Which Type Of Magnesium Is Right For Me?
Can someone have a favorite supplement? If so, for me, it would be magnesium. I’ve done cleanses with epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) with guidance from Dr. Hulda Clarke’s protocols for liver and gallbladder flushes, I’ve solved constipation for myself and my patients using this wonder element, I’ve also lost weight, and solved muscle pain after overdoing it on the trails with this amazing supplement.
Did you know that over 300 metabolic functions in your body rely on magnesium? It’s a crucial element for your heart (blood pressure), nerve signaling/transmission, muscle contraction, brain, blood sugar regulation, and even your state of mind! At almost sixty, I’ve never had to take allopathic medication and my fitness is wonderfully in such a state of grace that I climb over 2,000 feet within an hour without suffering an ounce of breathlessness or muscle soreness. Making sure I get sufficient magnesium is critical for my health and wellbeing.
As a keto warrior, I don’t consume magnesium rich foods like nuts, seeds, beans, or leafy greens given the phyto-toxins raise my glycemic levels unnaturally.* That means that I’m often taking magnesium citrate powder in water before bed. Not only do I have a good night’s sleep, but a lovely BM (bowel movement) in the morning, and a boost for my athleticism at Qigong for an hour at 8:30 a.m. in the local park. Also, taking it in powder form means that I control exactly how much I need instead of it varying in the foods I consume.
(*If you’re an “A” or “AB” blood type or you don’t react negatively to the above foods, you may not need to supplement to the same degree that I do.)
Low levels of magnesium are linked to chronic symptoms and illnesses such as heart disease, mood disorders, sleep challenges, menstrual pain, migraines, constipation, and type 2 diabetes.
1. Magnesium Citrate
Citric acid (citrate) is easily absorbed and known to anyone familiar with naturally sourced vitamin C. It is pretty much the first known vitamin supplement to any man or woman given that it’s derived from bioavailable citrus fruits. Magnesium citrate is used most commonly to treat constipation, depression, weight loss, and anxiety.
Constipation occurs when food moves through your system too slowly and bowel movements become infrequent. If you’ve gone more than three days without a bowel movement, you may notice that your stool becomes difficult to pass. Symptoms of constipation may include:
- Lumpy or hard stools
- Having to strain during bowel movements
- Feeling like you can’t completely empty your bowels
- Needing to manually empty your rectum with your fingers
Chronic constipation can lead to complications, such as hemorrhoids and anal fissures, if you don’t get treatment for it. When used correctly, you may find that magnesium citrate is a gentle and simple solution to occasional constipation.
As an osmotic laxative, magnesium citrate works by increasing the fluid in your small intestine, causing water to be retained with the stool. This helps to soften the stool, making it easier to pass and increasing the number of bowel movements.
2. Magnesium Oxide
Magnesium oxide is a white, powdery salt that’s a combination of both magnesium and oxygen. Magnesium oxide is most often used to treat magnesium deficiencies that can contribute to migraines and digestive complaints such as indigestion, constipation, and heartburn.
3. Magnesium Chloride
Magnesium chloride (safe chlorine) is easily absorbed when taken orally and is used to treat low magnesium levels, constipation, and heartburn. This is the one often offered in creams or a spray that can help with muscle soreness for the weekend warrior.
Some other uses may include:
- May serve as an excellent blood cleanser by helping to regulate the body’s pH. Thanks to this, it may help to fight off a number of illnesses.
- It can get rid of acidic buildup in the kidneys, thus stimulating renal health.
- Can stimulate brain function and the transmission of nervous impulses, therefore contributing to overall mental balance.
- Is helpful for athletes or people who do a lot of physical activity. After all, it helps prevent muscle injuries, cramping, fatigue, and/or muscle tiredness.
- Promotes a properly functioning cardiovascular system. It might also be beneficial in preventing heart disease.
- Could help to dissolve excess cholesterol by stimulating good blood circulation.
- It may be an anti-stress remedy that also helps to fight off depression, dizziness, and fatigue.
- Maya plays a very important role in regulating body temperature.
- Can help to prevent hemorrhoid problems, improves intestinal health as well as some cases such as colitis, constipation, and others.
- May prevent and resolve prostate problems.
- Could strengthen the immune system, thus helping to prevent and fight off colds, phlegm, and infections.
- Can prevent early aging, making the body more energetic and promoting cell regrowth.
- Is key to preventing osteoporosis because it makes calcium stick to the bones.
- Prevents kidney stones from forming, therefore keeping calcium oxalate from building up in the kidneys.
- Promotes women’s health by reducing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome and regulating hormone levels.
- Can promote reduced plaque, thus cleaning arteries and preventing arteriosclerosis.
4. Magnesium Lactate
Magnesium lactate is the salt formed when magnesium binds with lactic acid. It’s naturally produced in your blood cells and muscles and is absorbed well in large quantities if needed, as it is gentler on your digestive system than other types of magnesium. It has been reported that magnesium lactate is helpful with anxiety and stress, but more research is required to confirm these findings.
Some of the reason that our clients choose this particular magnesium is for:
- It supports bone formation processes. Among the most important minerals for bone formation is magnesium. Introducing sufficient amounts of the mineral through magnesium lactate supplementation is a good way to support bone formation.
- It supports production of enzymes. Studies also show that magnesium plays a vital role as a cofactor in the production of over 300 enzymes in the human body. This is one reason why magnesium lactate supplementation is very important.
- It enhances energy production. Magnesium lactate supplementation may also support energy production processes as its base component magnesium is essential in the conversion of glucose into energy for use by body cells.
5. Magnesium Malate
Magnesium malate includes malic acid, a naturally occuring element in foods like wine and fruit. It’s easily absorbable from your digestive tract and is used to replenish someone deficient in magnesium and also sensitive to the usual laxative effect of some other magnesium supplements. This type of magnesium is often used to treat chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. It’s still early days for the use of this magnesium and a lot more control group studies need facilitating.
The benefits of magnesium malate may include:
- Anti-inflammatory. Magnesium is an anti-inflammatory, which means it helps reduce inflammation throughout the body. Chronic inflammation is linked to all of our biggest killers, from heart disease to cancer. The more we can do to reduce long-term inflammation in the body, the healthier we can be and feel.
- Fights depression and boosts mood. Magnesium has been used to reduce the symptoms of depression since the 1920s, and studies have linked low levels of magnesium with a higher risk of mental health problems. More recent studies have had remarkable results; one study found that adults taking regular doses of magnesium daily for 12 weeks found magnesium was as effective as antidepressants.
- Improves exercise. Magnesium is essential for healthy muscle function, oxygen absorption, electrolyte balance, and energy production, all of which are critical for optimal performance. Studies have shown that magnesium reduces recovery time and lactate build-up and helps improve performance.
- Improves blood sugar regulation. Magnesium helps the body regulate blood sugar and increases insulin sensitivity, which is essential for those approaching or who have diabetes. It has even been proven to help regulate blood sugar in children with type 1 diabetes.
- Reduces chronic pain from fibromyalgia. Studies have found that those suffering from fibromyalgia are often deficient in magnesium, and that boosting their magnesium intake (to around 300mg – 500mg daily) helped reduce pain.
- Improves sleep. Magnesium is essential for high-quality sleep, as it helps produce melatonin. Taking magnesium malate for sleep can help you fall asleep sooner and lengthen your periods of deep sleep.
- Helps with headaches and migraines. Magnesium malate has been seen to help reduce occurrences of headaches and migraines. A study found that adults who took 1g of magnesium when they felt the start of a migraine attack found relief much faster than any other common medication.
- Improves digestive health. Magnesium malate promotes healthy bowel movements because it draws more water into the digestive system, which helps move the food through the digestive tract. It also acts as a natural antacid, which helps to reduce stomach aches and heartburn.
- Aids muscular function. Magnesium is critical for good muscle and nerve function, and that includes your heart. Magnesium helps to regulate your heartbeat, and so those deficient in magnesium are likely to experience irregular heartbeats and palpitations.
- Similarly, supplementation with magnesium has been seen to help reduce premenstrual cramps and other symptoms of PMS.
- Reduces blood pressure. Studies have found that magnesium can assist in lowering high blood pressure and early research suggests that it can help balance good and bad cholesterol levels.
- Protects against bone loss. Around 50% of your body’s magnesium is found in your bones and a magnesium deficiency is associated with brittle bones (also known as osteoporosis). One study found that those deficient in magnesium experienced three times more fractures than those with sufficient levels of magnesium in the blood.
6. Magnesium Taurate
Magnesium taurate contains the amino acid taurine. Taurine is sulfur-containing and is naturally occurring in your body, and is particularly concentrated in your eyes, muscles, heart, and brain. Although amino acids are often referred to as the building blocks of protein, taurine isn’t used to build proteins in your body. Instead, it’s considered a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning it becomes essential only in times of illness and stress.
Rest assured that, despite the common belief, taurine is not extracted from bull semen or urine. Rather, it was first isolated in 1827 from the bile of an ox. The Latin name for an ox is bos taurus, which is where the amino acid’s name originated. Taurine is found in some foods, and your body can even produce it by itself. Therefore, taurine deficiency isn’t common in healthy adults.
However, because newborns and infants can’t make taurine as well as adults, they depend on taurine from breast milk or taurine-supplemented formula. Magnesium taurine is typically used to help support healthy blood pressure and even reduce high blood sugar levels. More studies need to be conducted.
7. Magnesium L-Threonate
Magnesium L-threonate is the salt formed from mixing magnesium and threonic acid, a water-soluble substance derived from the metabolic breakdown of common vitamin C. As magnesium L-threonate can readily elevate magnesium levels in the brain, it has the potential to improve cognitive function. However, research is still in the early stages and mainly involves animal models up to now.
For example, a 2020 study on zebrafish found that magnesium threonate helped protect against brain cell death and preserve cognitive function. Similarly, a 2019 Trusted Source study using a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease found that magnesium threonate successfully elevated magnesium in cerebrospinal fluid and protected against motor deficits and dopamine neuron loss.
With more research it may be found that magnesium threonate could have additional benefits for age-related memory loss, depression, and nerve pain in humans. This form of magnesium is easily absorbed. Animal research notes that it may be the most effective type for increasing magnesium concentrations in brain cells.
8. Magnesium Sulfate
Magnesium sulfate is formed by combining magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. It has commonly been referred to as Epsome salts for decades. I pour at least a cup into my bath a few times a week. It eases my sore, achy muscles from all of my athletic activities and helps to relieve the stress and tension of what I’m holding after a full day or two in the clinic serving my patients.
Magnesium sulfate is white, and slightly crystalline, with a texture similar to that of table salt. It can be consumed as a treatment for constipation, but its profoundly unpleasant taste leads many people to choose an alternative form for digestive support.
This particular combined element can also be found in skin care products, body lotions, and oils. We use it in our practice, homeopathically, for women suffering menstrual cramps, dysmenorrhea, inter menstrual hemorrhage, and leucorrhea (vaginal discharge). Other applications illustrated in Dr. John Henry Clarke’s Materia Medica includes coughs, diarrhea, sugar dysregulation, eye pain, hernias, low back pain, toothaches, neuralgia (nerve pain), and even warts.
Magnesium sulfate is frequently dissolved in bathwater to soothe sore, achy muscles and relieve stress. It’s also sometimes included in skin care products, such as lotion or body oil. Although adequate magnesium levels can play a role in muscle relaxation and stress relief, there’s very little evidence to suggest that this form is well absorbed through your skin.
9. Magnesium Glycinate
Magnesium glycinate is formed from elemental magnesium and the amino acid glycine. Your body employs this amino acid in protein re-construction. It also occurs in many protein-rich foods, such as fish, meat, dairy, as well as peas and beans.
As a standalone, glycine is typically used in our wholistic practice as a dietary supplement for inflammation, diabetes, heart disease, and also to improve sleep. Magnesium glycinate seems to have calming properties. Some indications show that it can also help reduce anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia. Yet, scientific evidence on these uses is limited, so more studies are needed.
10. Magnesium Orotate
Magnesium orotate includes orotic acid, a natural substance involved in your body’s construction of genetic material, including DNA. It’s easily absorbed and doesn’t have the strong laxative effects characteristic of other forms. Early research suggests that it may be instrumental in promoting heart health due to orotic acid’s unique role in the energy production pathways in your heart and blood vessel tissue.
- Supports cardiovascular health. Studies show that orotic acid salts, magnesium salts to be specific, may be critical in supporting the heart or for those who’ve actually suffered from heart failure. More research in this area of cardiovascular health needs to be done.
- Boosts stamina and endurance. Animal and human research has shown that magnesium orotate may be effective for increasing endurance and exercise tolerance. These effects were especially noted in practices in patients who previously suffered from cardiovascular issues. Trained athletes have also shown endurance-supportive effects following magnesium orotate supplementation. (trusted source listed below)
- Provides GI support. More research needs to be done, but one study focused on children suffering from constipation found that magnesium orotate was effective for relieving symptoms. (trusted source below) This doesn’t come as any surprise to most physicians, as magnesium is known to be a natural laxative. The benefits of magnesium orotate on other gastrointestinal conditions, like irritable bowel syndrome, have yet to be determined. Future research is needed to determine its role in the support of the GI system.
- Promotes bone health. Chronic low magnesium status is one of the leading contributors to osteoporosis. Older adults tend to have lower dietary intakes of this nutrient and are particularly vulnerable to the deficiency. Supplementing with magnesium may help normalize this deficit and encourage bone health.
Should You Take A Magnesium Supplement?
There is no need to take a magnesium supplement if you feel hale and whole. Periodic use of epsom salts or magnesium citrate can be helpful on an as needed basis for constipation or excessive exercise on occasion. If you’re suffering with blood sugar dysregulation, heart disease, or chronic pain, it’s always best to seek the advice of a trained practitioner.
Perhaps start with whole foods, initially, as you can do this on your own safely.
- Legumes: black beans, edamame
- Vegetables: spinach, kale, avocado
- Nuts: almonds, peanuts, cashews
- Whole grains: oatmeal, whole wheat
- Dark chocolate
However, if you’re unable to get enough magnesium from your diet, or you’re not able to easily absorb it, a higher concentrated supplement may be worth considering under your practitioner’s guidance. Certain individuals may be at a greater risk of deficiency, including older adults and people with type 2 diabetes, digestive disorders, or those suffering with drug or alcohol dependence.
Dosage And Possible Side Effects
The average recommended daily amount of magnesium is 320 mg for women and 420 mg for men. The amounts in different supplement formulations may vary, so check the label to ensure you’re taking the most appropriate dose. Magnesium supplements are generally considered safe for most people. Once you’ve reached adequate levels, your body will excrete any excess in your urine.
In some rarer cases individuals can have mild symptoms of upset stomach or diarrhea. Although rare, magnesium toxicity can occur. If you have kidney disease or consume very large doses of this mineral, you may be at a greater risk. Signs of toxicity include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle weakness, irregular breathing, lethargy, and urinary retention. Please consult a trained practitioner if you suspect an overdose of magnesium.
Magnesium plays a vital role in our human health. Low levels are linked to numerous adverse effects, including diabetes, heart disease, chronic muscle pain, depression, and heart disease. Consult your trusted healthcare provider if you need help considering which magnesium supplement is right for you. First, try correcting your diet by eliminating processed sugar, wheat, dairy, coffee, and alcohol, and increasing foods high in magnesium as you may find that this is sufficient. If symptoms are not relieved, like constipation, heartburn, or acute grief, consult your practitioner.
Here’s Some of the Sources of Magnesium That We Suggest:
Nature’s Vitality Calm Magnesium Citrate Supplement
Natural Factors Magnesium Citrate
Nutricost Magnesium Oxide
Life Flow Magnesium Lotion w/Concentrated Magnesium Chloride
Ancient Minerals Magnesium Bath Flakes of Pure Genuine Zechstein Chloride
Ancient Minerals Magnesium Oil Spray Bottle of Pure Genuine Zechstein Magnesium Chloride
Source Naturals Magnesium Malate
Natural Rhythm Triple Calm Magnesium – 150mg of Magnesium Taurate, Glycinate, and Malate
Life Extension Neuro-Mag Magnesium L-Threonate
Kappa Nutrition Elemental Magnesium, L-Threonate, Bisglycinate Chelate, Malate
Dr. Clark Magnesium Sulphate USP (Epsom Salt) – Dietary Supplement
Pure Original Ingredients Epsom Salt
Innate Vitality Magnesium Glycinate
Pure Encapsulations Magnesium (Glycinate)
Bulk Supplements Magnesium Orotate Powder
NCI Advanced Research Magnesium Orotate Tablets
Methyl Life Sucrosomial Magnesium – Bioactive Magnesium
RnA ReSet ReMag Magnesium Lotion and Daily ReHydrator
Seven Minerals Pure Magnesium Oil Spray
Essentially Based Magnesium Oil Spray
One With Nature Dead Sea Mineral Bath Salt
Yareli Dead Sea Bath & Foot Soak
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