Another ingredient to avoid when purchasing supplements is magnesium stearate. Manufacturers like to add this ingredient into the development process because it prevents substances from sticking together or to the machine doing the processing. So, if you could imagine, saving money is always priority over consumer health. Magnesium stearate is also used to bind sugar in hard candies like mints, and is a common ingredient in baby formulas. Magnesium stearate is not a source of magnesium and has no benefits, but may have a detrimental effect on your immune function as stearic acid has been linked to suppression of T cells. The filler also stimulates your gut to form a biofilm, which can prevent proper absorption of nutrients in your digestive tract! It seems to be pretty common. After this was brought to my attention, I started to skim the supplement isles and found it to be included in almost everything. If you do not know where to look, every supplement should have an ingredient list somewhere on the bottle. Stay healthy people!
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4/23/2014 12:53:04 am
I don't really take supplements so this doesn't affect me much. However if you look at the studies about this affecting t cells, the one big one I could find isn't very reliable. Very large amounts of stearic acid would need to be consumed (not enough is formed through Magnesium stearate) plus the t cells were directly bathed in the acid in the study which typically wouldn't happen in the body. Further research would be needed on this to actually prove/disprove it. I didn't look into the biofilm part.
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Dr. Mark Giovanini
Sand Dunes CrossFit
Scott Rusin is the Director of Physical Therapy at the Sandestin Executive Health & Wellness Center in Sandestin Resort, Miramar Beach, FL. He has a degree in Physical Therapy, is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and Nike Golf NG360 Performance Specialist Powered by the Gray Institute.