Karen Eiles asked: “I’ve started taking a supplement in preparation …

Comment on Is this potentially harmful substance lurking in YOUR nutritional supplements? by Sarah Best.

Karen Eiles asked: “I’ve started taking a supplement in preparation for pregnancy and now see that it contains stearic acid. I’m at a loss to know where to start looking for a replacement. Can you recommend a company known for their high quality supplements?”

Many of the higher end supplement manufacturers, whose products are higher quality than average, with the prices to match, do sadly use magnesium stearate.

I would first say that if you are taking just one pill a day containing stearic acid/magnesium stearate, the benefits may outweigh that downside. My main concern is with those who take several such pills, day in, day out. I know of a doctor who regularly prescribes patients 5 to 10 – and in some cases even more – of his magnesium stearate containing pills a day.

Should you wish to completely avoid magnesium stearate and other synthetic flow agents, fillers and binders, go for natural supplements made from whole foods. In your case I would recommend The Synergy Company. You might want to look into their Organic Vita*Min*Herb for Women:

http://www.thesynergycompany.com/ov_vmh_women.html

This product has been around for some years, it’s quite well known in holistic health circles and used to be called Vita Synergy for Women.

I don’t know whether there are specific nutrients you wanted from your supplement, but for example this one contains 100% of the recommended daily amount of folate, the natural form of folic acid – among much else.

I note that Lamberts Strongstart also includes a daily fish oil supplement. That doesn’t appear to contain magnesium stearate. If you’re concerned about getting enough long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, you might want to continue taking that, but if you’re looking for another brand, the one I’ve heard best things about is Eskimo BrainSharp:

http://www.nutricentre.com/p-20975-eskimo-brain-sharp-capsules.aspx

Hope this helps.

Sarah Best Also Commented

Is this potentially harmful substance lurking in YOUR nutritional supplements?
As I said in my article, those who try to assure us that magnesium stearate is safe are generally parties who have a vested interest in our believing that πŸ™‚ My only other comment on what was written would be that to claim that the magnesium stearate in supplements is the same as the naturally occurring stearic acid in foods is like claiming that we shouldn’t be worried about consuming refined white sugar as it’s “just the same as the natural sugar in fruits”… The magnesium stearate in supplements is another synthetic, highly processed white powder, far removed from anything found in natural foods. In view of that, and the fact that little research has been done into its effects in the body, I stand by my statement that it’s best avoided.


Is this potentially harmful substance lurking in YOUR nutritional supplements?
And another great question… I haven’t looked into the effects of stearic acid when absorbed through the skin, but here are my thoughts. Less of it will get into the body this way. I once read that around 60% of anything on our skin gets into our blood – but of course this must depend on the substance itself. BUT as this route bypasses the stomach and liver, more of the substance gets into the bloodstream than if the amount *absorbed* (not applied) were taken orally.

As you’re using it on body as well as your face, this could be adding up – though *how* much depends on what percentage of the product is stearic acid. I would personally change to another moisturiser, one that is 100% pure and organic.

But please don’t worry about it. I personally don’t believe that any ONE thing like this is going to make a noticeable difference to our health. The point is that if we don’t eliminate those “one” things when we become aware of them, we’re going to really add to our toxic load over our lifetime. Because those things are everywhere and in everything (mainstream). We can’t avoid them completely, the human organism can take a lot, and worrying is bad for us too! It’s just wise to avoid them *where possible* – hope that helps.


Is this potentially harmful substance lurking in YOUR nutritional supplements?
More great questions! I’m not sure whether it’s permitted in organic supplements – I’ll see if I can find out. I’m not even sure whether there is such a thing as organic magnesium stearate – and sadly the word “organic” on a supplement label often means nothing more than that it contains some organic ingredients… Yes, the organic version would be less toxic, but would still have the other negatiives. I’d see this as analagous to the difference between, say, regular refined white sugar and organic refined white sugar.


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Thank you, Daniel. And agreed. Fellow Dr Fuhrman fan here πŸ™‚


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Hi Nina,

Thank you so much for sharing that.

Yes, it is devastating to miss the love of a father.

And it’s not made any easier by the fact that this is so little talked about and understood.

But for what it’s worth, in the four years since I began writing about this topic I’ve heard from SO many women who feel just as you do.

That’s why I started my free email series on the father-daughter relationship, which is designed to answer the very questions you posed, and which I see you’ve signed up for. I hope you’ll find it helpful.

Thanks again for the share.

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That’s wonderful to hear, and thank you so much for the share.


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Great to know, Shelda! πŸ™‚


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Thank you for commenting, Miriam. I’d forgotten that I recommended agave in this article and I’ve made a note to revise it, as I have since revised my views – very much in line with what you wrote, in fact! I blogged about that here: http://www.sarahbesthealth.com/is-agave-syrup-a-healthy-alternative-to-sugar/ I still consider brown rice syrup a great choice since it’s essentially fructose free. As for research on the impact on emotional and mental wellbeing of consuming a high-sugar diet, I couldn’t agree more! And I personally think that what’s come out on this so far is just the tip of the iceberg πŸ™‚



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