(MS) is a white powder that consists of the mineral magnesium and the saturated fat known as stearic acid. It is essentially a salt created when a magnesium ion bonds together with two stearates (stearic acid) molecules. It is most commonly used as an inactive ingredient in pharmaceutical drugs and in supplements as a coating to ensure a more consistent dosage if received by the body when consumed.
Health Benefits of Magnesium Stearate
Though (MS) does not contain very high levels of magnesium, at about 4 percent, this small amount of magnesium can be very beneficial to our health. Magnesium helps to keep our blood sugar and blood pressure at healthy, balanced levels. This, in turn, builds DNA and protein, resulting in better working muscles a healthier nervous system. Men require at least 420 milligrams a day of magnesium, whereas women need at least 320 milligrams per day.
Why is (MS) Used in Supplements?
Manufacturers of some health supplements use (MS) in supplements as an inactive ingredient. It serves the purpose of protecting the active ingredients, keeping them intact on the machinery throughout the manufacturing process. This ensures that each capsule or pill will end up with a consistent dose of all of the active ingredients so that each one provides the same effective benefits. For this reason, it is called a “flow agent”.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that (MS) is generally safe. Some people say that (MS) comes with certain health risks, including suppressing immune function and forming a biofilm, preventing the absorption of nutrients, pointing to findings in various animal studies.
However, other authorities in the health world have disputed these claims. For example, the journal Nutrition Review, published in November 2013 argues that the (MS)suppressed the immune systems of the mice tested due to the fact that mice do not have the enzyme which converts stearic acid into oleic acid. Since humans do possess this enzyme in our bodies, this is not an issue for us. Following this, Nutrition Review also notes that thanks to the enzymes in our bodies being able to break down stearic acid, the absorption of nutrients is not limited.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information also considers (MS) to be safe for consumption when taken in amounts lower than 2,500 milligrams (mg) per kilogram a day. Considering the majority of manufacturers typically use a very small amount of magnesium stearate in their products, taking them at the recommended dose should not produce any negative side effects.
note: 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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