Magnesium Stearate in Tablets
Many “health experts” are forcing tablet and capsule manufacturers to eliminate the use of Magnesium Stearate. I have never seen anything work as well and without it tablet quality will suffer. I’m hearing from more and more companies that they must make their tablets without magnesium stearate because of some false claim that it is harmful to cardiovascular health.
Now Foods has a nice write-up and does about as good a job as anything I have read… http://nowfoods.com/Quality/QualityNotes/M093528.htm
Magnesium stearate is used two ways for tablet making.
The first and most common use is as a lubricant. Without it the tablet would bind in the die during compression and ejection forces will break the tablet apart. Without it tooling life would be greatly reduced and the cost of the final product would rise significantly. Too much mag. stearate will reduce tablet hardness and prevent dissolution because it is non-soluble in water. So if it coats a particle completely than the chances that it will dissolve properly are limited. However, most formulas require less 1% magnesium stearate and only a few require as much as 2%.
The second use is to use Mag. Stearate in a pre-blend to reduce positive charges. It can help combine products that want to push each other away. A very small quantity can make a big difference.
The bottom line is that alternative products are not as effective and until something else comes along its use will continue.