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Is Magnesium Stearate Safe?


Magnesium stearate is a common additive in food products, cosmetics, and medications. There has been debate over whether this ingredient is safe to consume. 

Some studies are still in the early stages, but we are learning more about magnesium stearate’s effects on the human body. Here’s what we know about this additive and why we don’t use it in our products at Quality of Life. 

What Is Magnesium Stearate?

Magnesium is a common element found in foods, supplements, and commercial products. Stearate is a product of stearic acid, which is a type of saturated fat found in some foods. You get stearic acid from beef, dairy, coconut oil, chicken, and fish. When you combine stearate and magnesium, a salt called magnesium stearate forms. 

This salt is used to change the color, texture, and function of foods and medications. For example, some supplement companies use magnesium stearate to prevent powder in capsules from sticking together. Other medications contain magnesium stearate to slow your body’s absorption of the medicine. 

If you use makeup and skin care products, there’s a good chance you’ve used a product with magnesium stearate before. Some cosmetics companies use magnesium stearate to color their formulas a certain way. 

Now you know where magnesium stearate comes from. So what are the health effects of this common compound? Should we be consuming magnesium stearate at all? Here’s what the research suggests. 

The Harmful Effects of Magnesium Stearate

This additive has been considered “generally safe” to consume and use in topical products for years. However, some new research suggests that it might not be as harmless as people once thought. 

Magnesium stearate can affect your immune system, nutrition, digestive system, and more. Here are some of the possible side effects of using magnesium stearate. 

Weakened Immune System

Your body relies on your immune system to stay healthy and energized. When your immune system is weak, you cannot fight off health threats as easily, and you won’t feel your best. 

T-cells are important for recognizing specific health threats. If you have encountered foreign threats before, T-cells will identify them and signal other immune cells to attack them. This keeps your body free of harmful particles. Without a functioning attack system, your immune system cannot fully defend your health. 

Magnesium stearate may have negative effects on your T-cell function, thereby weakening your immune system function overall.

Poor Nutrient Absorption

Your body absorbs nutrients from food and supplements through your digestive tract. Some nutrients absorb through your stomach while others go through your intestines and bowels. This is an important process to make sure you get the nutrition you need to stay healthy. 

Magnesium stearate can prevent nutrients from absorbing properly. It is commonly used in pharmaceuticals to slow the absorption of certain compounds, so this makes sense. However, this slow absorption effect can prevent beneficial vitamins and minerals from entering your system. As a result, your body doesn’t get the nutrients it needs. 

Abnormal Bowel Function

Some studies have shown that magnesium stearate causes a laxative effect. This can make you empty your bowels more frequently than normal, causing inconvenience and discomfort. Laxative substances can also prevent nutrients from absorbing into your system, as your body gets rid of them too quickly. 

You can lose water and become dehydrated if you experience diarrhea and too-frequent bowel movements. This is a concern when taking supplements with magnesium stearate in them. Consumers have reported that magnesium stearate negatively impacts their digestion. 

Biofilm Buildup

Biofilms are caused by a buildup of specific bacteria in your digestive tract. Biofilm can form when you consume too much of a harmful substance over time. Some studies have suggested that magnesium stearate can cause harmful biofilms to form in your stomach lining and intestines. 

While more research is needed, we know that any harmful biofilms can interfere with nutrient absorption and proper digestion. 

We can see the visible film left on the skin by soaps and other cleaning products that contain magnesium stearate. This phenomenon has led many people to conclude that the same could happen inside your body. For this reason, we highly recommend skipping magnesium stearate in your supplement regimen. 

Contamination Concerns

Depending on the source of the magnesium stearate used in products, you could be ingesting pesticides and other harmful chemicals. For example, when this additive is derived from cottonseed oil, it often comes with pesticides. 

Pesticides are used in fields to prevent insects from destroying crops. However, they may have harmful effects on human health. There’s no reliable way to know where a company sources its magnesium stearate, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. 

Magnesium Stearate-Free: The Quality of Life Promise

At Quality of Life, we do not use magnesium stearate as a bulking agent or colorant in our supplements. We are committed to providing the best possible products for your health and well-being. If we used magnesium stearate, it would expose you to these potentially harmful side effects, and we don’t believe in that. 

Your health and wellness matter. You don’t have to settle for supplements that contain harmful additives and mysterious ingredients. 

Research is still being done on the effects of magnesium stearate on human health, including digestion, immune system function, and nutrition. However, we have decided it’s not worth the possible risks to include this additive in our products. 

Natural, High-Quality Ingredients

Our supplements contain ingredients supported by research. Many of our supplements are plant-based, gluten-free, and all-natural. This means we only use real ingredients and skip the synthetic stuff. 

On the rare occasion that synthetic ingredients work better than natural ones, we disclose that in our product descriptions. We don’t add anything to our products without consulting research and clinical studies.

We include research and evidence-based information on each product page. You can see exactly where your Quality of Life ingredients come from and have peace of mind. When you add Quality of Life supplements to your routine, you are choosing natural ingredients and high-quality compounds for your health. 

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