People are often concerned about the fillers we use in our LDN capsules.
Let’s examine why we need fillers at all. Fillers are also sometimes referred to as excipients.
It’s a matter of physics.
- An empty capsule (size #3) can hold approximately 225mg of powder. The exact amount depends on the density of the material. Small amounts of some ingredients are heavier than the same volume of another. Consider 4.5mg of naltrexone. It is a very small amount that fills about 2% of the empty capsule. Something has to fill in that remaining space – the other 98%. That something is the filler.
- The filler should be inert* and it should not interfere in any way with the activity of the active ingredient, naltrexone in this case. It should also flow well, not be so fluffy that it floats into the air, and pack well.
One traditional filler is lactose (milk sugar). It is so common that you will even find it in many commercial products. It has good physical characteristics and it is mostly inert. We know, though, that some people can be sensitive to lactose – they are lactose intolerant. People with chronic illnesses seem to be bothered more than others. We do not use lactose in any preparations for humans. So, in some cases lactose is not completely inert. We think it is better to find a filler that would not bother anybody.
We don’t use calcium carbonate in our filler because there have been reports that it can interfere with the absorption of naltrexone. If packed too tightly in the capsule it can be difficult to dissolve in the gut. It could then just pass through the body without any effect.
We don’t use slow release fillers. We do not use any derivative of methylcellulose in naltrexone capsules because those substances can make the formulation slow to release. The goal for LDN is rapid absorption.
We use a substance called Avicel (microcrystalline cellulose). It is a good filler. It is inert and it does not form a sticky mass when exposed to water (like methylcellulose). In our practice we found that the weight per volume varies from lot-to-lot. That requires us to sometimes recalibrate our compounding formulas. Sometimes it is fluffy and gets into the air (can be breathed by staff or just make more of a mess).
If any customer absolutely objects to our filler choice, we can switch to something different (as long as the request was for something truly inert). We strongly advise against lactose (even though some doctors recommend it), but we would even use that if the customer and doctor insist.
We don’t use acidophilus/probiotics in our fillers.
Our naltrexone capsules also contain approximately 1mg of riboflavin, USP. This is often referred to as vitamin B2. It is yellow in color and it helps us know when the powders are fully mixed. We use natural substances, such as vitamin B2, instead of other coloring agents or dyes.
Our capsules are NOT made from gelatin. They are made from cellulose that is derived from pine trees. They are referred to a “veggie” capsules.
This should answer the majority of questions about LDN Fillers. If something is unclear or missing, please contact me by email.
*INERT: having only a limited ability to react chemically; chemically inactive; “inert matter”; “an indifferent chemical in a reaction.