The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Magnesium Stearate

Posted on August 12, 2015 by The VRG Blog Editor

By Jeanne Yacoubou

Alternate Names: magnesium octadecanoate; octadecanoic acid, magnesium salt; stearic acid, magnesium salt; magnesium distearate; E470b, E572

Commercial Source: mineral-plant
Used in: dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals

Used as: lubricant, binder, flow agent, release agent, anti-caking agent

Definition: Magnesium stearate formed by the reaction of a magnesium-containing compound and either a stearate-containing compound or stearic acid is most often used as a release agent or lubricant in pharmaceuticals and supplements. There are many non-food uses of magnesium stearate including personal care products, plastics and rubber.


“Our vegetable-based… magnesium stearate is made from palm oil.”

(vegetable source listed by clicking on number to the left of chemical name under list titled “Stearate Products”)

Silver Fern told The VRG that “…the standard today is vegetable-based [stearates] especially for food use.”

Their magnesium stearate is vegetable oil-based.

Additional Information:

Spry Gems Xylitol Mints told The VRG that their magnesium stearate is derived from “coconut oil.”

Cocoavia told The VRG that the magnesium stearate in their vegetarian capsules is derived from “plant sources.”

(paragraph 12 in Description and throughout Materials and Methods)

Classification: Vegan* Although it is possible to derive magnesium stearate from animal fats, it is not standard practice today in the food industry and no examples of tallow-derived magnesium stearate in foods or pharmaceuticals are known.

Entry Updated: August 2015

For information about more ingredients, see:

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The contents of this posting, our website and our other publications, including Vegetarian Journal, are not intended to provide personal medical advice. Medical advice should be obtained from a qualified health professional. We often depend on product and ingredient information from company statements. It is impossible to be 100% sure about a statement, info can change, people have different views, and mistakes can be made. Please use your best judgement about whether a product is suitable for you. To be sure, do further research or confirmation on your own.

1 to “Magnesium Stearate”

  1. Melanie says:

    Great research! This is very much appreciated, thank you!

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