All About Magnesium

Feb 02 , 2024

All About Magnesium

The form of Magnesium that is best for you depends on what you need to take it for. You can get magnesium from foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, but in practice most of us aren't getting sufficient magnesium from our diet.  These are some of the different types of magnesium available as supplements: 

Magnesium oxide 

This is a salt that is usually sold in powder form and is possibly best known as Milk of Magnesia. It's not for topping up low levels as it's poorly absorbed, but instead to treat digestion problems, including heartburn and constipation. It can also treat migraines. 

Magnesium chloride 

This is a multipurpose version that can be used to top up levels as well as to treat heartburn and constipation.  It's also used in skin creams to relax sore and tired muscles. 

Magnesium citrate 

As its name suggests, it's bound with citric acid, which is found in citrus fruits.  It's one of the most bioavailable magnesium and is easily absorbed by the gut.  If your magnesium levels are low, it's a great one to choose, although very high doses may have a laxative effect and can be used if you suffer from constipation.  It's also used to treat depression and anxiety. 

Magnesium lactate 

This is naturally produced in your body when it binds with lactic acid.  If you need to take large quantities, it's a good form to take as it's easily absorbed by your digestive tract. As well as a general top-up, it may also treat stress and depression. This form however is not used commonly in many supplements

Magnesium malate 

Another form that is well absorbed and doesn't have a laxative effect.  It is often used to treat specific conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. 

Magnesium taurate 

This form helps regulate blood sugar (glucose) and could help if you're pre-diabetic.  It also helps support healthy blood pressure. 

Magnesium L-threonate 

Again, this is an easily absorbed form that is good for brain health.  It's being tested for depression and age-related memory loss. 

Magnesium sulfate 

Better known as Epsom salt, magnesium sulfate is white and has the same texture as table salt and an unpleasant taste.  It can be used to treat constipation if you can tolerate it, but there are more palatable alternatives available. Instead, it's more commonly added to bath water to ease aching joints and muscles. It's also found in skincare products. 

Magnesium glycinate (and bisglycinate)

Also one of the tops form for bioavailability. This is the one to go for if you want to improve your sleep, and it could also help ameliorate a range of inflammatory conditions including heart disease and diabetes. Try it too to reduce stress, anxiety and depression.  

Magnesium orotate 

This is the choice of athletes because it improves heart function.  It has also been used to treat congestive heart failure – and it's the most expensive type of magnesium. Not as readily available as other forms.

Ref: What Doctors Don't Tell You Magazine - Issue 15 Dec/Jan 2022