Hard to believe huh? You can decide for yourself whether the amounts are worth being concerned over. If you take lots of capsules or tablets, you may be concerned. This is just one more reason, I lean towards whole foods supplements, preferably in powder or liquid forms. Even the majority of natural and whole food companies use this process. I know the Synergy company that makes Pure Radiance Vitamin C doesn't use this method. (I don't work for them) There are others but you really have to look. Ron Scmid ND makes a big point to use these in his formulas at Drrons.com. Another reason, I am cautious of naturally isloated vitamins is that you have to be careful from where and how they are derived. There are vitamins derived from corn and even petroleum. Solvents have to be used and as an chemist knows, there is never 100% purity, maybe 99.9 %. I am no chemist but I do remember from chemistry, there being an L and D form (mirrors of each other) and often only one has the desired acticity. How do we know that the sythetic is the one found in nature with the desired activity? As far as I know, they are considered the same chemical compound but they will act differently. I don't have all the answers on this so input is appreciated.
Stearates found in supplements are hydrogenated fats such as magnesium stearate, stearic acid and ascorbyl palmitate. They are made by hydrogenating cottonseed or palm oil and are used throughout the supplements industry as lubricants; they are added to the raw materials so that machinery will run at maximum speeds.
Stearates coat every particle of the nutrients, so the particles will flow rapidly. This ensures that production schedules will meet profit targets. These substances decrease the absorption of nutrients; in a published study, the percent dissolution for capsules after 20 minutes in solution went from 90% without stearates to 25% with stearates. Individuals with impaired digestion may have particular difficulty absorbing nutrients coated with stearates.
According to Udo Erasmus, in his book Fats and Oils, cottonseed oil has the highest content of pesticide residues of all commercial oils. In the hydrogenation process, the oil is subjected to high heat and pressure in the presence of a metal catalyst for several hours. The resultant stearates contain altered molecules, derived from fatty acids, which may be toxic. The metal catalyst may also contaminate the stearates produced.
How Much Hydrogenated Lubricant Oil Are You Getting With Your Supplements?
Up to 5% of the average 500 mg capsule or tablet is magnesium stearate. That’s 25 milligrams. Suppose you take 8 capsules or tablets a day. That’s 250 a month – or 6,250 mg of this hydrogenated oil, nearly one-quarter ounce. That works out to about 3 ounces of hydrogenated oil a year, from just 8 pills a day.
The sole purpose of using these oils is to make the machines run faster. Supplements can be made without them – it just takes more time, care and attention to detail.