Comment on Is this potentially harmful substance lurking in YOUR nutritional supplements? by annie.
This is a response from Swanson Vitamins who are rated #1 by Consumer Labs. I have read the Mercola article, however, it is good to seek out more information.
We do appreciate your opinion, and we would be happy to forward your comments to the appropriate department for further consideration. However, we do wish to point out the following, as customer satisfaction is our highest priority and that the article that you provided us is over twenty years old. We commissioned a report on this matter from an independent expert toxicologist. When reading about the “dangers” of magnesium stearate, please consider the following:
‚Ä¢ Magnesium Stearate is the magnesium salt of stearic acid, a long-chain saturated fatty acid unique in that it is the only saturated fatty acid that does not increase blood cholesterol or LDL.
‚Ä¢ Stearic acid is found naturally in meat, poultry, fish, grains, cocoa butter and milk products.
o While some supplements may contain up to 20 mg of stearic acid (as mag stearate), consider that this is a very low amount compared to the 5 grams (5,000 mg) that can be found in a single common chocolate bar.
o Furthermore, in rat model studies, magnesium stearate has been shown to have no effect at levels up to 2,500 mg per kg of body weight.
‚Ä¢ Recently, claims have been made that magnesium stearate causes formation of biofilms that may affect different parts of the body, including the immune system. According to the independent toxicology report: “Claims that magnesium stearate can facilitate or form biofilms have no basis in the scientific literature and in fact, current scientific data indicate that stearic acid actually inhibits biofilm formation.”
‚Ä¢ Stearic acid is the most poorly absorbed of the common dietary fatty acids and therefore is less likely to interfere with food uptake in the GI tract. Furthermore, the primary route of uptake is via the lymphatic system, indicating that stearic acid would not interfere with gut absorption of other materials as most nutrients are typically absorbed through the gut wall and are not transported via the lymphatic system.
‚Ä¢ Magnesium stearate is an important ingredient in the manufacture of dietary supplements. It serves as a filler, diluent and flow agent that helps producers maintain ingredients in a proper form for handling and prevents material from adhering to manufacturing equipment. There are few, if any, acceptable substitutes in most cases. Swanson Health Products feels confident in the quality and safety of our supplements produced with magnesium stearate.
For more information about magnesium stearate, please visit the following link: