Excipients

bradley

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I think a discussion on excipients would be beneficial to everyone. Perhaps we could compile a gradated list from worst to least worst, along with an explanation of why each is problematic.

In Ray's last show with KMUD they mentioned Silica and Titanium dioxide as particularly bad as their particles persorb and cause inflammation and stress in the body.

Where is magnesium stearate on the spectrum?
Gelatin seems fine.
What about Cellulose?

Thanks!


List of Excipients
*Will be updated as more info is gathered.

Relatively harmless:
Gelatin
Cellulose

Not too harmful:
Magnesium Stearate

Harmful:
Silica, Silicon Dioxide
Titanium Dioxide

Unknown:
Microcrystalline Cellulose, Hypromellose
 

BingDing

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I think this is a good idea, I started with this thread. I've been wondering about soy sauce since it's fermented soy. White rice with butter, black pepper and soy sauce is one of the few eats I miss on this plan.
 

burtlancast

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It seems people like Mercola (http://articles.mercola.com/sites/artic ... ngers.aspx) and others are misrepresenting magnesium stearate as dangerous in order to sell his supplements: it's apparently safe

The main “study” quoted by this collection of anti-magnesium stearate con artists is a 1990 cell study titled “Molecular basis for the immunosuppressive action of stearic acid on T cells.2” Sure, the study title sounds incriminating. The study has nothing whatsoever to do with magnesium stearate or dietary supplements – and is totally irrelevant. If you like, you can read the entire study by following the above link.

The study is a preliminary cell study done by researchers who are trying to make new immunosuppressive drugs for people with organ transplants. In the experiment they expose T cells and B cells to a lab concoction they brewed up which is a mixture of stearic acid, diatomaceous earth, and bovine serum albumin (a far different compound than magnesium stearate). The T cells and B cells were prepared in an antibiotic-rich medium and exposed to inflammatory toxic challenge prior to exposure to the lab-concocted test brew. The whole intent of the study was to injure T cells in some way, meaning that direct exposure of the T cells to the amount of the concoction had to be adequate to damage the T cells or the researchers weren’t going to bother with the experiment.

You can readily see that such an experiment has absolutely nothing to do with dietary supplements. It is falsely represented as “proof” that dietary stearic acid is immune toxic – which the study does not prove at all. Remember, stearic acid is widely consumed since the beginning of human evolution every day by almost everyone and this study does not begin to approximate how stearic acid behaves in your body nor was it intended to demonstrate that issue.

Under experimental conditions, it would be just as easy to expose T cells to water and produce the same result. The reason the researchers didn’t do that is because they were trying to figure out some type of concoction they could use as a new immuno-suppressive drug for organ transplant patients. The study was obviously preliminary, and never even meant anything to the field it was intended to impress (as no drug in this line has been produced in the 19 years following the study).

The ludicrous notion that this study has anything to do with human health is simply absurd. Those using and quoting this study as “proof” that magnesium stearate is a problem to your health are so deficient in integrity that anything they are trying to push off on you is of questionable value.

The most recent anti-magnesium stearate propaganda comes from several smooth-talking alternative health “professionals” (product sales-hype specialists) who state that magnesium stearate forms biofilms in your digestive tract and thereby interferes with absorption of nutrients and even food. No proof is offered, just their opinions.

Almost comically, the actual science says just the opposite. Stearic acid actually helps prevent the formation of biofilms (click here for study3).

These individuals are hoping you don’t know what a biofilm is or how one is formed or maintained. From the sounds of it, they don’t understand the subject either or they are intentionally conning people – either way they aren’t very bright.

Biofilms are germ gangs. They assemble based on a quorum-sensing signal, like a bell tolling in the field telling farmers to come to town and pick up weapons and go to war. Biofilms in your digestive tract, such as Candida albicans biofilms or other bacterial biofilms are extremely problematic to human health.

These biofilm gangs need a fuel source to keep reproducing and growing. That fuel source is never a saturated fat because there is no point of biochemistry interaction in a saturated fat.

For example, a Candida albicans biofilm fuels its reproduction based on your intake of highly polyunsaturated fatty acids. This means that if you eat a bag of potato chips, corn chips, or French fries and you have a Candida biofilm, you just poured gas on the fire. Candida inserts oxygen molecules into the unsaturated bonds of the fatty acids (the more unsaturated bonds the better from Candida’s point of view) forming a highly toxic inflammatory signal called an oxylipin. Oxylipins are reproductive growth factors for the biofilm. It is technically impossible to insert an oxygen molecule into a saturated fat, which is why it is not possible for stearic acid to promote biofilm growth.

The claim that stearic acid causes biofilms if a blatant lie. Promoting such a false concept casts considerable doubt on the integrity and intelligence of those making and forwarding these statements.

The bottom line is that magnesium stearate in dietary supplements is very safe and is an effective way to help produce quality dietary supplements. This has been proven by decades of use in the dietary supplement industry and health benefit by millions of consumers. There is no human evidence or study that shows magnesium stearate is in any way harmful. To the contrary, its safety is well recognized throughout the industry.

http://www.wellnessresources.com/health ... _stearate/
 

Lucy

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Oct 29, 2012
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I read some people's testimonials about reacting very badly to microcrystalline cellulose aka avicel. But if I understand Peat correctly, it could be a contaminant used in the manufacturing process, not necessarily avicel itself.
 

Birdie

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bradley said:
I think a discussion on excipients would be beneficial to everyone. Perhaps we could compile a gradated list from worst to least worst, along with an explanation of why each is problematic.

In Ray's last show with KMUD they mentioned Silica and Titanium dioxide as particularly bad as their particles persorb and cause inflammation and stress in the body.

Where is magnesium stearate on the spectrum?
Gelatin seems fine.
What about Cellulose?

Thanks!
I have heard Ray say that cellulose is fine.

Of course gelatin is more than fine.
 

Birdie

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bradley said:
I think a discussion on excipients would be beneficial to everyone. Perhaps we could compile a gradated list from worst to least worst, along with an explanation of why each is problematic.

In Ray's last show with KMUD they mentioned Silica and Titanium dioxide as particularly bad as their particles persorb and cause inflammation and stress in the body.

Where is magnesium stearate on the spectrum?
Gelatin seems fine.
What about Cellulose?

Thanks!

Forgot to say, this is a grrreat idea for a subject!!
 

Dan Wich

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bradley, I think magnesium stearate is on the safe end of the spectrum. I'm making a summary page about the opposing viewpoints, and I think I agree with burtlancast that there isn't evidence to show it as harmful at normal doses.

One thing I haven't figured out is whether the source of the magnesium stearate matters. Does anyone know if the production process creates pure magnesium stearate? Would a palm oil derived version be different than one from soybean oil?
 

bradley

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So far the spectrum is:

Relatively harmless:
Gelatin
Cellulose

Not too harmful:
Magnesium Stearate

Harmful:
Silica, Silicon Dioxide
Titanium Dioxide

Unknown:
Microcrystalline Cellulose, Hypromellose

I also see Vegetable Stearate and Vegetarian Stearic Acid. How do this differ from Magnesium Stearate?
 

Dan Wich

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As I understand it, vegetable stearate (or "vegetable lubricant") is just magnesium stearate that isn't made from animal fat. And stearic acid (whether from "vegetable" sources or not) is just a component of magnesium stearate. So in my mind, they're all the same class of ingredient.

If no one else chimes in, I plan to write up the opposing arguments on hypromellose/hydroxypropyl methylcellulose and microcrystalline cellulose in the next couple weeks. It's tough to find information that isn't from people with axes to grind.
 

Lucy

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What about povidone and crospovidone? I read they can be very allergenic for some...
 

Dan Wich

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For anyone interested, I've finished summarizing the magnesium stearate debate here.

I'd still welcome input on how much the source and processing of magnesium stearate affects the end product. That's the one thing that's keeping me from not worrying about consuming it.
 

BingDing

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I just gotta ask if that's you, Danno.

I'm on your side about Magnesium Stearate being safe, all I could find about it's manufacture were generalizations.

The whole question goes to food science and the industry, googling on "food science" is interesting. We might get academia to answer some questions, who knows?

I'm not going to avoid Mg Stearate, the fricking bacterial rennet in cheese has me right up against orthorexia nervosa, sometimes. (Not really, it's just damn hard to figure this sh** out).
 

bradley

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Dan, your site is a big help

Dan Wich said:
For anyone interested, I've finished summarizing the magnesium stearate debate here.

I'd still welcome input on how much the source and processing of magnesium stearate affects the end product. That's the one thing that's keeping me from not worrying about consuming it.
 

cliff

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For a lot of these excipients I think the allergens are from the impurities.
 

Lucy

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I agree, good job, Dan!

Dan Wich said:
For anyone interested, I've finished summarizing the magnesium stearate debate here.

I'd still welcome input on how much the source and processing of magnesium stearate affects the end product. That's the one thing that's keeping me from not worrying about consuming it.
 

Lucy

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I agree, it can be stuff in there that is not listed at all.

cliff said:
For a lot of these excipients I think the allergens are from the impurities.
 

Dan Wich

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Thank you for your kind words Bradley and Lucy, it means a lot. I plan to make the site much more comprehensive as I slowly learn about all the different additives.

And Lucy, it seems like you're right about povidone/crospovidone being potentially allergenic. Maybe it should be on Bradley's "avoid" list just because it appears to be easy to avoid, and it'd be hard to tell whether it's an allergen for one particular person.

Regarding Cliff's comment, I've thought about reviewing supplement contaminant reports (like ConsumerLab) to find patterns in which manufacturers are more trustworthy when it comes to impurities. Maybe there's no clear patterns though.
 

Dan Wich

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And BingDing, I have no idea who Danno is. Unless you're referring to Hawaii Five-Oh, in which case that's definitely me.
 

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Lucy

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Hmm, how about talc? I see you didn't classify this as bad on your website, Dan. Ray writes in one of his articles: "Crystals of talc were found in the tumor, that were assumed to have originated from the surgical gloves used during the operation. Talc is now widely recognized as a carcinogen, and is suspected of causing ovarian cancer."

I'm asking because the mexican Cynomel (T3) he recommends contains talc, and many people here, including me, are taking this.
 

Dan Wich

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That's really interesting, Lucy. Talc does look questionable after some quick searching.

I wonder if he recommends Cynomel as a lesser evil, since the other thyroid supplements I've seen contain several questionable ingredients.

It's also possible he's mainly concerned with inhalation and genital application (that's what most people seem to question), and that ingesting small amounts isn't too bad...
 
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