Magnesium stearate is a white, powdery substance that is widely used as a lubricant in the manufacturing of various pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, and cosmetic products. It is a magnesium salt of stearic acid, which is a common fatty acid found in many animal and vegetable fats and oils.
In pharmaceuticals, magnesium stearate is often used as a lubricant to prevent tablets and capsules from sticking to manufacturing equipment and to improve their flow properties during production. It is also used as a diluent in some formulations to increase the bulk of a tablet or capsule.
While magnesium stearate is generally recognized as safe and is widely used in the pharmaceutical industry, there is some controversy surrounding its use in dietary supplements. Some critics have suggested that the presence of magnesium stearate in supplements may interfere with the absorption of other ingredients, or that it may cause gastrointestinal upset in some people. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims.
Overall, magnesium stearate is considered to be a safe and effective ingredient in pharmaceuticals and many other products, but as with any substance, it is important to use it in moderation and to follow proper safety guidelines during manufacturing and use.