If you wondering about the ins and outs of what is magnesium stearate and what it means to you, then you are in the right place.
The questions surrounding magnesium stearate are becoming much more relevant these days as more and more people are turning to magnesium supplements to gain their recommended daily intake of magnesium of 320mg for women and 420mg for men (NIH).
The magnesium in soils and foods has drastically decreased by up to 24% over the past 60 years and so it has become greatly difficult for humans to get sufficient magnesium to fulfil the body’s needs.
Magnesium is vital for:
- Heart health and normal blood pressure
- Skeletal strength
- Prevention of kidney stones and gallstones
- Enzyme production and healthy digestion
- Energy production
- Calming the mind
- Producing serotonin
- Cell production
- Electrolyte balance
- Normal nerve and muscle function
For this reason, many more people are starting to complement a healthy diet with magnesium supplements for the benefit of their overall health and longevity.
What is Magnesium Stearate and is it a Bad Thing?
Many of the supplements available on the market today contain an additive called magnesium stearate.
Magnesium stearate is only found in very small doses as an additive in these supplements and is probably not harmful. However, in large doses it is almost certainly so.
What is Magnesium Stearate also Known As?
- Magnesium Stearate
- Vegetable Stearate
- Steric Acid
These are all forms of magnesium stearate which may be seen on the ingredients label of commonly available supplements.
What is Magnesium Stearate Good For?
- Lubrication – Magnesium stearate works by covering the powder and preventing it from sticking to the machinery during manufacture. This speeds up production and is used so commonly because you only need a tiny amount to have a beneficial effect. This same lubricative effect assists the tablets to be more easily swallowed because they will slide on down the oesophagus and into the intestine.
- Cost effective – as a bulking agent, magnesium stearate adds to more content to the supplement pills, and only a tiny amount is required to have the incredible lubricative effects which aid faster production.
What is Magnesium Stearate Bad For?
While providing lubrication in the factories and in your gastrointestinal tract seems to be the major benefit to magnesium stearate, we were able to come up with a few more possible negative effects.
- Possible detrimental effect on the absorption of nutrients
- Possible allergic reaction
- Toxicity in large amounts
- Contamination during production
- T-cell Suppression
None of these side effects have actually been proven in a laboratory environment to show that magnesium stearate has a harmful effect in humans in the miniscule doses that it is taken in supplements.
What is the Verdict?
Magnesium stearate is not proven to be harmful in tiny doses and is a non-toxic additive commonly found in a number of supplements.
However, if you like your supplements organically sourced and free from bulking agents and GMO additives, it is easy to obtain magnesium compounds which are free from magnesium stearate. Read the labels of supplements before purchase so you know what you are consuming.
What are the Options for Magnesium Stearate Free Supplements?
Organic magnesium chloride is mainly sourced from the ancient Zechstein Seabed in North West Europe, Jordan’s Dead Sea, the Great Salt Lake in North America and is often extracted using gentle methods of solar evaporation. The magnesium that you are getting from these pure sources is 100% pure and raw and natural and has much better absorption rates and bioavailability.
The topical applications of magnesium supplements for example magnesium oil and magnesium flakes are unlikely to contain additives such as magnesium stearate.
For further information and pricing on examples of topical and oral magnesium which are magnesium stearate free,
please click on the pictures below:
If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, are on medications or have kidney or liver disease, please see your doctor before commencing magnesium therapy.
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