So you’ve finally got to the supplement aisle, but are now faced with tons of different options. Not only are there different brands with varying dosages, but there are different kinds that do different things. So how do you choose the one that is right for you? We can help with that! First, you need to address what underlying health condition or concern you’d like to use magnesium for.
To find out more on the specific benefits of magnesium, here is a link: Why do we need magnesium?
Here are different forms of magnesium and how they work in the body:
- Magnesium Citrate: the cheapest and most popular form of magnesium, combined with citric acid. It is well absorbed with a slight laxative effect, aiding in the relief of constipation. This type is best for short-term use, as long-term use can lower ceruloplasmin levels, which helps to regulate iron and copper in your body. This form also pulls water into your intestines, which can potentially lead to dehydration. This type is best for those suffering from restless leg syndrome, constipation or anxiety.
- Magnesium Glycinate (also known as magnesium bisglycinate or magnesium diglycinate): magnesium combined with the chelated amino acid glycine which is known for its relaxing and calming effects on the brain. This form is highly absorbable & bioavailable, as well as being one of the gentlest forms of magnesium on the stomach. Unlike other forms of magnesium, this one does not produce a laxative effect. Because of this, it is one of the more popular forms and is recommended to those trying to correct a deficiency or simply needing help with stress management.
- Magnesium Malate: magnesium combined with malic acid, a key component in cellular energy production. Because of combination with malic acid, this form helps to increase energy, reduce fibromyalgia pain, fight fatigue & reduce muscle/joint pain. Not only this, but this type also detoxes from heavy metals like aluminum. This form has less GI stress than other forms such as magnesium citrate, but is not recommended for those looking to relax or calm nerves.
- Magnesium Oxide: magnesium bound to an organic compound or fatty acid and is the least absorbable and bioavailable form of magnesium. It is most often used as an antacid or mild laxative.
- Magnesium Orotate: In addition to a good absorption rate, magnesium orotate contributes to increased resistance to physical exercise and improving heart health, mainly because it is easily taken in the bloodstream. This form also works to improve cardiovascular health, such as heart palpitations, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure, etc.
- Magnesium Taurate: magnesium combined with the amino acid taurine. This form is readily available to be absorbed by the body, and penetrates the mitochondrial membrane, making it a recommended choice for those with cardiovascular issues or to prevent heart failure. The taurine makes this form a great choice for relaxing the mind and the body as it’s known for its sedative effects.
- Magnesium chloride: This particular form is actually better absorbed by the body than magnesium oxide and is not as strong a laxative as magnesium citrate, but does loosen stools when taken in larger amounts. Because chloride is involved in the production of hydrochloric acid and thus influences digestion and nutrient absorption; it is believed to be a great option for people who do not produce sufficient stomach acid and need to better absorb their food and nutrients.
- Magnesium L-Threonate: This particular type of magnesium has been shown to have a high absorption rate and good bioavailability. What makes it a good form is the fact that it can easily enter cells and tissues and cross the blood-brain barrier. This form is particularly supportive of cognitive health, as it enhances the receptors that are involved in memory and learning. Moreover, it does not have laxative properties. However, because of its low content of magnesium per dose, it might not be sufficient to correct deficiencies.
- Magnesium Sulfate: This form of magnesium is most often used as a bath soak or for intravenous use. It can be absorbed, to a certain extent, through the skin and is also the main ingredient in Epsom bath salts. These salts are added to bath water for the magnesium to be absorbed through the skin and help ease arthritis pain, muscle aches, and stiff and swollen joints. Magnesium sulfate typically has a very low absorption rate.
- Magnesium aspartate: With a high bioavailability, it is a great form of the mineral as you not only absorb a lot, but you also retain a lot of it as well. Magnesium aspartate has been used together with potassium for improving chronic fatigue syndrome.
Now that you know the types and their benefits, you can feel confident making your next magnesium purchase. Some extra information to know is that if magnesium gives you anxiety or elevates your heart rate, you might have other minerals out of balance, like sodium and potassium. You also need adequate levels of B vitamins, boron, and others to make sure you absorb the right amount. If you’re unsure about your levels and would love an exact answer, your doctor can do these tests for you. Although we’ve outlined the different forms, their bioavailability and what conditions/health concerns they help, the best way to find out if your magnesium supplement works for you is to listen to your body. For example, are you less irritable? Do you sleep better, or are you feeling more relaxed? If you have pain, is it subsiding? If you’ve answered yes to any of these, it’s a sign the magnesium is working for you.
On a final note, it is important to note our bodies were not designed to take a full day’s worth of magnesium in 1 sitting. It is best to break it up into smaller, more frequent doses. This will ensure there is less stress on the GI tract, and help us feel the benefits consistently.
We hope that this has helped you understand a bit more about the types of magnesium and we look forward to seeing you! Visit us in store or give us a call at (780) 453-1313.