigments used contain aluminum or other heavy metals.
  • Sweeteners – Artificial sweeteners are commonly used in liquid and powder supplements to enhance taste. Some artificial sweeteners are allergenic, while others, like aspartame and acesulfame-K, are linked to insulin resistance and high blood sugar.

Below are common flowing agents, fillers, and flavors that other companies might use, and the reasons Thorne doesn’t.

Stearates and speeding up production 

Stearates – usually labeled as stearic acid or magnesium stearate – are common manufacturing aids in the supplement industry. They are fatty acids that help lubricate tableting and encapsulation equipment, thus allowing the active ingredients to flow smoother, and for more material to be packed into a tablet or capsule.

The reason stearates are so common is because of how much faster they make the manufacturing process. Because they lubricate and act as a flowing agent, it makes cleaning the machinery a lot faster.

So why doesn’t Thorne use stearates? Let’s look at how Meriva is made – one of Thorne’s best-selling supplements. During the production schedule, it takes four hours to make a batch of Meriva. But our manufacturing team spends another 12 hours cleaning the equipment after manufacturing has been completed.

Yes, that is incredibly inefficient, and yes, we could speed up the process if we used flowing agents, but flowing agents like stearates can inhibit a nutrient’s absorption into your body. It’s a shortcut we are just not willing to take because it doesn’t align with our values.

Pre-mixed vitamins and fillers

Some vitamins, like D, K, and B12, are only needed in small “micro-dose” amounts. We’re talking almost microscopic amounts – micrograms – and because it is incredibly difficult to take a vitamin in this form, these “micro-dose” vitamins are diluted with other powders that make it easier for a supplement company to handle and use them.

Here’s the difference, though. Most nutritional supplement manufacturers purchase “micro-dose” vitamins from raw material suppliers as pre-mixed dilutions. 

Because the vitamin comes as a pre-mix, the vitamin supplier is not required to list what is in the powder that is used to dilute the vitamin.

Unfortunately, the powders used in these pre-mixed dilutions frequently contain potentially allergenic ingredients like lactose and detrimental preservatives like BHT, BHA, sodium benzoate, and sorbic acid.

Instead, Thorne purchases these vitamins in their undiluted form and then we create our own dilutions using magnesium citrate or cellulose so the absorption of the vitamin is not affected.

The Thorne “pre-mix” is then added to the nutritional supplement product being made, which ensures the proper amount of each nutrient is contained in each capsule. Buying a vitamin in its undiluted form and mixing it in-house, means that Thorne can ensure the finished product is free from potential allergens or potentially harmful preservatives.

Avoiding artificial flavoring and sweeteners 

Taste is always an important factor, especially with liquid and powdered supplements. Nobody wants an off-putting taste in their mouth when taking a supplement. But how the product is flavored is something Thorne believes is very important.

A good example is Thorne’s Vanilla Whey Protein Isolate. Vanilla is a popular flavor for protein powder formulas because it tastes great alone, but also mixes well with smoothies and other recipes.

However, many companies flavor their protein powders with synthetic vanillin, which is used in imitation vanilla flavoring. Artificial vanillin is generally manufactured from petrochemicals or from a genetically modified yeast that can trigger an allergic reaction, GI upset, or migraines.

Thorne’s Vanilla Whey Protein Isolate is instead made with vanilla derived from natural sources. The same applies to Thorne’s Chocolate Whey Protein Isolate, as well as other flavored Thorne products.

Celebrate your freedom to be confident about what you put in your body

These are just a few examples of the unnecessary fillers, additives, and allergens that make up Thorne’s “No List” – a running list of substances that Thorne refuses to use in making our entire line of nutritional supplement products.

Thorne’s “No List” exemplifies our commitment to provide our customers with a supplement product that is thoughtfully formulated and free from unnecessary ingredients.