Magnesium Stearate is a compound with lubricative properties that are formed by combining stearic acid with a magnesium ion. The lubricative property makes it ideal for preventing vitamins and minerals from sticking to one another during manufacturing of supplements, as well as to prevent the supplements from sticking to machinery used during the manufacturing process of supplements. Despite these positive benefits of magnesium stearate in the creation of health supplements, it has been found that the compound can cause side effects to humans if consumed in large amounts.
Here's what you need to know about magnesium stearate and the potential side effects:
Positive Side Effects of Magnesium Stearate
When we think of side effects we automatically assume negative things that could make us sick or cause unwanted symptoms. Not all side effects are negative! In the creation of supplements, it is necessary to maintain consistency of the various ingredients to ensure the nutrients in the supplement or vitamin capsule will be of the appropriate potency and quantity. When the ingredients of different chemical properties are combined to create supplements, they easily stick together and cause problems with the quantity and potency of the finished product – except when magnesium stearate is added to prevent the ingredients from sticking to each other and to the machinery while being capsulized into the finished product. Without it, supplement manufacturers would not be able to maintain control over the dose of their products.
Negative Side Effects of Magnesium Stearate
The bad news is pretty much anything with positive side effects can also have negative side effects. Magnesium stearate is in 95 percent of supplements available on the market today. Because of the potential for unwanted, negative side effects, it's also being labeled as a toxin. Understanding the potential side effects is easier if you understand how magnesium stearate is created.
As mentioned previously, magnesium stearate is a compound created from the combination of stearic acid with a magnesium ion. To create the compound, cottonseed oil or palm oil is hydrogenated. Unfortunately, cottonseed oil has been found to contain the largest amount of pesticide residues of all oils available commercially. During the creation of magnesium stearate, cottonseed oil coats the nutrients added to the supplement, and in turn makes it harder for the intestines to absorb the nutrients. When consumed in large doses, magnesium stearate can cause liver toxicity and damage the skin.
Should You Worry About Magnesium Stearate?
The potential for side effects have been brought to light mostly by companies competing with one another to sell the same type of products. Both magnesium ion and stearic acid are found in nature, and stearic acid is used in many food products that we consume on a regular basis. You have to do your own due diligence when determining whether or not you should worry about the potential side effects of magnesium stearate in your health supplements, but in many cases, magnesium stearate is considered a completely natural additive since it is derived from a naturally occurring fatty acid.
The lubricative properties of magnesium stearate make it possible to create and deliver high quality supplements that deliver the nutrient potency and quantity indicated on the label of your favorite products. Without it, you would not be guaranteed that the supplements you buy are living up to their claims.