When You See ‘Magnesium Stearate’ on Your Supplement Don’t Confuse it For Magnesium

When you see ‘Magnesium stearate’ on your supplement, don’t think that you are covering your magnesium base. While it may appear that magnesium stearate is giving your body magnesium, the vitally important mineral that you hear about online it in fact is not. If anything it’s more of a negative that is worth considering avoiding.

Unlike magnesium chloride, glycinate, citrate, chelate or threonate, magnesium stearate is in fact not ‘magnesium’ in the sense of the mineral itself for nutritional absorbtion.

It’s actually an anti-caking, emulsifying agent that is used in the production process of pharmaceutical drugs and some supplements. If you separate the magnesium and stearate you actually only have 4-5% of the dry weight of that magnesium stearate being actual magnesium. The other 95% or so is stearic and palmitic acids.

You’ll also pay close attention to the label and notice that magnesium stearate is listed on the ‘other ingredients’ typically below the main ingredients. This is because it’s used in a smaller amount solely for the purpose of emulsifying, reducing caking and making the pill easier to produce.

In other words, magnesium stearate is an added ingredient which is only a small percentage of the entire supplement and even then when you break it down it’s only 5% of that dry weight in actual magnesium.

In other words, magnesium stearate does almost nothing for the health of the human body.

There are Also Potential Risks With Absorbing Magnesium Stearate

  1. Poor Intestinal Absorption

Magnesium stearate, being hydrophilic (“water-loving”), is reported to potentially slow the dissolution of drugs and supplements in the gastrointestinal tract. This property can theoretically hinder the body’s ability to absorb nutrients and chemicals, making the supplement or drug less effective if it isn’t broken down properly. However, a study from the University of Maryland found that magnesium stearate did not affect the release of propranolol hydrochloride (a drug used to control rapid heart rate and bronchospasm), indicating that its impact on absorption may vary. Manufacturers use magnesium stearate to enhance the consistency of capsules and ensure proper absorption by delaying the breakdown of contents until they reach the intestines.

  1. Suppressed T-Cells

T-cells, vital to the body’s immune system for attacking pathogens, are not directly affected by magnesium stearate but by its main component, stearic acid. A landmark 1990 study published in the journal Immunology revealed that stearic acid alone could inhibit T-dependent immune responses.

  1. Formaldehyde Risk

A Japanese study on common excipients found that vegetable magnesium stearate could generate formaldehyde. While this might sound alarming, formaldehyde is naturally present in many fresh fruits, vegetables, and animal products, including apples, bananas, spinach, cabbage, beef, and coffee. Magnesium stearate produced the least amount of formaldehyde among the excipients tested, at 0.3 nanograms per gram. To put this into perspective, consuming a dried shiitake mushroom results in about 406 milligrams of formaldehyde per kilogram.

  1. Manufacturing Contamination

In 2011, the World Health Organization reported that several batches of magnesium stearate were contaminated with harmful chemicals such as bisphenol A, calcium hydroxide, dibenzoylmethane, Irganox 1010, and zeolite (sodium aluminum silicate). As this was an isolated incident, it doesn’t imply a widespread risk of toxic contamination for those taking supplements or prescription drugs containing magnesium stearate. Some individuals may experience allergic reactions, such as diarrhea and bowel spasms, from consuming products with magnesium stearate. If you experience adverse effects, carefully read ingredient labels and seek products without this additive.

If you’re looking for a fully clean and potent magnesium supplement that will rapidly increase your magnesium levels read this article, you’ll get an education and discount codes to the right magnesium that is best for you:

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