When stearic acid and magnesium ion are combined, the compound with lubricative properties - Magnesium Stearate – is formed. Magnesium stearate is a white powder that is water-insoluble. It is low toxicity and used as a release agent or lubricant in the production of cosmetics and pharmaceuticals.
There are positive and negative effects for humans who consume magnesium stearate so you should become aware of the compound and what the common magnesium stearate uses are in order to eliminate potential risks or negative side effects.
When creating vitamins and health supplements, natural ingredients don't always move through the manufacturing equipment smoothly. They can stick to the machines, cause the machines to stop working properly, and make it difficult to measure the appropriate amount of each ingredient to create the finished product. As a result, manufacturers and pharmaceutical companies turn to magnesium stearate to use as a synthetic flow agent.
Health Supplement Manufacturing
The primary use of magnesium stearate is in the manufacturing of health supplements, medical tablets, capsules, and powders. Because it is a lubrication, the compound is used to prevent vitamins and minerals from sticking to each other when they are combined to create health supplements. It's also used as a way to prevent the health supplements from sticking to the machinery used to manufacture health supplements, during the process of compressing chemical powders into tablets. Without some sort of lubrication, it would be impossible to ensure the appropriate amounts of each vitamin or mineral is within the supplements created because so much of the material would be stuck to the equipment.
Other Uses of Magnesium Stearate
In addition to its cosmetic and pharmaceutical uses, magnesium stearate can also be found in baby formulas and used to bind sugar in minds and other hard candies.
Safety of Magnesium Stearate
The FDA's Subcommittee on GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) reported in 1979 that there is no evidence that suggests that magnesium stearate is a hazard to humans when consumed at consumption levels of 2500 mg/kg per day.
Should I Be Concerned if Magnesium Stearate is in My Supplements?
Based on the FDA’s Subcommittee on GRAS, and the widespread use of magnesium stearate, you probably don’t need to worry about any negative side effects from taking health supplements, vitamins or using other products that contain magnesium stearate. Both magnesium ion and stearic acid are naturally occurring components and individually you’ll find stearic acid in many food products you probably eat on a daily basis.
To make health supplements and cosmetics, many manufacturers rely on the lubricative properties of magnesium stearate.