A New Perspective: Why I Believe Magnesium Stearate is Safe – By Dietrich Klinghardt, MD, PhD
Dr. Dietrich Klinghardt MD, PhD, is Founder of the American Academy of Neural Therapy, Medical Director of the Institute of Neurobiology, and lead clinician at the Sophia Health Institute, all located in Bellevue, Washington. He is also Founder and Chairman of Klinghardt Academy, Institute for Neurobiology INK (Germany) and CINAK (Switzerland). Internationally known for his successful treatment of chronic pain and illness, Dr. Klinghardt combines non-surgical orthopedic medicine with immunology, endocrinology, toxicology, neural therapy, hypnotherapy and energy psychology.
In 2009, I was interviewed by Joseph Mercola, MD, regarding my concerns about fillers and inactive ingredients in supplements. My patient population is often highly sensitive — I see many patients with chronic Lyme disease, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple chemical sensitivity. These patients often literally arrive at my office with shopping bags full of supplements. It is a painstaking and necessary process to go through all these supplements one by one, in order to determine which ones are actually necessary and useful for the patient. An allergic or highly sensitive patient may actually get sensitized to a supplement that they need, if they are taking too much, too often. Dosage is very important. In some cases, an individual will be consuming literally hundreds of capsules a day, desperately trying to get well and feel better.
It would be nice if my patients —and in fact, all of us — could get the nutrition we need from food alone. And yet we know that most of us who live in modern society burn up a lot of micronutrients in the course of our daily lives and are dependent on good supplement program and protocol. We rely on the companies we trust to provide those supplements in a safe and effective way, and I’m very happy to say that the company I have worked longest with since I came to America in 1982 is Allergy Research Group. They work hard to try to ensure their supplements are not allergenic. When I was practicing in Germany and supplements first became available over the counter, there was not good quality control. There might be very little of an active ingredient, and too much filler. I have always felt that Allergy Research Group was careful about their inactive ingredients, using as little as necessary to assure quality control and even dose.
At the time that Dr. Joseph Mercola interviewed me, I had seen a study showing that in mice, stearic acid could build up and harm T-cell function. This was an interesting study, but it was in vitro, and with mice. In hindsight I gave too much credence to it. It turns out that in mice T cells, stearic acid, when applied directly to the cells may be harmful, but human cells have an enzyme, delta d-saturase, that converts stearic acid to oleic acid, a monounsaturated fat that is well tolerated and of value to health. I am not a biochemist or immunologist so did not understand or have the knowledge several years ago that humans could safely and effectively convert stearic acid. Now that I have reviewed the scientific literature more deeply, I no longer have concerns about stearic acid and T-cell function in humans.
In addition, my review of nutrition data shows that stearic acid is abundant in many of the healthy foods we eat. The backdrop of stearic acid in our diet is actually far larger than that we would ingest in our supplements daily. It really is negligible compared to the amount we naturally consume, and so magnesium stearate as a supplement lubricant and binder really is not a relevant concern for me anymore. Since stearic acid and magnesium are both part of our natural food chain, anybody sensitive to magnesium stearate will also be sensitive to the foods with these molecules.
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