Is Magnesium Stearate Harmful or Harmless: 6 Supposed Dangers
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Magnesium Stearate: 6 Supposed Dangers That Need Attention to Determine if It Is Harmful or Harmless

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Reviewed by Laura Beth Schoenfeld, RD, MPH

One of the benefits of ancestral eating is that you avoid potentially harmful food additives like artificial colors, monosodium glutamate (MSG), and artificial sweeteners.

magnesium stearate
Magnesium stearate is commonly used in supplement manufacturing. iStock/PeopleImages

However, even on a Paleo diet, it can be hard to avoid some fillers, thickeners, and additives. In fact, many common Paleo foods contain more additives than their Neolithic counterparts. For instance, commercial nut milks and coconut milk often contain thickeners like gums or carrageenan, while your run-of-the-mill grocery store whole cow’s milk is additive-free.

In this series, I’ll review the science on some of the most common additives, and let you know whether you should be concerned about consuming them. First up—magnesium stearate.

Is magnesium stearate a harmless additive or a dangerous chemical? Check out this article to find out. #healthylifestyle #chriskresser

What Is Magnesium Stearate?

Magnesium stearate is a salt that is produced when a magnesium ion bonds with two stearate molecules. Stearate is just the anion form of stearic acid. Stearic acid is a long-chain saturated fat that is abundant in beef, cocoa butter, coconut oil, and other natural foods. As I mentioned in my red meat article, it’s also the only long-chain saturated fat that scientists and medical practitioners agree doesn’t raise cholesterol levels, and doesn’t increase the risk of heart disease.

Uses and Function

Magnesium stearate is most commonly used in supplement manufacturing as a “flow agent,” which helps ensure that the equipment runs smoothly and the ingredients stay blended together in the correct proportions. It can also be found in some cosmetics.

Given the seemingly benign components of this additive, it’s a little surprising how controversial it is. There are a lot of misconceptions and inaccurate statements about it floating around the internet, and while I wouldn’t recommend consuming vats of the stuff (not that you’d want to), I think the concern over magnesium stearate is largely overblown.

What Are the Supposed Side Effects and Dangers, and Are They a Cause for Concern?

1. Effect on Immune Cells

One study that many people have used as evidence against magnesium stearate is a 1990 experiment entitled “Molecular basis for the immunosuppressive action of stearic acid on T cells.” This baffles me, and I suspect that anyone using this study to indict magnesium stearate hasn’t actually read it.

In the experiment, scientists isolated T cells and B cells from mice, put them in a Petri dish, and bathed them in a solution containing stearic acid (along with some other components). They observed that the T cells incorporated the stearic acid into their cell membrane, eventually destabilizing the membrane enough that the cell died.

First of all, this study has nothing to do with magnesium stearate. They just used the plain old stearic acid that you’d find in your beef, chocolate, or coconut oil, so this study could just as easily be used against those foods. If you’re going to be concerned about this study (which you shouldn’t be), you’d have much bigger sources of stearic acid to worry about than the magnesium stearate in your supplements.

Second, the study has nothing to do with stearic acid consumed in the diet. Under normal conditions, your T cells are not bathed in stearic acid, even if you consume superhuman amounts of coconut oil, tallow, and cocoa butter.

Finally, the researchers used T cells from mice, and in this case, the results cannot be applied to humans. The mouse cells incorporated stearic acid into their membranes because they lacked the ability to desaturate fatty acids. However, human T cells do have the ability to desaturate fatty acids, so even if you did bathe your T cells in stearic acid, they would be able to maintain their membrane function. (1)

In case you got lost, here’s a summary: this study has no relevance whatsoever to human consumption of magnesium stearate, I have no idea why the study is being referenced in this manner, and you shouldn’t be concerned about it.

2. Concerns about Pesticides and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

Another criticism is that because stearate is often derived from cottonseed oil, it can be contaminated with pesticides. Keep in mind that magnesium stearate is a highly purified substance, and goes through an intensive refining process before appearing in your supplements. So far, I haven’t come across any reports indicating that magnesium stearate retains substantial amounts of pesticide residue.

As for the concern that cottonseed oil is often genetically modified, the source of crude fat shouldn’t make a difference in the final form of the stearate. Stearic acid is an 18-carbon molecule with a specific chemical structure that will be the same whether the stearic acid is from a genetically modified cotton plant, a bar of Hershey’s chocolate, or a grass-fed rib eye steak.

3. Effect on Nutrient and Drug Absorption

Another criticism is that magnesium stearate might inhibit nutrient absorption. One in vitro study conducted in 2007 found that tablets containing magnesium stearate dissolved more slowly than tablets without magnesium stearate when placed in artificial gastric juice. (2) The study authors concluded that in vivo studies are needed to determine whether this finding has any practical significance. However, an earlier study found that although magnesium stearate increased the time it took for a drug to dissolve, it had no effect on overall bioavailability, as evidenced by blood levels of the drug in test subjects. (3) Further, another study found that levels of magnesium stearate didn’t affect tablet dissolution at all. (4)

All of this information indicates that although magnesium stearate might affect the rate of tablet dissolution in some circumstances, it doesn’t affect the overall bioavailability of the drug or supplement.

4. Biofilms

I’ve seen this claim pop up in a few places around the internet, so I’ll address it briefly. Some critics of magnesium stearate claim that it can induce formation of harmful biofilms in the intestine. (Biofilms are immobile communities of bacteria that form when bacteria adhere to a surface and generate a polysaccharide matrix.) This assertion appears to be based on the fact that soap scum contains magnesium and calcium stearate, so they insist that just as soap scum creates film on your sink or shower, magnesium stearate creates film on your intestines.

It should be pretty obvious that the intestinal lumen is a vastly different environment from a shower door, but some people still seem to be concerned. Rest assured, there is no conceivable reason why this would take place, and I haven’t seen a single scientific article that even hints at this possibility.

5. Magnesium Stearate Allergy

A 2012 study entitled “Magnesium stearate: an underestimated allergen” reported on a 28-year-old woman who had an allergic reaction to magnesium stearate, resulting in hives. I’m very curious about this result, because an allergy to either magnesium or stearate seems highly unlikely, but unfortunately, I don’t have full-text access to that study. But, needless to say, if you develop hives (or another allergic response) after consuming magnesium stearate, you should probably avoid it in the future.

6. Magnesium Stearate in Cosmetics

Magnesium stearate has several uses in the cosmetics industry: it’s an anti-caking agent, a bulking agent, a colorant, and more. In the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Cosmetics Database, magnesium stearate is marked as “low hazard,” although it’s noted that limited data are available on this ingredient.

So, Is Magnesium Stearate Safe or Bad for You?

As a final note, a rat study determined that you’d have to take 2,500 mg of magnesium stearate per kilogram of body weight per day to start seeing toxic effects. (5) That means a 150-pound person would have to consume 170,000 mg per day, which is so far beyond any amount you would encounter in supplements that it’s a non-issue.

Overall, I haven’t found scientific evidence to substantiate the claims against magnesium stearate, and the small amounts found in supplements shouldn’t be a problem for the majority of the population.

768 Comments

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  1. In my mind there are enough concerns (scientific and testimonial) that have been raised about magnesium stearate that I try to avoid it. I advise my clients to choose additive-free supplements whenever there is a choice– these are almost always the highest quality anyway.

    The fact that magnesium stearate does not occur anywhere in nature but is man made through a high heat process bothers me. One could argue that man made trans fats ingested in minute amounts are also safe, but hopefully all of us here are smart enough to avoid consuming those at all. I place magnesium stearate in that same category.

  2. Thank you for your summary and analysis of some of the research. As a nutritionist who uses a lot of supplements in practice the subject of excipients interests me. I have always explained to clients that since magnesium is an essential mineral and stearate a dietary fatty acid, this excipient has nutritional value–unlike the cellulose fillers. It seems however that some of the professional brands like Thorne have used the claim ‘no magnesium stearate’ as a marketing tool, and now Metagenics is phasing it out. It does seem strange because these two companies really do their research! I will be following up with Metagenics to find out what gives.

  3. I think MSG should be also not harmful. Glutamate is natural occurring compound. “Monosodium glutamate (MSG), also known as sodium glutamate, is the sodium salt of glutamic acid, one of the most abundant naturally occurring non-essential amino acids” –wikipedia

      • While I avoid the use of MSG at all costs, it is rather hypocritical of you to criticise another user of basing their facts off of Wikipedia (apparently it’s unreliable), and then you go on to base your facts off of an anti-MSG website, which is hardly going to be impartial than Wikipedia.

        • KB,

          I try to avoid being “critical” in my comments…
          I was suggesting that Wikipedia is perhaps the “least reliable” source out there… Anyone who has been in this business as long as I have, knows about MSG. I am not “basing my facts” on a particular website or study, but on thirty plus years experience. I don’t have all day to find sources to quote, as I am busy trying to help seriously ill people. If you feel so inclined, I am sure you can find numerous sources yourself… instead of criticizing someone trying to help. And just for your information, I recommend against MSG consumption not because it is a “neurotoxin”, but because it is a KNOWN food allergy or food sensitivity that can be avoided, everything else aside.

  4. Chris, I found this article after I read about claims from Dr Mercola. My wife has gone through a bout of diverticulitus and was treated with antibiotics. I was taking a probiotic that I thought might be good for her. Then I read the ingredients listing both Stearic Acid and Magnesium Stearate. OK, I must admit I got scared. I think your article put it into perspective, but with so much information out there, I don’t know who to believe. Thoughts?

  5. Thanks Chris,

    I’m a little less concerned now, but I feel you missed the biggest issue. My understanding is that these substances become trans fats, and that there is no safe level of trans fats. They can stay in you body for 2 years doing damage. Now when you may take 20 or 30 supplements a day it could really add up.

    • This is exactly a concern of mine too, even if I didn’t react to mag stearate, I would not want to take a trans fat every time I swallowed a capsule.

    • Stearic acid is a saturated fat. There is no such thing as a saturated trans fat.

      ‘Trans’ and ‘cis’ refer to the orientation of two carbon atoms either side of a double bond – cis orientation introduces a bend into the carbon chain – a geometric property which is important for many of the roles played by saturated fats in cell membranes etc.

      Trans orientation keeps the chain straight – so the trans version of the specific fat the body seeks for cell construction material will not do the job properly. This can lead, for example, to breakdown of electrical insulation of the myelin sheath around a nerve.

      Saturated fats have no double bonds between adjacent carbon atoms in the chain so cannot be either trans or cis.

      The meaning of “saturated”, in this context, is that all the available carbon bonds have been ‘saturated’ with hydrogen atoms – a double or triple bond is ‘unsaturated’ because, instead of linking to more hydrogen atoms, at least one pair of adjacent carbon atoms each link to the other with two (or three) of their bonds.

      The human body can convert stearic acid into an unsaturated fat (oleic acid – also the main component of olive oil) , but not into the important ‘omega-3’ and ‘omega-6’ “essential fatty acids” – which is why they are essential.

      [‘Omega-3’ and ‘omega-6’ oils are all unsaturated – the ‘omega-3’ or ‘omega-6’ nomenclature refers to the number of carbon atoms from the ‘omega’ end of the chain to the first double bond.]

      However, the biochemical pathways available in the body for creating unsaturated acids can usually be trusted to make only chemicals that the body needs – not the ones that will injure it!

      • Correction: 2nd paragraph above should read, “a geometric property which is important for many of the roles played by UNsaturated fats in cell membranes etc.”

  6. Hi Chris, Interesting article. I was never concerned about magnesium stearate until I did some lab testing on myself that showed an immune response to this substance. This did explain why I just was not feeling well/not getting better while taking some very high quality supplements.

  7. I had previously read about the concerns re: magnesium stearate but what I read did not strike me as being an issue so I was not all that concerned.

  8. What about people whose gastric pH is higher than normal? There are a lot of people like that walking around who don’t realize it.

  9. Read the article, which I found interesting, but what really hit home with me was the comments by Alice. I take thyroid medication for an auto immune illness and, for people who understand anything about auto immune illness they will also know that it can have a big inpact on the gut. I have been struggling with my thyroid medication due to the fillers (the main culprit, I think, being magnesium sterate) but cannot get my GP or endocrinologist to take me seriously so reading what Allice had to say was a light bulb moment for me.

    I was also a little alarmed as to how easily the GM element of this product was dismissed. GM is an unproven entity and we will not know the full inpact of what GM does or does not do to us for years to come.

    • Yes, good point about how Chris avoided the discussion of the safety (or not) of genetically modified sources of excipients…

      Chris? 🙂

    • What is insane about adding mag stearate to everything is that no real information is known about it. It could be an allergen as bad as shell fish or peanuts and so on. Many people would be horrified if they had to avoid supplements because they contained shellfish or peanuts and such, yet a probable allergy ingredient is put in about everything because the capsule machine needs it. Bottom line, mag stearate is a completely processed, man made product that causes problems for a number of people and probably many more people who don’t realize what is causing their issues.

    • Linda, you are right that no-one yet knows all the effects that GM foods are going to have on humans (or other animals) – although there is already a growing catalogue of harmful effects that are linked to them.
      However, Mg stearate is a very simple chemical – orders of magnitude smaller and less complex than a section of DNA (a gene). The raw chemical absolutely cannot suffer any effect whatsoever from the genetic modification of the plant from which it was extracted. As Chris says, “Stearic acid is an 18-carbon molecule with a specific chemical structure that will be the same whether the stearic acid is from a genetically modified cotton plant, a bar of Hershey’s chocolate, or a grass-fed ribeye steak.” In short, magnesium stearate is magnesium stearate is magnesium stearate. The only possibility, therefore, of genetic influence from the source would be if the stearic acid from the source were not filtered/separated carefully from the other constituents in the source leaving some of the genetic material in the stearic acid before it were converted to magnesium stearate.
      The manufacturing process is likely to be:
      1. extraction of fats (triglycerides) from source material (cotton seed)
      2. separation of different fats, by distillation
      3 ‘saponification’ of the separated stearic triester
      4. extraction of the ‘soap’ product
      5. substitution of sodium by magnesium
      6. extraction and purification of the product.

      Step 3, above, “saponification”, involves reacting the triglycerides with sodium hydroxide (‘caustic soda’). This is such an aggressive chemical that even if the previous separation process were not at all thorough and some genetic material did succeed in reaching the reaction vessel, the chances of any of this delicate genetic chemical remaining in any condition that could be recognised as a gene by any DNA-controlled organism after being stirred in a vat with large quantities of caustic soda are as good as negligible, not to mention the two further extraction and cleaning processes before the final product is delivered.

      Chris is not being at all cavalier in ‘dismissing’ “the GM element of this product”. It is just a question of the chemical realities of the product and its production process.

  10. I must be “sensitive” to magnesium stearate and avoid it . If I happen to take a pill with it as an ingredient, I usually have some shortness of breath within 3 days. I’m not saying that I’m allergic because I know there would be an immediate reaction. It’s very difficult finding supplements without it!

    • You react as I do, with histamine reactions. Histamine reactions are not immediate but can easily come 8 to 24 hours after ingestion. You might check out high histamine foods and avoid them and also freeze leftover proteins (meat and egg foods) as they make histamine in regular fridge temps. That made a huge difference for me!

      • Good to know! I cook a lot of meats at home. I noticed I would my skin/ eczema would get worse after eating leftover duck this time.

  11. Thank you so much for this very important article! Unfortunately, because Dr. Mercola said how dangerous magnesium stearate was, I threw away big supermarket bags full of expensive supplements which I am now unable to purchase at this time (because of finances), but I definitely need them!

  12. Wow, thank you! I read that study from mercola and have been wondering if my supplements have been making me sick. So glad you explained it. Great article.

  13. IF someone is gluten intolerant with inflamed gut/digestive issues, magnesium stearate CAN cause huge problems. IT DID for me. Why??? The possibilities are could be a number of things. It could be Processing agent contamination, OR it could be high in histamines (like most food additives such as dyes, preservatives, etc.), OR may affect an inflamed gut as a sugar/starch which can create huge problems for fructose/sugar intolerance, OR the oil base of it may not be digestible as often oils are for gluten intolerant inflamed guts and for other unknown reasons.
    I can say it affected me terribly when a compounding pharmacy ‘sunk’ it into my compounded meds. I got horrible digestive and constipation issues as well as labored breathing problems and increased heart beat. (the same symptoms I get from histamine intolerance – which I know all too well as a histamine intolerant person). I really thought I would die as my symptoms were so severe. I am also someone who had to be rushed to the ER with shock from a fire ant sting. Since this is a histamine reaction, I feel that mag stearate could be high in histamines and there are a lot of allergy and asthma people who cannot stand any more histamines in their system. So whatever it is, Mag stearate is an ADDED variable that can cause harm for a good percentage of the population especially since it has no known benefit EXCEPT for the capsule/pill machines to be oiled so they perform optimally in making pills/capsules. So it should not have a place in meds/supplements that one is generally taking to overcome or prevent health issues.
    Lastly, it is in about EVERY pill/capsule of supplements & meds. People easily consume half to a dozen and more capsules/pills in one setting and more than three times that in taking 3 times a day doses. So the DAILY amounts will add up through the months/years/decades of ingesting a substance that is a highly processed item that has uncertain side effects. Bottom line, it is a processed, man-made ingredient that could affect people in negatives ways that are not established. I KNOW it does create huge problems for me.

    • Alice,

      How did you determine that it was the magnesium stearate ? There are MANY causes of severe histamine reaction…

      • I had figured it out from taking supplements. Like, I had vitamin C and added mag stearate and I had histamine reaction symptoms, then got it without mag stearate and did not have that problem. I learned it through trial and error with a number of supplements over time.

        • I should have also added that experiences like when the pharmacy unbeknownst to me, put it in a compounded med on the refill and I suddenly reacted terribly, and when I asked what was added that was different and was told mag stearate but the pharmacist quickly stated that mag stearate was an inert ingredient and would not cause this problem. Goes to show how much is known about this man-made processed ingredient and what it can do to some people.

        • I’ve read that vitamin C suppresses histamines. If true, it’s possible in this case that the magnesium stearate didn’t provoke elevated histamines but that it prevented the vitamin C from having that effect… or that the quality of the supplement varied between the two manufacturers. Just tossing out ideas….

          • No, vitamin C was just one of the too many (wasted money) products I tried until through trial and error, I came to realize that it was the mag stearate in ANY supplement that caused me to have digestive issues, heat/lung reactions, disrupted sleep and mood problems. About the worst reaction I had was to a compounded med refill (no problems with previous batch) & when I asked pharmacist what was different he admitted mag stearate had been added to the refill.

            I have come to realize that one can not just go off of gluten when gluten intolerance is diagnosed. One has to do what it takes to heal the inflamed digestive system that gluten caused. For me that meant going off of all grains and fruits but no one told me that so I limped along doing so much better off of gluten until I hit that bump in the road. Like a fractured wrist for me, even though surgery was not complicated since it was a clean break and only needed to be moved 10 degrees back into place, the antibiotics/pain meds caused me to have such severe histamine reactions that eating and sleeping became impossible. I was now reacting to about everything, even smelling organic coconut oil gave me horrible headaches. (thankfully I am past that severe part now and gaining weight back and what a relief) Bottom line, processed foods are full of additives like mag stearate, dyes, preservatives, flavorings; so people in general are getting their mag stearate type food additives in daily “NOT” so small doses WITH added doses every time they take a supplement and then add the many drugs so many people take with that type of additive. So the end daily dose of food additives does not end up small for the average SAD (standard American diet) people consume. For those of us who do not eat processed foods, and need to heal back our digestive system from once eating SAD, that mag stearate can be an added addition to the obstacle course of healing the digestive system/gut/long tube from mouth to other end; in other words, that entire part needs to be fixed and I now know that for sure. No grains, no fruits, no processed foods, even few supplements, and those I do take have been sought out to be in powder form or free of additives. Eating very selectively paleo diet until I heal enough to add more of it. Now, no high histamine/amine foods on that list but I am slowly improving. I learned that I will never take antibiotics again except, well probably never.

            • I’m not saying that magnesium stearate didn’t cause your problems, but I’m wondering if the pain meds you were/are taking exacerbated the integrity of your gut. Many pain meds like aspirin and NSAIDS are known to cause intestinal permeability.

              Glad to hear you’re improving.

              • I was given 2 big pills of ibuprofen when I was coming out of my surgery sleep, didn’t realize or even remember swallowing them. The stupid nurse gave them to me even though I had written on my surgery instruction to follow, NO aspirin type meds as I am allergic to them. No question that made my reaction worse as well as the dye in the pills and I know they also had mag stearate in them. Needless to say, I reacted horribly to those two pills. I could not eat anything that day, just wretched up bitter vomit and battled nausea from late morning way up to nearly midnight. If I had it to do over, I would have let my fractured distal radius wrist bone heal up the 8 degrees it was off and keep my gut. I could have lived with a hand that didn’t work the best but a gut that does not work is deadly.

              • Interesting. My gut issues took on a whole new meaning when I had surgery and took copious amounts of Ibuprofen. I then had 12 courses of antibiotics in the space of one year. I have seriously never been quite the same. I have developed sensitivities that I was not previously aware of over the years, making my management more complicated.

            • I am allergic to Ibuprofen in any form, also to Voltaren gel with pounding headaches & severe vomiting after 1 tab. I had several Ibuprofen brands and not all of them contained magnesium stearate. My Gyn prescribed Ibuprofen as it seems to reduce the menstrual flow, which indeed it did. This is also one of the reasons why Ibuprofen is the standard analgesic given after surgery.

    • I am histamine intolerant too and I agree that it can have a negative effect on digestive health. So many supplements cause me problems that I am super careful about only getting those with out any additives. When I do that I can usually tolerate them.
      I wanted to mention one thing to you off topic. I recently learned that taking a Claritin or other anti histamine daily can be quite helpful and also taking something callee Histame as well. I learned this from the Microscopic Colitis website. I decided to try them and they have made a huge huge difference to me, I cant tell you how huge. I feel they are helping my gut to heal as well.
      BTW Histame is an enzyme supplement that breaks down histamine in your system from food or from excess that your body produces.

      • I’ve suffered from chronic non-allergic vaso-motor rhinitis for 15 years. I’ve taken a daily dose of anti-histamine (neoclarityn or levocetirizine) for the last 7 years and my symptoms are massively improved. I’ve also gone dairy-free and this really helps too.

      • Histamine is something I could look into. I also wonder about Deerland enzymes. They actually customize enzymes so I would have to have some help in which ones to include in my formula. They also do probiotics so I would have to look up which specific probiotics to take AND be sure not to take for histamine intolerance. I just learned of this company and plan to look into a customized formula.

    • Mag stearate is not high in histamine. Mag stearate is only mag stearate. The only thing it is “high” in is itself. If your mag stearate is high in histamines, or creates a histamine response, then it is contaminated. This does not mean mag stearate is toxic. It means that the contaminant is toxic.

      As an analogy, if I give you water downstream from an outhouse, and you get giardia, that does not mean that “water is infectious.”

    • Thank you for this. I too have histamine intolerance. I sometimes get severe allergies – this time expressed through a really bad eczema outbreak on my skin. I started taking Culturelle Lacto. GG and Nature’s Way Primadophilus Reuteri because they are supposed to be histamin-lowering bacteria strains… and the eczema which was contained to my neck and above started spreading to the rest of my body, and I started getting constipation. I asked Culturelle about the magnesium stearate and titanium dioxide in their supplements, and got one of those company schpiel responses. They said if I want to avoid titanium dioxide, I could open the capsule and just consume the contents inside. I wish someone knew a lot more about histamine intolerance and how to heal yourself of it.

      • I can say without doubt that when I consume something with magnesium stearate, one of the bad effects for me is constipation. Since constipation is also an effect of having too much histamine, I know somehow that mag stearate causes histamine issues. It is either high in histamine OR it causes gut/stomach inflamation which then causes the body to produce histamine. For people dealing with histamine issues, this puts histamine over the top for us and thus the reactions. From what I have read about histamine intolerance, everyone with asthma is dealing with histamine reactions. Histamine intolerance is becoming common but the medical field does not see it. Instead they treat the symptoms it causes. A good book that explains this is ‘The Plot Against Asthma and Allergy Patients’. Another book that explains what one can do to heal from histamine intolerance is ‘What HIT me? Living with Histamine Intolerance’.

        • Alice,Barbara

          Happily for me, I have never suffered from either asthma nor any severe allergic reaction as you do, so I have no personal testimony. However, I remember listening to a lecture some years ago – given, if my memory is accurate, by Barbara Wren, then, Principal of the College of Natural Nutrition , in which she stated that Histamine reactions cannot occur unless the body is dehydrated.

          So asthma is frequently related to a habit of drinking dehydrating sugary and carbonated beverages and asthma attacks can often be reduced in severity by drinking a glass of water. Again, this is all from memory of about a decade ago, so it might be good to check up exactly what she did say! There may still be tapes of the talk available.

          I also remember her saying that hydration is a complex issue and not simply a question of how much water you drink – every cell in the body needs to be supplied with the appropriate amount of water, not just the alimentary canal, and achieving this frequently requires taking in water in the form of ‘gloopy fluids’ such as ‘linseed tea’ which can hold water in the gut, not just pure water which is quickly removed to the bladder.

          Her mantra seemed to be: “Stress equals dehydration, dehydration equals stress”. I have often remembered this when my body is reacting to some external circumstance (like an impending deadline) which is causing me to panic and preventing me from being able to focus – drinking a glass of water has often helped me to calm down and stick to the task.

        • Alice,

          I just read this and thought it may be of help to you to try when you get histamine reaction:

          “Dr. Batman in his book, ABC of Asthma, Allergies and Lupus on pages 144-150:
          Salt is a powerful natural antihistamine. The next time you get a runny nose or watery eyes from allergies, try drinking a glass of plain water, then put a pinch of salt on the end of your tongue and let it dissolve.”

          It is quoted at about half way down the page under the heading, “What salt does for you”.

          Bear in mind that the page is about the benefits of natural sea salt compared with the dis-benefits of commercial “table salt”.

          • Hedles,

            Thanks so much for this Information!!! I will be sure to do this next time I have a histamine reaction.

  14. On the topic of magnesium, my neurologist, who is a headache specialist, recommends magnesium glycinate because it apparently absorbs well and does not cause diarrhea generally. The main ingredient is magnesium glycinate, in the “other ingredients” section, stearic acid and magnesium stearate are listed which must be in negligible amounts.

  15. Thanks for addressing this topic with a good dose of thoroughness. Always appreciate reading your educational and informative contributions. I realize health information shouldn’t live in a static state.
    Is important to continually review and present the next evolutions of information destine to maintain balance of health, in this ever increasing toxic place we inhabit.

  16. Thanks for this article. I take a lot of supplements and magensium stearate is in almost everything so I’ve wondered about it but didn’t know.

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