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Fillers, Binders and Excipients  

The following are some common and not-so-common fillers, binders and excipients, along with their source and what purpose they serve. 

Acacia Gum (Vegetable): A binder used primarily in the wet granulation process, but also as a dry blend binder. A viscous substance exuded from the tropical acacia tree. Also known as gum arabic.

Agar: Vegetarian, gelatinous material pre­pared from marine algae. Used as a tablet-binding agent.

Calcium Stearate: Stearates are salts or esters of the fatty acid stearic acid. In this case stearic acid is combined with calcium. Used as a tablet lubricant.

Colloidal Silicon Dioxide: A naturally occurring silica. A glidant, used to improve flow and compressibility of ingredients.

Dibasic Calcium Phosphate: A commonly used filler. An inert, naturally occurring mineral. Also a source of extra calcium.

Fiber (Vegetable): Cellulose products are used as fillers, binders, and to improve the hardness and compressibility of tablets. Not metabolized by the body.

Fructose: Sweetener. Occurs in a large number of fruits, and in honey.

Guar Gum (Vegetable): A gum derived from the seed of the legume plant Cyamopsis tetragonoloba. Used as a tablet binder.

Magnesium Stearate: Stearates are salts or esters of the fatty acid stearic acid. In this case stearic acid is combined with magnesium. Used as a tablet lubricant, eliminates sticking to press tooling.

Maltodextrin: Isolated from corn. Generally recognized as safe (GRAS) as a human food ingredient. Used as a binder and filling agent.

Mannitol: Naturally occurring sugar alcohol found in plants. Used as a sweetening agent for sublingual or chewable tablets, and may also be used in conventional tablets as a binder.

Microcrystalline Cellulose or Cellulose: Cellulose, the main con­stituent of plant tissue and fibers, is purified and broken down into smaller particles. Used as a binder, filler and disintegrating agent. Cellulose is not metabolized by the body. Also known as L­HPC, HPC, HPMC.

Modified Cellulose Gum: Cellulose is the main constituent of plant tissue and fibers. Used to aid in tablet disintegration and dissolution. Rapid disintegration of tablets is a factor in improved bioavailability.

Simethicone: Derived from silicone. Used as tablet lubricant. Not metabolized by the body.

Sorbitol: Naturally occurring sugar alcohol used as a sweetening agent in sublingual or chewable tablets. Similar to mannitol. May also be used as a tablet binder in conventional tablets. Frequently used in syrups.

Stearic Acid: A food-grade fatty acid, derived from fats and oils, and used as a tablet binder and lubricant.

Tragacanth Gum (Vegetable): Gum of the thorny southwest Asian shrub Astragalus gummifer. Used as a tablet binder.

Xylitol: A sugar alcohol derived from xylose. Xylose is a natural sugar formed from cellulose products such as wood, cane pulp, seed hulls and shells. Used as a binder and sweetener.

Zinc Stearate: Stearates are salts or esters of the fatty acid stearic acid. In this case stearic acid is combined with zinc. Used as a tablet lubricant.



Source Naturals Formulas Guide 2002 229


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