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Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!


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25 replies to this topic

#1 EdwardCTV

Posted 21 November 2009 - 12:02 AM


magnesium stearate is in almost every supplement....its very hard to avoid so i was wondering
for example if i want to take zinc capsules....can i just pop open the capsule and dissolve the powder in liquid and drink it thereby avoiding the magnesium stearate in the gel capsule?

im not sure if that will be bad for absorption since im taking it directly into my body without the capsule as a delivery vehicle..
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#2 meat250 Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

Posted 21 November 2009 - 12:16 AM

magnesium stearate isnt all that bad...after all, you get more mg stearate in a bag of potato chips than you do in a bottle of vitamins


Meat
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#3 niner Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 21 November 2009 - 12:56 AM

Why do you want to avoid mag stearate?
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#4 amere Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

Posted 21 November 2009 - 01:43 AM

Why do you want to avoid mag stearate?


Hypochondria? Hysteria?
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#5 meat250 Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

Posted 21 November 2009 - 06:19 AM

dont worry bro...i would be more worried about titanium dioxide than anything with has been shown to cause dna mutation



A few companies and some alternative health “professionals” have whipped up pointless concern over the inert flowing agent used in dietary supplements known as magnesium stearate. In each case the motivation appears to be one of promoting their own products – typically products lacking in actual quality of ingredients for the price being charged. As a leading expert on the subject of dietary supplement quality I have written this brief review to set the record straight and point out the flagrant misrepresentation behind such assertions.

Magnesium stearate is a magnesium salt containing stearic acid. Stearic acid is an 18 carbon long saturated fat, common in our food supply. It is readily metabolized to oleic acid (the monounsaturated fat found in olive oil). Stearic acid is unique among all saturated fatty acids because it does not raise LDL cholesterol levels.

10% - 12% of cocoa is fatty acids of stearic acid, one of the richest sources of stearic acid in the food supply. It is easy to get 5 grams of stearic acid (5,000 mg) by eating a bar of chocolate. By comparison, a dietary supplement capsule product typically contains between 1% - 2% stearic acid or 10 mg - 20 mg of stearic acid per capsule, or 1000 mg to 2000 mg per bottle (20% - 40% of a chocolate bar for the entire bottle).

Stearic acid is also a common fatty acid found in meat, poultry, fish, grains, eggs, butter, and milk products. In meat, it is 1/3 of the saturated fat. The average intake of dietary stearic acid in American women is 5700 milligrams a day and in men 8400 milligrams a day. (Click here for general information on stearic acid.)

My point is that the amount of stearic acid ingested in a vitamin product is a small percent of a fatty acid that you consume every day as part of your diet, a type of fatty acid that is not problematic in the first place.
Magnesium Stearate in Vitamins

Magnesium stearate has natural lubricant properties, something very important to the quality in how vitamins are produced. This is especially true for complex formulas with multiple ingredients which have inherently different chemistry properties (meaning that ingredients could stick together or clump in different ways based on their properties).

Once the raw materials of a vitamin product formulation have been mixed up it is very important to maintain the mix consistency, otherwise the nutrients going into the capsule will not be able to meet the label claims of what is in the capsule. By adding a small amount of magnesium stearate the nutrients don’t stick together, thereby allowing a consistently maintained mixture.

Magnesium stearate also prevents ingredients from sticking to the encapsulation machine. This is also important, as certain active ingredients may otherwise adhere to machine parts and not get into your capsules in the desired amounts or at the stated dosage.

Making dietary supplements in a high quality way is far more complex than most people realize. There are numerous variables involved with nutrients that affect flowing and sticking. These include particle size of the ingredient, moisture content, chemical nature, solubility, and cohesive nature. These factors vary based on the ingredients in any product and become more complex as the number of different ingredients in the product increases.

Companies that don’t care about product quality could use excessive amounts of magnesium stearate simply to keep machines running at the fastest speed possible, but these companies wouldn’t be putting anything of a quality nature in their products in the first place. This practice mostly applies to the makers of tablets, and is one of the problems why tablets tend not to dissolve very well for many people.

Capsule products are much easier to digest and absorb. I always spend the extra money on Vcaps (vegetable cellulose caps) and do not use bovine-derived gelatin capsules. I stay away from making products in tablet form, as it is common knowledge that they often come through the digestive system whole – especially products containing large amounts of minerals.

I use as little magnesium stearate as possible when formulating products, usually 1%. We use USP grade stearates derived mostly from palm oil or other natural vegetable sources, suitable for vegetarian diets. These raw materials are tested to US Pharmacopeia standards (known as pharmaceutical grade - very pure).

Companies not using the industry standard magnesium stearate may be hard pressed to prove that their vitamin capsules or tablets have a consistent dose. The FDA will be looking into this issue as part of their new GMP guidelines – as the quality and consistency of fill and legality of label claims will come front and center for companies that are not making products in ways that are understood to be good manufacturing practice. Right now, these companies can say whatever they want and don’t have to prove anything – times are changing.

There is simply no known risk or technical reason not to use magnesium stearate in small and appropriate amounts during the production of dietary supplements. To the contrary, when used properly magnesium stearate assists in making a uniform and better quality product.
What is All the Fuss About?

Bad mouthing magnesium stearate is nothing more than a sales pitch. It is extremely irresponsible. A review of the product quality of the companies making such claims often leaves much to be desired. If you were to compare the products of these companies using the articles on product quality that I have written, you will quickly see that there is not much under the hoods of their products – yet the prices are hyped up nice and high to go along with the sales pitch.

Other groups in this category are network marketing companies selling drastically overpriced fruit juice – a true consumer scam. Then there are the liquid vitamin makers who would be quite fortunate to be able to demonstrate that the liquid in their product hasn’t neutralized the active nutrients with a few weeks of mixing, long before you would ever get a chance to drink it – another consumer rip off.

The main “study” quoted by this collection of anti-magnesium stearate con artists is a 1990 cell study titled “Molecular basis for the immunosuppressive action of stearic acid on T cells.” Sure, the study title sounds incriminating. The study has nothing whatsoever to do with magnesium stearate or dietary supplements – and is totally irrelevant. If you like, you can read the entire study by following the above link.

The study is a preliminary cell study done by researchers who are trying to make new immunosuppressive drugs for people with organ transplants. In the experiment they expose T cells and B cells to a lab concoction they brewed up which is a mixture of stearic acid, diatomaceous earth, and bovine serum albumin (a far different compound than magnesium stearate). The T cells and B cells were prepared in an antibiotic-rich medium and exposed to inflammatory toxic challenge prior to exposure to the lab-concocted test brew. The whole intent of the study was to injure T cells in some way, meaning that direct exposure of the T cells to the amount of the concoction had to be adequate to damage the T cells or the researchers weren’t going to bother with the experiment.

You can readily see that such an experiment has absolutely nothing to do with dietary supplements. It is falsely represented as “proof” that dietary stearic acid is immune toxic – which the study does not prove at all. Remember, stearic acid is widely consumed since the beginning of human evolution every day by almost everyone and this study does not begin to approximate how stearic acid behaves in your body nor was it intended to demonstrate that issue.

Under experimental conditions, it would be just as easy to expose T cells to water and produce the same result. The reason the researchers didn’t do that is because they were trying to figure out some type of concoction they could use as a new immuno-suppressive drug for organ transplant patients. The study was obviously preliminary, and never even meant anything to the field it was intended to impress (as no drug in this line has been produced in the 19 years following the study).

The ludicrous notion that this study has anything to do with human health is simply absurd. Those using and quoting this study as “proof” that magnesium stearate is a problem to your health are so deficient in integrity that anything they are trying to push off on you is of questionable value.

The most recent anti-magnesium stearate propaganda comes from several smooth-talking alternative health “professionals” (product sales-hype specialists) who state that magnesium stearate forms biofilms in your digestive tract and thereby interferes with absorption of nutrients and even food. No proof is offered, just their opinions.

Almost comically, the actual science says just the opposite. Stearic acid actually helps prevent the formation of biofilms (click here for study).

These individuals are hoping you don’t know what a biofilm is or how one is formed or maintained. From the sounds of it, they don’t understand the subject either or they are intentionally conning people – either way they aren’t very bright.

Biofilms are germ gangs. They assemble based on a quorum-sensing signal, like a bell tolling in the field telling farmers to come to town and pick up weapons and go to war. Biofilms in your digestive tract, such as Candida albicans biofilms or other bacterial biofilms are extremely problematic to human health.

These biofilm gangs need a fuel source to keep reproducing and growing. That fuel source is never a saturated fat because there is no point of biochemistry interaction in a saturated fat.

For example, a Candida albicans biofilm fuels its reproduction based on your intake of highly polyunsaturated fatty acids. This means that if you eat a bag of potato chips, corn chips, or French fries and you have a Candida biofilm, you just poured gas on the fire. Candida inserts oxygen molecules into the unsaturated bonds of the fatty acids (the more unsaturated bonds the better from Candida’s point of view) forming a highly toxic inflammatory signal called an oxylipin. Oxylipins are reproductive growth factors for the biofilm. It is technically impossible to insert an oxygen molecule into a saturated fat, which is why it is not possible for stearic acid to promote biofilm growth.

The claim that stearic acid causes biofilms if a blatant lie. Promoting such a false concept casts considerable doubt on the integrity and intelligence of those making and forwarding these statements.

The bottom line is that magnesium stearate in dietary supplements is very safe and is an effective way to help produce quality dietary supplements. This has been proven by decades of use in the dietary supplement industry and health benefit by millions of consumers. There is no human evidence or study that shows magnesium stearate is in any way harmful. To the contrary, its safety is well recognized throughout the industry
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#6 kismet Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:Austria, Vienna
  • yes

Posted 21 November 2009 - 01:04 PM

I don't know of any reasons to avoid mag stearate either. And please always link to the original source when copy 'n pasting e.g. http://www.worldwide...m-Stearate.html

Edited by kismet, 21 November 2009 - 01:05 PM.

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#7 bdelfin Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

Posted 02 December 2009 - 11:01 PM

Does magnesium stearate even dissociate during digestion? As far as I can tell, none of it gets turned into stearic acid in the first place.
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#8 j03 Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:...

Posted 05 December 2009 - 11:14 AM

I get terrible headaches and bloodshot eyes after ingesting supplements or drugs that contain mag sterate.

I've been looking around and almost most supplements have this ingredient. If anyone knows of a brand that doesn't use this constituent, could you share? It would be appreciated
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#9 Ami Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

Posted 05 December 2009 - 03:35 PM

I get terrible headaches and bloodshot eyes after ingesting supplements or drugs that contain mag sterate.

I've been looking around and almost most supplements have this ingredient. If anyone knows of a brand that doesn't use this constituent, could you share? It would be appreciated


I believe Pure Encapsulations and Thorne Research doesn't use any mag. stearate.
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#10 Holistic Health Coach Tom Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

Posted 30 April 2010 - 02:59 AM

Lots of supplement manufacturers are able to make their pills without magnesium stearate, and manage to get the right amounts of everything in the pill or capsule. These companies include New Chapter, Garden of Life, Himalaya, Ultra Labs, and others who have established reputations for making the highest quality supplements.

One thing I have never understood about magnesium stearate is that if it's only 1 or 2 percent of the total weight of the formulation, then how does it manage to keep the raw material from sticking to the machinery? Logically it can't "coat" more than 2% of the product, so what about the other 98%?

But here's something you can try at home: take a tablet that has magnesium stearate, or stearic acid for that matter (not quite the same but used the same way) and put it in a glass of apple cider vinegar, which is very acidic. It won't dissolve even if left there for hours. Then take a tablet that is mag stearate free and put it in a glass of ACV. It will dissolve within 15 minutes. Then ask yourself which tablet you'd rather take, the one that's hard as a rock hours later or the one that breaks apart easily.

The few studies that have been done on mag stearate are not conclusive, but in my opinion they are cause for concern. The people who conducted the studies are not vitamin salespeople trying to sell products, they are qualified researchers or scientists using verifiable methodology. The questions raised so far about mag stearate are enough to make me avoid it, along with most other additives and excipients that are included in formulations not for my benefit, but for the manufacturer's bottom line.
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#11 Guacamolium Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:Tahoe

Posted 30 April 2010 - 03:55 AM

Mag Citrate ordered online or from a health foods store for its inflated price.

Edited by somethingtoxic, 30 April 2010 - 03:56 AM.

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#12 niner Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 30 April 2010 - 04:19 AM

But here's something you can try at home: take a tablet that has magnesium stearate, or stearic acid for that matter (not quite the same but used the same way) and put it in a glass of apple cider vinegar, which is very acidic. It won't dissolve even if left there for hours. Then take a tablet that is mag stearate free and put it in a glass of ACV. It will dissolve within 15 minutes. Then ask yourself which tablet you'd rather take, the one that's hard as a rock hours later or the one that breaks apart easily.

I think something is faulty here. Dissolution testing is always done for tabletted drugs and (one would at least hope) many supplements. I think that there is a hole in your experimental procedure somewhere. Maybe ACV is a poor model of the stomach. The stomach is more acidic than ACV, contains proteases and lipases, is 37C and moves around. These stories about tablets not dissolving pop up all the time, and I've never found one that really held up.
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#13 gwgaston Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:USA

Posted 30 April 2010 - 04:31 AM

This thread caught my eye as I had remembered reading recently a vendor (Thorne Research) mentioning absence of magnesium stearate in regard to one reason why their product was better than their competition that also used the same active ingredient (Meriva Curcumin Phytosome from Indena). Here be the text:

https://www.merivaonline.com/faqs

8. I have seen advertisements for Meriva from another company. Why should I buy your Meriva?

Indena has Thorne Research prepare their products, including Meriva for medical studies for very good reasons. Thorne Research has pharmaceutical grade quality control. And, although Thorne Research and another company do both use the Meriva Curcumin Phytosome from Indena, Thorne Research does not utilize the flowing agent magnesium stearate when we manufacture our finished products. This ensures that you will get only the purest product - one that contains no unnecessary ingredients that can inhibit the product's absorption.* The entire concept with Meriva is that it can significantly increase the body's absorption of curcumin;* magnesium stearate, however, may inhibit that absorption.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


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#14 Guacamolium Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:Tahoe

Posted 30 April 2010 - 05:03 AM

But here's something you can try at home: take a tablet that has magnesium stearate, or stearic acid for that matter (not quite the same but used the same way) and put it in a glass of apple cider vinegar, which is very acidic. It won't dissolve even if left there for hours. Then take a tablet that is mag stearate free and put it in a glass of ACV. It will dissolve within 15 minutes. Then ask yourself which tablet you'd rather take, the one that's hard as a rock hours later or the one that breaks apart easily.

I think something is faulty here. Dissolution testing is always done for tabletted drugs and (one would at least hope) many supplements. I think that there is a hole in your experimental procedure somewhere. Maybe ACV is a poor model of the stomach. The stomach is more acidic than ACV, contains proteases and lipases, is 37C and moves around. These stories about tablets not dissolving pop up all the time, and I've never found one that really held up.


It would by HCL acid that determines the results, but I still believe in taking the form of citrate of this mineral unless somebody can 1-up me on it????
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#15 niner Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 30 April 2010 - 05:39 AM

But here's something you can try at home: take a tablet that has magnesium stearate, or stearic acid for that matter (not quite the same but used the same way) and put it in a glass of apple cider vinegar, which is very acidic. It won't dissolve even if left there for hours. Then take a tablet that is mag stearate free and put it in a glass of ACV. It will dissolve within 15 minutes. Then ask yourself which tablet you'd rather take, the one that's hard as a rock hours later or the one that breaks apart easily.

I think something is faulty here. Dissolution testing is always done for tabletted drugs and (one would at least hope) many supplements. I think that there is a hole in your experimental procedure somewhere. Maybe ACV is a poor model of the stomach. The stomach is more acidic than ACV, contains proteases and lipases, is 37C and moves around. These stories about tablets not dissolving pop up all the time, and I've never found one that really held up.

It would by HCL acid that determines the results, but I still believe in taking the form of citrate of this mineral unless somebody can 1-up me on it????

This isn't about a magnesium source, it's about a magnesium compound that is used as a flow agent. It's present in very small quantities, and is not very bioavailable anyway.
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#16 Jay Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:New York

Posted 30 April 2010 - 12:30 PM

What about titanium dioxide as somebody mentioned above? There was some buzz a while back and some speculation that most titanium dioxide in supplements (and medicines/foods) are not nanoparticles. Anybody find out any more about that in the meantime?

Edited by Jay, 30 April 2010 - 01:27 PM.

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#17 niner Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 01 May 2010 - 01:47 AM

What about titanium dioxide as somebody mentioned above? There was some buzz a while back and some speculation that most titanium dioxide in supplements (and medicines/foods) are not nanoparticles. Anybody find out any more about that in the meantime?

Nanoparticles are expensive, and there would be no point in putting them in a supplement. The main use that I'm aware of is topically, as a sunscreen, since they reflect UV but are transparent to visible light due to their small size. TiO2 is used as a white pigment; as far as I know that's its only use in supplements. The nanoparticle version would be transparent, so it wouldn't work as a pigment. It's used in all kinds of food products:

From ftp://ftp.fao.org/ag/agn/jecfa/cta_tio2.pdf

In the USA, actual uses of titanium dioxide in food supplements and hard and soft panned candies
have been reported to be as high as 1%. Uses in icings, chewing gums, starch-molded
confectionary, and baked goods typically range from 0.02% to 2% and in savory snack foods
from 0.05% to 0.4% (Vaughn, 2006)


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#18 Guacamolium Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:Tahoe

Posted 01 May 2010 - 01:54 AM

You can get Tio2 from film and media supply companies, usually pure grade because some companies need it to be precise. Good luck on whatever the hell it is you're doing, guys. PM my for a source because I'll have to contact one of my past employers for their source.
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#19 sentrysnipe Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

Posted 01 May 2010 - 04:29 AM

Mister Edward, don't you have something else to worry about? Like, radon? Please add that to your list.
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#20 ken_akiba Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:USA for now but a Japanese national

Posted 01 May 2010 - 02:25 PM

How about stearic acid found in most extended release tablets?
Is that health hazard?
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#21 John Barleycorn Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:Canberra

Posted 27 October 2010 - 12:11 AM

This isn't about a magnesium source, it's about a magnesium compound that is used as a flow agent. It's present in very small quantities, and is not very bioavailable anyway.


Thinking outside the square for a moment, why not use it as a magnesium supplement? It's cheap as dirt from, eg, smartpowders. It couldn't be worse than an inorganic salt, although I guess the relatively high molecular weight of the stearate component is a bit of a negative. Second question: does the stearate form count as chelated, or does that require an amino acid partner for the metal? The poor apparent solubility seems to suggest no, but Wiki seems to think the malate form often does.
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#22 niner Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 27 October 2010 - 12:40 AM


This isn't about a magnesium source, it's about a magnesium compound that is used as a flow agent. It's present in very small quantities, and is not very bioavailable anyway.

Thinking outside the square for a moment, why not use it as a magnesium supplement? It's cheap as dirt from, eg, smartpowders. It couldn't be worse than an inorganic salt, although I guess the relatively high molecular weight of the stearate component is a bit of a negative. Second question: does the stearate form count as chelated, or does that require an amino acid partner for the metal? The poor apparent solubility seems to suggest no, but Wiki seems to think the malate form often does.

As you point out, it's horribly insoluble, so that would make it a poor choice as a supplement, and yes, the high MW is also a significant negative. A lone carboxylate like stearic acid isn't a chelator; it would need to have two carboxylates (or other electron donors) on a single molecule to be a chelator. Malic acid has two carboxylate functionalities, and a hydroxyl to boot. It looks like a reasonable chelator.
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#23 John Barleycorn Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:Canberra

Posted 27 October 2010 - 07:18 AM

Niner, thanks for that. I'm slowly getting my head around the difference between organo-metallic complexes and chelates and, as you indicate, it seems that a chelate requires that the anion has more electron donating groups than the valence of the metal. In which case, a triprotic (plus hydroxyl) substance like citric acid should in theory be the ultimate common chelator. Too bad citrate seems to give some people the runs. It does kind of make me wonder why we don't hear more about tartrates and succinates. After all, food-grade MgCO3 is cheap and available, as is tartaric acid. Drip acid onto the carbonate until CO2 stops evolving and, voila, a cheap and hopefully bioavailable DIY mag supplement.

This also explains why chelation isn't such a big issue with monovalent ions like Li+, and kind of reinforces the idea that orotates are more than just a delivery vehicle.

Still thinking out loud here. On my wanderings, I have seen proposals that citrates could not only function as a metal delivery vehicle, but also as a purge for stuff like Al3+. Malates could presumably also perform that purge function, just possibly not as efficiently?
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#24 John Barleycorn Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:Canberra

Posted 28 October 2010 - 01:52 AM

More musings as I pursue my chelate understanding. From what I can gather from previous posts, this sort of stuff isn't too well understood in general.

My theory that valence is the key doesn't hold up so well when it is considered that glycine (possessing one carboxyl) is a common chelator for Mg2+, Zn2+, etc. This is not much different from the situation with Mg stearate, except that the organic tails are a lot shorter. I can't find anything that says that amino acids confer any special properties that simpler carboxylic acids do not, when it comes to charge distribution and dissolution.

Another issue of course is what is exactly happening in the digestive system? One school of thought says that as soon as the metallic complex hits the stomach acid, the organic part will become protonated and a metal chloride salt will be left. In which case, why not just take the metal chloride in the first place? Another school of thought says that chelation not only improves solubility of the mineral, but also protects the complex from stomach acidity and helps the mineral to be actively transported into the bloodstream, typically by hitching a ride with an amino acid chelator. So where does that leave malates, citrates and the like? This is where things start to become murky.

This site http://www.xymogen.c...mulas_alpha.asp talks up the comparative advantages of both Fe and Zn glycinate over inorganic salts, but also suggests that Mg citrate or malate is as good as or better than amino acid chelates. No reasons are provided why this might be, except that it works in practice. So it all seems to depend upon the particular mineral concerned, and I'm left without a complete theory once again. :blink:
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#25 niner Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 28 October 2010 - 02:43 AM

More musings as I pursue my chelate understanding. From what I can gather from previous posts, this sort of stuff isn't too well understood in general.

My theory that valence is the key doesn't hold up so well when it is considered that glycine (possessing one carboxyl) is a common chelator for Mg2+, Zn2+, etc. This is not much different from the situation with Mg stearate, except that the organic tails are a lot shorter. I can't find anything that says that amino acids confer any special properties that simpler carboxylic acids do not, when it comes to charge distribution and dissolution.

Another issue of course is what is exactly happening in the digestive system? One school of thought says that as soon as the metallic complex hits the stomach acid, the organic part will become protonated and a metal chloride salt will be left. In which case, why not just take the metal chloride in the first place? Another school of thought says that chelation not only improves solubility of the mineral, but also protects the complex from stomach acidity and helps the mineral to be actively transported into the bloodstream, typically by hitching a ride with an amino acid chelator. So where does that leave malates, citrates and the like? This is where things start to become murky.

This site http://www.xymogen.c...mulas_alpha.asp talks up the comparative advantages of both Fe and Zn glycinate over inorganic salts, but also suggests that Mg citrate or malate is as good as or better than amino acid chelates. No reasons are provided why this might be, except that it works in practice. So it all seems to depend upon the particular mineral concerned, and I'm left without a complete theory once again. :blink:

Metal binding chemistry is actually pretty well understood. This will introduce you to more than you probably want to know. Amino acids can bind to a metal ion not only with the charged carboxylate, but also with the neutral amine (-NH2 group). The amine provides a pair of electrons that it can share with the metal cation. Highly charged metal ions are not absorbed well if they are "naked". If you wrap an organic compound around them and neutralize the charge, you can get a package that is absorbed better. The behavior of various complexes in the body can be hard to predict. It's best to look at bioavailability measurements to get a sense of which forms of a given metal are most efficient. Most forms of magnesium that you can buy as supplements are not that bad; oxide is probably the worst, but even oxide is not as bad as it's sometimes claimed to be.
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#26 pycnogenol Re: Avoiding Magnesium Stearate in Supplements is So Hard!!!

  • Location:In a van down by the river!

Posted 28 October 2010 - 03:30 PM

The company Quantum Nutrition Labs has no magnesium stearate in their mag-glycinate product:

http://www.iherb.com...Caps/23948?at=0

"Our Quality One Guarantee: No magnesium stearate (a toxic excipient), corn, milk, soy, salt, sugar, wheat, yeast,
artificial colors, flavors or preservatives.100% solvent-free vegetable capsules. No toxic tablets, glues or fillers."

Edited by pycnogenol, 28 October 2010 - 03:33 PM.

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