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IBS & additives in supplements

ebethc

Senior Member
Messages
1,901
I'm taking another look at my diet and what I can to do improve it... Can anyone tell me about the common ingredients in supplements that cause problems for ibs? I know that I'm sensitive to binders in food (carageenan, at least), so maybe i'm overlooking the cellulose, etc. that's in supplements. I'm starting FODMAP this week or next, so I'm guessing that cellulose affects a FODMAP plan.

thanks.
 

Tammy

Senior Member
Messages
2,167
Location
New Mexico
I am going by notes I have taken in the past...........don't have any links to provide......just my notes. What to avoid in supplements: 1) Citric Acid.....in most instances this is not from any fruit.....it's a toxic chemical. 2)anything that says natural flavors= more mystery chemicals 3)alcohol 4)bovine derivitaves=not so good hormones......although some people benefit? 5)anything in the OTHER ingredient list=crazytown with too many preservatives. Having noted these things........it's hard to find pure quality supplements without a lot of added ingredients but they are out there.
 

ebethc

Senior Member
Messages
1,901
Carrageenan (which is an extract from Irish moss seaweed) is a special case, as this is pro-inflammatory, which is not what you want in IBS.

thanks, @Hip

Do you know if other binders/gums/emulsifiers are as bad? I see xanthan gum and guar gum all the time
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
17,790
Do you know if other binders/gums/emulsifiers are as bad? I see xanthan gum and guar gum all the time

I am not aware of any other supplement ingredients that might cause ill effects. I do notice that certain supplement sellers are cultivating irrational concerns in consumers about added supplement ingredients, in what looks to be a marketing ploy, so that they can sell their own brand of supplements.


Here is what Dr Ray Sahelian says about the common supplement ingredient magnesium stearate:
Some websites have misleading information regarding the safety of magnesium stearate. Some of these sites claim magnesium stearate, even in as small an amount as a few milligrams. as found in dietary supplement capsules, is dangerous. There is no evidence this is true, particularly the tiny amounts found in supplements. I am not aware of any human studies that show MS, in the small amounts found in capsules, has any side effects or causes any harm.

There is no evidence that small amounts of stearic acid are harmful. If anyone knows of a human study that indicates magnesium stearate, in the small amounts found in capsules, when taken orally in supplement form, has shown to have harmful effects, email me. I have searched extensively and not seen any such clinical trials. I believe there is misinformation on web sites that claim this substance is harmful.

Much of this mis-information is posted by companies who are trying to differentiate themselves from other vitamin companies by providing products that are free of mag stearate, perhaps because they are not able to compete solely on the actual effectiveness of their products. If anyone tells you magnesium stearate in the extremely small amounts found in capsules is harmful, challenge them to provide you with a human study that proves their point -- they will not be able to.

For some consumers this whole issue has become almost a psychological obsession going way beyond any logical reasoning. Some people regularly eat a piece of pie, cookie, or other sweet or junk food, or consume chocolate (which has tons of stearic acid) without any concerns, but get all worked up about insignificant amounts found in capsules. It defies logic.
 
Last edited:

sarah darwins

Senior Member
Messages
2,508
Location
Cornwall, UK
Carrageenan (which is an extract from Irish moss seaweed) is a special case, as this is pro-inflammatory, which is not what you want in IBS.
That's interesting. Carrageenan is a big migraine trigger for me but I hadn't investigated what its properties were, just avoided it (European E number E407, for anyone who's interested).
 

ebethc

Senior Member
Messages
1,901
I do notice that certain supplement sellers are cultivating irrational concerns in consumers about added supplement ingredients, in what looks to be a marketing ploy, so that they can sell their own brand of supplements.

thanks, @Hip ...and touche, re the marketing ploys :)
 

Hip

Senior Member
Messages
17,790
thanks, @Hip ...and touche, re the marketing ploys

It's good to bear in mind that there can be marketing ploys, but on the other hand, with IBS, you do need to make observations about what may worsen your condition.

I think it is a bit irresponsible of manufacturers to be fabricating these marketing ploys when they don't appear to exist. It means when there is a genuine issue, nobody may listen. Like crying wolf.

If you put "supplements fillers" in Google, you find a whole raft or articles suggesting that various supplement binder, filler and flow agent ingredients are hazardous to health — but with little or no science to back it up.

The first time I heard someone say they got ill effects from carrageenan, I assumed it was just another marketing fabrication that they had been taken in by. But when I did a bit more reading into carrageenan, I learnt that it has potent effects on the body, so I realized that carrageenan may well affect sensitive people.

I have both ME/CFS and IBS-D myself, and I know I have to be careful about what I eat, as some things worsen my IBS (hot spices, or more than 1 unit of alcohol).


By the way, I am not sure which IBS you have, but for my IBS-D, I found the following very helpful.

Treatments for IBS-D:
Triphala herb 1500 mg
Imodium (loperamide) 2 mg
Chyawanprash (Indian herbal formula) 1 heaped teaspoon
Prebiotics (like inulin, 2 heaped teaspoon)
Sesame seed oil 1 tablespoon (15 ml)
Peppermint oil 200 mg
Turmeric level teaspoon
Manuka honey

The above IBS-D treatments are given in order of effectiveness, so triphala I found to be the best.