Fillers and binders can potentially hinder the body’s ability to absorb active ingredients from supplements for several reasons:
Digestive Interference: Some fillers and binders may form a physical barrier around the active ingredients in a supplement, delaying their release in the digestive tract. This delay can limit the time available for nutrient absorption in the small intestine, where most absorption occurs.
Reduced Bioavailability: Certain fillers or binders may chemically interact with the active ingredients, reducing their bioavailability. This means that even if the nutrients are absorbed, they may not be as effective in supporting health and fetal development as intended.
2. Mitochondrial Impact
Mitochondria are the powerhouses of our cells, responsible for producing energy in the form of adenosine triphosphate (ATP). They play a crucial role in energy metabolism, and any interference with their function can have far-reaching consequences. Fillers and binders might indirectly affect mitochondria in the following ways:
Zinc Depletion: Some fillers, such as phytates found in certain grains and legumes, can bind to zinc, making it less available for absorption. Zinc is a vital mineral for overall health and immune function, and its deficiency during pregnancy can have adverse effects.
Oxidative Stress: Fillers and binders that interfere with nutrient absorption may indirectly contribute to oxidative stress. Oxidative stress can damage cellular structures, including mitochondria, potentially impairing their function and energy production.
Inflammation: Chronic inflammation resulting from poor nutrient absorption can negatively impact mitochondrial health. Inflammation can lead to mitochondrial dysfunction, disrupting energy production and overall cellular function.
3. Potential Mitochondrial Penetration
While the direct penetration of fillers and binders into mitochondria is not a common phenomenon, there are instances where certain substances can penetrate cell membranes, potentially reaching the mitochondria:
Nanoparticles: Some fillers, binders, or contaminants in supplements may be present in nanoparticle form, which can allow them to penetrate cell membranes, including mitochondrial membranes. Once inside the mitochondria, these foreign substances can disrupt mitochondrial function.
It’s important to note that the likelihood of fillers and binders directly affecting mitochondrial function in this manner is relatively low. However, the broader concern lies in how these additives can indirectly contribute to oxidative stress, inflammation, and nutrient deficiencies, all of which can negatively influence overall cellular health, including that of mitochondria.