Magnesium stearate is a white powder that is most commonly used because it has lubricating properties. This keeps ingredients from sticking to equipment during manufacturing and lowers costs significantly. It can also help keep the mix of ingredients consistent through the process.
Magnesium stearate used in food supplements is a non-hydrogenated plant based fatty acid and magnesium combination, consumed globally by billions of people each day, with no identified or scientifically recorded adverse health effects.
Magnesium stearate is made from bovine and vegetable sources. The vegetable source is made by hydrogenating cottonseed or palm oil.