No wonder the average caveman had such a stress-free life (except when being chased by animals): cavemen didn't have to worry about all this stuff:
So in that article he writes:
"Previous research has shown that stearic acid suppresses T cells—your natural killer cells—which are a key component of your immune systemi. According to that study, stearic acid causes the collapse of cell membrane integrity—an effect that was found to be time and dose dependent—which, ultimately, can destroy cell function"
Yet in this article he writes:
"If saturated fats were of no value or were harmful to humans, evolution would probably not have established within the mammary gland the means to produce saturated fats -- butyric, caproic, caprylic, capric, lauric, myristic, palmitic and stearic acids -- that provide a source of nourishment to ensure the growth, development and survival of mammalian offspring".
Oh goodness, which Mercola do I listen to? The one that says stearic acid is immunosuppresive? Or the one that says stearic acid is "Useful to actually lower cholesterol levels". The one that says stearic acid might "destroy cell function" or the one that says stearic acid has "beneficial effects on thrombogenic and atherogenic risk factors".
Make up your mind, Mercola! I'm so confused!
Seriously though, stearic acid is fine IMO. It's one the most common saturated fats, found in animal fat and (as stearic acid loving Mercola points out) breast milk. There are a number of studies demonstrating it has benefits. And the study stearic acid hating Mercola cites for showing the immunosupressive activity of stearic acid is in vitro. Sorry, but in vitro studies are prone to flaws and not especially convincing.
I'm gonna say the concerns of Mercola #1 do not currently have much merit.
Dr. Mercola is simply not a trustworthy source of information. Whether or not he is correct on any one thing, well even a blind archer will hit the target once in a while. I wouldn't watse my time on anything he has to say.
That said, chemical vitamins and minerals are not food. The biggest takeaway from Dr.Wahl's experience (for me) is that it is far better to get your nutrition from food than pills.
What immediately grabbed my attention was the hysteria about stearic acid in light of his general recommendations against vegan diets. The ideal Mercola diet, with raw dairy and pastured animal proteins, is going to contain far more stearic acid than a few supplements that contain magnesium stearate.
The fact is that the magnesium stearate in your supplements is there for nutritional reasons but the keep the raw materials from clogging up the machinery that encapsulates or makes tablets. It is not included to give you magnesium or stearic acid, but rather to save the manufacturer the expense of stopping the machinery when it gets clogged up. In otherwords just to save money for the company.
I would like to see proof that this ingredient is actually safe. I have not seen any evidence that it has passed any safety tests with the FDA, just a lot of speculation.
innate response is using something called "vegetable lubricant". hmmm. i have seen other companies specify vegetable stearic acid. could it be that innate response is hiding stearic acid behind "vegetable lubricant"? kinda like finding "corn sweetner" on the label. is it corn syrup or hfcs? most likely the latter. just sayin.....
A quick read of a few sources has convinced me to avoid magnesium stearate as much as possible, mostly not because of possible immune suppression.
Cheaper supplements use magnesium stearate during processing to prevent sticking in the encapsulation machines.
Magnesium stearate is sourced from bovine or vegetable sources. When extracted from palm or cottonseed oil (very high pesticide residues), the oil is first hydrogenated. Hydrogenated fats are not good.
A study showed depressed natural-killer cell function in rats fed a high-stearic acid diet. At what totally unnatural ratio?
Supplements contain a very low amount of stearic acid and would be impossible to accumulate in the body. Stearic acid is naturally in large amounts in the human body.
Supplements contain a range of 0.25%-2% or even 5%. High amounts of magnesium stearate may compete for absorption with the active ingredient within the supplement. It forms a film barrier in the intestinal wall, coats the active ingredient requiring digestive enzymes to break the magnesium stearate down.
Magnesium Stearate in supplements 6 Answers