Why We Don’t Use Manufacturing Additives: Our Case for Pure and Clean Formulas

At Klaralyte, we pride ourselves on creating supplement formulas that are pure and clean, without the use of manufacturing additives. At the same time, we understand that the decision to avoid additives can feel like it’s nothing more than the latest fad.

Many of our customers wonder why we prefer to avoid additives, especially those used by competitors, such as stearic acid. In order to understand our preference for natural formulas, you must first understand some of the most common additives used in the supplement industry.


Stearic Acid

Stearic acid is the most common additive found in Klaralyte competitors – and also one we take specific care to avoid.

Stearic acid, also known as octadecanoic acid, is a saturated fatty acid found in animal derivatives and vegetables[1]In supplements, it is used as a “flow agent,” which essentially prevents the ingredients of your supplement from sticking to the machines used in manufacturing[2].

However, this is only one way stearic acid is used in supplements. It is also used to create the salt magnesium stearate, which is made of stearic acid and magnesium[3]Magnesium stearate is a filler, which makes a supplement look “bulky,” as a flow agent, to prevent the supplement’s ingredients from sticking together, and as a dilutant.

As a dilutant, magnesium stearate essentially slows down your body’s absorption and breakdown of the drugs and supplements you take[4]This makes it easy to predict the effects of drugs, making them safer for doctors to prescribe. 

Sounds perfect, right?

Not exactly.

Studies have shown that magnesium stearate has several adverse effects. One study showed that the compound destroyed T-cells in mice and weakened their immune systems[5].

Other concerns of stearic acid include skin irritation when applied topically and the risk of toxicity. Common sources of stearic acid include palm and cottonseed oil, both of which are at high risk of containing pesticides and other ingredients harmful to humans.

It should be noted that, in small amounts, stearic acid and magnesium stearate are likely harmless to humans. However, the compound also comes with a high risk of overdose, especially when included in supplements.

 Many supplements are meant to be taken daily or more frequently. Klaralyte, for example, can be taken as frequently as 10 capsules daily. Given this frequency, there’s a significant risk that consuming supplements with magnesium stearate and/or stearic acid can result in a quick accumulation of this compound in your system.

It should also be noted that stearic acid is not necessarily all bad. Some research indicates that it can help lower cholesterol levels and boost heart health[6]However, this research is limited, and there is equally important evidence about the harmful effects of this compound.

Given the risks, at Klaralyte, we prefer to avoid using stearic acid in our products. Ultimately, this is an unnecessary ingredient, and we find that we can manufacture our supplements without taking the risk of including this compound in our formulas.



As mentioned above, magnesium stearate is a kind of filler. However, it is only one of many fillers used in the supplement industry, and others include[7]:

  • Titanium dioxide
  • Starch
  • Microcrystalline cellulose
  • Vegetable gum
  • Talc
  • Propylene glycol

These fillers help improve the consistency and texture of a supplement tablet, allowing manufacturers to achieve the consistency they want at lower manufacturing costs. They also help improve the appearance of the tablets, making them more attractive to consumers. 

Finally, they help “bulk” up a supplement. Most supplements only include a small amount of active ingredient – the portion that actually gives you the benefits you’re looking for. The rest of it is generally fillers. It makes a supplement look like it’s worth the price you’re paying it – after all, most people would find it challenging to spend money on just a few micrograms or grams of the vitamin or mineral they’re consuming the supplement for.

However, the challenge with fillers is that, like magnesium stearate, most of them have associated risk factors. For example, titanium dioxide affects your immune, metabolism, and nervous systems[8]Research also suggests that it may be a carcinogen – a cancer-causing ingredient – and that it causes damage to your cell structure[9].

Talc (also known as magnesium silicate) has been known to cause lung problems when inhaled. It is relatively similar in structure to another toxic chemical, asbestos, and there is some research to suggest that it can contribute to the development of stomach cancer[10].

This issue is repeated through most fillers. Additionally, there’s also the issue of, well, they’re just not necessary.

Think about it – fillers are basically a way to trick you into consuming something that you don’t really need. The active ingredients in a supplement are what you’re buying that supplement for, so there’s no reason for you to consume additional chemicals that bring you no benefits at best and may actually harm you at worst.


Sodium Benzoate

Sodium benzoate is a compound that is used as a preservative, helping to increase the shelf-life of your supplements and reduce the risk of spoiling. Additionally, it helps preserve the “fresh” look of your supplements by preventing a change in flavor, color, texture, and even pH.

Like stearic acid, this compound has been deemed safe for humans, especially in small amounts. However, also like stearic acid, when sodium benzoate is included in frequently consumed supplements, it’s pretty easy to go overboard and consume too much of the substance.

Research indicates that this compound brings with it a host of health risks:

  • When combined with vitamin C, sodium benzoate converts to benzene, a known carcinogen[11]
  • It may trigger and/or increase the risk of an asthma attack[12]
  • Studies suggest that consuming high amounts of sodium benzoate can result in an amplification of ADHD symptoms[13]



This additive is essential in giving your supplements capsules the glossy look they are so well-known for. While this may seem like a relatively benign use, many people are turned off when they realize where shellac comes from – the secretions of the female lac bug[14].

Even if you’re okay with the source – after all, so many of the things we consume are sourced from animals and even other insects – there are other issues that make the use of this additive questionable.

Shellac is a relatively common allergen, and 2-10% of the people who go through allergy tests are found to be allergic to the ingredient[15]So, at the outset, the use of shellac can mean that a portion of the population cannot use the supplements in which it is found.

Furthermore, like so many other additives, it’s relatively easy for people to consume a large amount of shellac via their supplements. In large amounts, shellac has been shown to have several health effects, including skin and eye irritation.

When looking at the ingredients at the back of a supplement package, be very careful when checking for shellac. This additive is generally not mentioned by name. Rather, it is given allusive and euphemistic names. Some of the most popular terms used in place of the word “shellac” are[16]:

  • Confectioner’s resin
  • Natural glaze
  • Pure food glaze

Shellac, fillers, sodium benzoate, and stearic acid are only some of the many additives that are found in supplements. Most additives are either harmful, unnecessary, or both. They’re generally added as a way to reduce costs, make manufacturing faster, or make the supplement look good.

None of these aims are negative in and of themselves. However, when the ingredients and additives used to achieve them are harmful, it becomes essential to try and avoid them where possible.


As mentioned above, Klaralyte eschews the use of any additives, including stearic acid. However, if you’re taking other supplements along with our salt tablets, you may be concerned about what you’re consuming. If this sounds like you, it’s essential that you understand how to read supplement labels so that you can be fully informed when the products you’re ingesting contain.


How to Read Supplement Labels for Additives

The first thing to look at when reading a supplement label is the list of additives. As mentioned above, there are numerous additives that may be used by supplement manufacturers, including fillers, sweeteners, and preservatives. Compounds that are often used for these purposes include[17]:

  • Stearic acid/Magnesium stearate
  • Gelatin
  • Shellac
  • Sodium benzoate
  • Talc/Magnesium silicate
  • Soy lecithin
  • Maltodextrin
  • Titanium dioxide
  • Silicon dioxide

You are the only person who can decide what, if any, additives you are okay with seeing in your supplements. However, the longer the list of the additives, the greater the chance that they come with health risks.

Ingredients on an ingredient label are listed based on how they are used. The ones listed first are the ones used in the highest amounts, so if you’re looking to avoid a certain additive and it is at the top of the ingredient, you’ll know that the supplement in question contains a high amount of that additive. 

For example, Klaralyte’s ingredient label lists “sodium chloride” first. This is because “sodium chloride” (AKA salt) is the ingredient present in the highest amount in our salt capsules.


Other things to consider when reading supplement labels include:

  • Supplement Facts – what the serving size is, how many servings the supplement packaging contains, what and how many nutrients each serving provides, how much of the percentage daily value (DV), etc. The DV is based on the estimated nutritional needs of an average person – however, depending on your reason for taking the supplement, your health professional may advise you to take more than the DV. However, you shouldn’t consume more than the recommended DV without talking to a medical professional.
  • Terminology – certain terms like “organic” and “natural” are use-restricted in the United States and must meet certain legal requirements before they can be used on supplement labels. Others like GMO-free aren’t restricted and may provide important additional information about the supplement that may affect your decision to buy it.
  • Quality – what manufacturing guidelines the supplement adheres to and what certifications it has. All supplements sold in the US must follow the Current Good Manufacturing Practices (CGMPs). Additional certifications generally depend on the type of supplement you’re looking at – for example, the International Fish Oil Standards (IFOS)[18] certification is not something that a supplement without omega-3 would seek.
  • Allergens – legally, food and supplement labels are required to disclose major food allergens, such as milk, peanuts, and soy. However, if you have a less common allergy, it’s always best to read the ingredient list carefully to ensure that the supplement is safe for you.

 More than ever, supplements are full of additives. These additives have their uses but rarely offer any health benefits. In fact, very frequently, these additives are potentially harmful to humans and added as a trade-off for cheaper manufacturing or a more attractive product.

Klaralyte is committed to giving our customers what they come to us for – salt capsules designed to help consumer meet their daily sodium and potassium needs in a convenient, easy-to-absorb way. For this reason, we are dedicated to using pure, clean formulas so that everyone who needs sodium and potassium can use our tablets without worrying about side effects from additives.

You will not be disappointed!

Additional Information

*Not Evaluated by FDA: These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Klaralyte LLC manufactures dietary supplements and medical food products that should be used under the direct supervision of a licensed healthcare practitioner.

Designated Medical Food: Klaralyte Salt Capsules are classified as a medical food under 21 U.S.C. 360ee(b)(3), and are intended for specific dietary management based on recognized scientific principles, as evaluated by a physician.

Comparative Advertising: Klaralyte is a registered trademark of Klaralyte LLC. Registered trademarks, brand names, images, or any information that could refer to another brand are used solely for lawful comparative advertising. This follows FTC-defined criteria for objectively comparing brands based on attributes or price, while clearly identifying the alternative brand.