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Waarom je meer aandacht moet hebben voor additieven in voedingssupplementen

Mensen gebruiken voedingssupplementen om hun gezondheid te verbeteren of te optimaliseren. Maar hoe gezond zijn ze nog als de ingrediëntenlijst op het etiket een lange lijst van onherkenbare additieven bevat?

Niet alle supplementen worden op dezelfde manier gemaakt. Veel consumenten zijn zich er echter niet van bewust dat de kwaliteit van supplementen verschilt. Sommige producenten van voedingssupplementen voegen onnodige additieven toe tijdens het productieproces, bijvoorbeeld om de tabletten er mooier te laten uitzien. Andere ingrediënten worden simpelweg toegevoegd omdat ze goedkoop zijn en het bedrijf geld besparen.

Veel mensen lezen de etiketten van voedingsmiddelen om betere en gezondere keuzes te maken. Bij voedingssupplementen is dit minstens zo belangrijk. Sommige additieven kunnen namelijk reacties veroorzaken bij mensen met voedselallergieën, -overgevoeligheden of -intoleranties.

Op welke additieven moet je letten?  

Titanium Dioxide

Titaniumdioxide kan worden gebruikt als vulmiddel of kleurmiddel om de tabletten er mooier te laten uitzien. Het maakt het supplement mooi wit zonder lelijke verkleuringen. Het wordt ook gebruikt om producten zoals verf, make-up en zonnebrandcrème wit te maken. Hoewel het nog steeds veelvuldig wordt gebruikt in voedingssupplementen, is de Europese Autoriteit voor voedselveiligheid (EFSA) recent tot de conclusie gekomen dat titaniumdioxide niet langer als veilig kan worden beschouwd voor gebruik als additief in voedingssupplementen. Toch wordt het gebruik wereldwijd in veel markten nog steeds toegestaan. Let daarom vooral goed op als je voedingssupplementen online bestelt.

Magnesium Stearate

Magnesium stearate is a flux. That means it is added during the production process to prevent the ingredients from sticking to the machines. It is also used as an additive (anti-caking agent) to prevent the ingredients from clumping in the capsule. When it is used as a processing aid, the producer does so to speed up the production process. Magnesium stearate consists of stearic acid (a type of saturated fat) and magnesium.

Magnesium stearate is an unnecessary ingredient with no nutritional value. Some scientists argue that the effects of long-term cumulative exposure on human health have been under-researched and that more research is needed. [3]

Artificial Dyes

We all know that processed foods often contain artificial colors, but this is sometimes the case with dietary supplements. Producers add them to make supplements recognizable and to compensate for color loss during the editing process. For example, Vitamin C is often associated with the color orange. Therefore, a producer may choose to add an artificial colorant. These additives have no influence on the effect of dietary supplements and are therefore unnecessary.

Artificial flavors and sweeteners

Artificial flavors are used to enhance the taste or disguise the bitter taste of dietary supplements. Sweeteners are used in sugar-free foods. Sweeteners are much sweeter than sugar and contain no calories. That is why they are very attractive to nutritional supplement manufacturers who want to make their products sugar-free.

Chemical Preservatives

Preservatives are added to foods and supplements to extend their shelf life and prevent microbial growth. There is a long list of approved chemical preservatives, but benzoates are the most commonly used. People with a hypersensitivity to certain foods or chemicals may be affected by these additives, even though they are officially considered safe. So it makes sense to avoid preservatives in your diet and supplements.

"People with a hypersensitivity to certain foods or chemicals can suffer from these additives, even though they are officially considered safe, so it makes sense to avoid preservatives in your diet and supplements."

Hydrogenated Oils

Hydrogenated oils, also known as trans fats, are sometimes used as fillers or to extend the shelf life of products. Consuming large amounts of hydrogenated oils can be bad for our health. Therefore, they should only be used in foods under certain conditions.

The biggest problem with hydrogenated oils is that they are associated with a higher risk of developing cardiovascular problems. [5]


Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are defined as a product whose genetic material (DNA) has been altered. [6] They are often developed to withstand excessive pesticide use and are thus often heavily sprayed.

Soy and maize are the most common GMOs in food production. These GMOs can also be used in dietary supplements. It is estimated that over 82% of all soy grown worldwide is genetically modified. [7] Many scientists are concerned about long-term safety and many European countries have already banned GMOs. [8]



Caitlin Beale is a freelancer writing articles on health. She has over ten years of experience as a registered dietitian. 

+ The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the views of Pure Encapsulations ® .

[1] “Titanium Dioxide: E171 No Longer Considered Safe When Used as a Food Additive | EFSA.” Accessed October 19, 2021.

[2] USDA Foreign Agricultural Service. “France: France Bans Titanium Dioxide in Food Products by January 2020.” Accessed October 19, 2021.

[3] Hobbs, Cheryl A., Kazuhiko Saigo, Mihoko Koyanagi, and Shim-mo Hayashi. “Magnesium Stearate, a Widely-Used Food Additive, Exhibits a Lack of in Vitro and in Vivo Genotoxic Potential.” Toxicology Reports4 (October 16, 2017): 554–59.

[4] Pearnchob, N., J. Siepmann, and R. Bodmeier. “Pharmaceutical Applications of Shellac: Moisture-Protective and Taste-Masking Coatings and Extended-Release Matrix Tablets.” Drug Development and Industrial Pharmacy29, no. 8 (September 2003): 925–38.

[5] Wanders, Anne J., Peter L. Zock, and Ingeborg A. Brouwer. “Trans Fat Intake and Its Dietary Sources in General Populations Worldwide: A Systematic Review.” Nutrients9, no. 8 (August 5, 2017): E840.

[6] “Food, Genetically Modified.” Accessed October 19, 2021.

[7] “Pocket K No. 16: Global Status of Commercialized Biotech/GM Crops in 2014". International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications. Retrieved 23 February 2016. . 

[8] Hilbeck, A., Binimelis, R., Defarge, N. et al. No scientific consensus on GMO safety. Environ Sci Eur27, 4 (2015).