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Ask the Expert

Talc as ingredient in dietary supplements

Always read lists of active and inactive ingredients on the labels of dietary supplements. This is especially important for people with food allergies -- such as corn and soy.

On reading the ingredient list of my supplement label, I came across talc. Isn't talc quite a dangerous substance to be taking every day, especially in the form of a nutrition supplement?

You are probably confusing talc with face powder or similar personal products that are not a pure substance and contain ingredients that might be toxic to ingest.

Pure talc is finely powdered hydrous magnesium silicate and is used as a filler and excipent for pills and tablets. It is also used for dusting tablet molds.

Nutritionally it is nothing more than a small source of dietary magnesium and silicon -- both of which are valuable. Breathing it chronically into the lungs, however, can lead to problems.

 

Sources: Paul Wakfer (was Tom Matthews)

 

 

   
 

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