The Problem with Magnesium Stearate
Many people who buy supplements in the store don't always realize or check to see what's actually in them. Besides the key ingredients, there are often many others listed under "other ingredients". One of the most common "other ingredients" is Magnesium Stearate. It is a substance who's only purpose is to allow the machinery during processing to run smoother and faster and it can prevent the supplements from sticking together. Basically, it helps the manufacturer make the product in a quicker fashion. As a naturopathic doctor, I question whether a substance that is used to benefit the manufacturing process should be left in the product and thereby, in our systems. It has no nutritional benefits and is not a source of magnesium. So it's not there for the customer's sake. And, it may have a detrimental effect on your health. Studies have shown that it can destroy cell membranes and their functions. This in turn can contribute to leaky gut syndrome. Magnesium Stearate is sourced from either cottonseed or palm oil, the concern is that it comes from genetically modified crops and can be contaminated with pesticides. The process of making magnesium stearate from these oils requires hydrogenation, which in turn produces toxic byproducts. Finally, a more recent study by the World Health Organization found that Magnesium Stearate could contain the following: Calcium hydroxide and Bisphenol-A, both of which are toxic chemicals and Irganox 1010 a "moderately hazardous" chemical with potential developmental toxicity.
I've also discovered that testing has been done on the effect on bioavailability of nutrients in supplements when magnesium stearate was added. It was concluded that the magnesium stearate reduce the bioavailability of the nutrients by at least 55%! As the formulator for VitaTree Nutritionals, I choose not to have Magnesium Stearate in any of our products. When I created VitaTree, it was to make products that were whole food based and didn't have any fillers or "other" ingredients. After using various "conventional" synthetic vitamins in the beginning of my naturopathic practice, I would question some of my patients poor reactions to the vitamins I was prescribing. Looking back, perhaps it was the synthetic nutrients and fillers that were the problem. VitaTree's mission was to create a supplement line as close to Nature as possible. Adding a questionable ingredient that has no benefit to my patients makes no sense to me. The only benefit is to the manufacturer and that it makes the machines run more quickly not something I'd want in my body.
I hope you will do your research and certainly look at all your vitamin bottles. If they contain magnesium stearate, I caution you as to the safety and efficacy of that supplement.
Let's live a healthy and vital life, the VitaLife!
Dr. Janine Bowring