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What Is Magnesium Stearate?

author image Amy Long Carrera
Amy Long Carrera is a registered dietitian in Los Angeles who has been writing since 2007 for such publications as The Insider, On the Other Side and Arthritis Today. She is a certified nutrition support clinician and her writing employs current research to provide evidence-based nutrition information. Carrera holds a master of science degree in nutrition from California State University, Northridge.
What Is Magnesium Stearate?
Capsules pouring out of a bottle. Photo Credit: rvlsoft/iStock/Getty Images

It's important to know exactly what is in a dietary supplement capsule before you pop it in your mouth. When magnesium and stearic acid are bound together, the compound is known as magnesium stearate, an anti-caking agent that helps keep the ingredients in tablets and capsules from sticking to processing equipment. This results in consistent amounts of active ingredients in each tablet or capsule.

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Magnesium Stearate Explained

Essential for life, magnesium is a mineral that is necessary to turn food into energy, transport nutrients across cell membranes, maintain bone structure and make DNA. Stearic acid is a saturated fat that occurs naturally in animal and plant foods, such as chicken, grass-fed beef, coconut oil and chocolate. According to the U.S Food and Drug Administration, magnesium stearate is safe for humans.

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