I have read Joseph Mercola’s position on magnesium stearate – however I do find it interesting that he only started to speak out against magnesium stearate after he came out with his own supplement line. So it just makes me wonder, is it truly as much of a concern as he proposes, or is it a timely bit of market positioning to differentiate his supplement line – thus giving him a “competitive edge” and inducing reader loyalty to his supplement line. Just wondering.
Personally, I feel more congruent with the assessment of magnesium stearate given on Chris Kesser’s site (Acupuncturist and Integrative Medicine doctor):
In addition to the points Kesser raises, I would also like to point out that any supplements coming from a reliable manufacturer will have been screened at both the raw materials stage, and finished product stage, to ensure they don’t contain any contaminants.
I could go on, but I think Kesser pretty much covers it.
This kind of topic also makes me think of the drive to villify a substance or food that is rife in our media. Without going into an in-depth analysis of money-driven interests (coffee’s good/coffee’s bad/coffee’s good/coffee’s bad, as just one example) and the media’s love of sensational sound bites, I think there is also another element at work here.
When you feel really sick, or you’ve been sick for a long time, there is an underground drive that can urge you seek to the find “the thing” that is missing. Or ‘the thing’ that is the cause of your illness. Even though you may logically know this is unrealistic, there can be a thread of hope to find that magic wand that can make everything go away.
At the same time, chronic illness can lead to you feeling powerless and victimized; which in turn fuels a search for culprits and a vigilance against those ‘baddies’ that are making you sick.
All of these drivers feed into the ‘ground-breaking news’ stories centered around scientific research that is usually improperly analyzed, taken out of context, or funded by a commercial interest.
So the best we can do when one of these health scare stories breaks, is to look at who is funding the study and to look at the opposing evidence. If you can manage it, then definitely read the study all the articles are referring to for yourself. Then we need to go within to our own body and our own common sense. And do what Dr. Weston A. Price did. Dr. Price spent a decade studying entire villages of people around the world who were healthy – as defined by NO degenerative disease and tooth decay rates of less than 1%. Pretty awesome parameters I’d say. You can get Dr. Price’s book about his research and the foods those people ate. Or you can read the free articles on the website maintained in his honor.
p.s. Did you know that magnesium is an earth metal? Take a look at the picture at the top to see what it looks like in crystal state.