How Artificial Ingredients and Bulking Agents in Vitamins Can Be Doing More Harm Than Good

We’ve always been told you can get all of your vitamins from food, and that’s true, you absolutely can. But the reality is, almost half of us don’t even eat our 5 portions of fruit and veg each day - let alone fuel effectively for an active lifestyle. What happens next? We turn to supplements to ensure we get all of our vitamins and minerals.

However, the problem lies in the fact the majority of supplements use artificial ingredients and bulking agents. This results in issues with digestion, sleep and more. 

When asking yourself if bulking agents in tablets are bad for you, our answer is a strong YES. But, if artificials and bulking agents are so bad, why do companies insist on using them?

Why Do Companies Use Artificial Ingredients and Bulking Agents?

While all vitamins are good for your body and help improve general health, all vitamin supplements are not!

A vast majority of supplement producers advocate the use of artificial ingredients and bulking agents in their products, claiming that these additives are added to:

  • Preserve the formula 
  • Increase shelf-life of the product 
  • Improve taste (and colour) of the product 
  • Enhance the appearance of the multivitamin 
  • To keep the mixture together

What’s the problem here? Well none of these things provide a direct benefit for the consumer. They are, as the name suggests, ‘artificial’ benefits.

Whereas the problems associated with these are real. Digestive issues, headaches and disturbed sleeping are commonplace with artificials.

And as we know, issues with digestion and sleep specifically have shown a decrease in performance. So if you have a new PB in your sights, you should seriously consider reducing your consumption of artificials.

P.S. If improving your athletic performance sounds good to you, check out our blog on how to do it here!

What Are The Side Effects Of Consuming Artificial Ingredients and Bulking Agents

We know artificials can make something look better, or make it easier for the machine to manufacture the product. But what are the side effects of artificials? Do they actually have an impact on the consumer? Do bulking agents make you gain weight (spoiler: they are bad for you but don't make you gain weight, phew!).

Artificial Flavouring

Manufacturers frequently add flavouring agents to supplements. The US FDA  has allowed the use of over 3000 flavouring agents, but this doesn’t mean they come without side effects.

It has been reported that flavouring agents can cause the following health complications:

  • Gastric upset 
  • Sleeping issues and asthma 
  • Migraine and headaches 
  • Skin rashes

Companies add these ingredients to make the product more palatable. But these flavouring and colouring agents can induce nausea/vomiting and abdominal pain. Consumers have also experienced allergic reactions and food hypersensitivity. 

In terms of reduced sleep quality, this will then affect your recovery and energy levels. On that note, check out our blog on how to increase your energy levels.

Artificial sweeteners aspartame and sorbitol are linked to headaches and increased oxidative stress in the body. 

Artificial Colouring

To give their product a pleasing look, different types of colouring agents are added to supplements. The multi-coloured pills look attractive but can result in negative side effects.

When we think about it, we should never really be eating bright pink foods - it’s just not natural!

The famous agents Blue 2, Red 40, etc., are associated with the risk of allergies. Some companies use the metal “lead” as a colouring agent. As per a 2019 study, colouring agents are harmful and can cause toxicity. 

The use of flavouring, colouring, and bulking agents must be reduced due to the vehement disturbance they cause in the hormonal and sugar levels. Furthermore, it was revealed in a study that the combination of food additives (flavouring and colouring agents) can lead to elevations of the blood sugar level, urea, creatinine, and total cholesterol.

Flow Agents 

This particular filler is used in white-coated supplements. Manufacturers add flow agents to improve the consistency of the capsules. These agents are notorious for causing bowel issues and breathing difficulties. 

Talc (yes Talcum powder) is also added to vitamin supplements in order to make tablet compression easier. It has demonstrated negative effects in individuals. As per a study, flow agents are identified as a possible cause of side effects as an excipient in medicinal products.

It is the same talc that is used in baby powders. This has been associated with causing irritable bowels!

It may also weaken your immune system by downgrading the performance of T-lymphocytes. With this, you can also expect abruptions in the digestive system too. 

A poor digestive system leads to compromised performance on the ground. Studies show that gastrointestinal complaints (nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain) are present in 30-70% of athletes. This gastrointestinal stress, be it exercise-associated or due to artificial ingredients from a supplement, can negatively impact athletic performance and exercise training as indicated by a study.

Whitening Agents

Titanium dioxide is a frequently used additive that acts as a filler and whitens the product. It is approved in small amounts by the FDA. Unfortunately, this colorant compound is associated with stomach disturbances and allergies. 

The whitening agents can increase oxidative stress in the body that in turn impairs the normal functioning of the cells.


A few manufacturers also use hydrogenated oils (from soya beans) as preservatives and to increase the shelf life of the product. These oils have the adverse effect of disrupting your lipid profile. The bad cholesterol (LDL) rises, and good fat, i.e., HDL decreases. With hydrogenated oils in your body, you can easily fall prey to cardiovascular infirmities, diabetes, and nervous system abnormalities. 

How Can You Avoid Consuming Artificial Ingredients and Bulking Agents?

We wanted to solve this problem - that's why we created the Daily Driver Multivitamin. 10 well-researched vitamins, 0 artificials or bulking agents.

You can rest assured you're only consuming what's necessary.

You can grab this superb multivitamin from hakamount by just clicking here.