Magnesium stearate is the chemical compound with the formula Mg(C
18H 35O2)2. It is a soap, consisting of salt containing two equivalents of stearate (the anion of stearic acid) and one magnesium cation (Mg2+). Magnesium stearate is a white, water-insoluble powder. Its applications exploit its softness, insolubility in many solvents, and low toxicity. It is used as a release agent and as a component or lubricant in the production of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.
Magnesium stearate is widely used in the production of dietary supplement and pharmaceutical tablets, capsules and powders as well as many food products, including a variety of confectionery, spices and baking ingredients. Although considered to have a safe toxicity profile, there is no available information regarding its potential to induce genetic toxicity. To aid safety assessment efforts, magnesium sulfate was evaluated in a battery of tests including a bacterial reverse mutation assay, an in vitro chromosome aberration assay, and an in vivoerythrocyte micronucleus assay.
Are there any known risks of consuming stearates?
Stearates do not share the cardiovascular risks of other forms of saturated fat. Stearates are well absorbed and do not coat the G.I. tract (in fact they discourage certain undesirable biofilms), so comparatively tiny amounts in dietary supplements do not inhibit absorption of nutrients in vivo (in live people)