Magnesium stearate is a widely used excipient in drugs and herbal formulas. It was used for many years without any safety concerns. However, Giovanni investigated how magnesium stearate was made and came to the conclusion that it was better to avoid it. As a result, all of the Three Treasures® and Women’s Treasure® formulas are made without magnesium stearate and the only excipient used in their manufacture is potato starch.
Magnesium stearate, also called octadecanoic acid, is a white powder which becomes solid at room temperature. It has the chemical formula Mg(C18H35O2)2. It is a magnesium salt of stearic acid. It is a salt containing two equivalents of stearate (the anion of stearic acid) and one magnesium cation (Mg2+).
Magnesium stearate is widely used as a diluent in the manufacture of medical tablets, capsules and powders. The substance has lubricating properties, preventing ingredients from sticking to manufacturing equipment during the compression of powders into solid tablets; magnesium stearate is the most commonly used lubricant for tablets and it is widely used in the manufacture of herbal remedies and other supplements. Magnesium stearate is also used to bind sugar in hard candies like mints, and is a common ingredient in baby formulas.
Manufacture of Magnesium Stearate
Magnesium stearate is usually manufactured from vegetable oils. Stearates can be produced by hydrogenation although some supplement manufacturers claim that they use magnesium stearate derived from non-hydrogenated, non-GM palm oil.
The commonly used sources of magnesium stearate are palm oil and cottonseed oil after hydrogenation. Hydrogenated oils are a common source of magnesium stearate in tablets. Hydrogenation creates a hydrogenated partially saturated fat… Read more.