Magnesium is one of the most essential vitamins in the body – it is the fourth most abundant mineral within the body and supports important elements of overall health and vitality.
Most importantly, it supports more than 300 metabolic reactions in the body, such as the production of energy, the regulation of blood pressure, the transmission of nerve signals, and the stabilization of DNA.
Magnesium is not made within the body naturally, and therefore we have to obtain it from natural sources. In particular, high levels of magnesium can be found in leafy greens, nuts, legumes, seeds, and whole grains.
However, seeing as research has shown that nearly two-thirds of the Western world population does not achieve the recommended daily dose of magnesium, it’s highly likely that most people are not consuming enough magnesium through their diet alone.
That’s where supplements come in! People are looking towards the supplement world to try and receive their daily dose of magnesium, and although that’s great to hear, there are many different forms of magnesium and they all differ.
So, in this article, I’m going to be telling you all about the different forms of magnesium and the best form that you should be taking.
- 0.1 The 10 Most Common Forms of Magnesium
- 0.2 Magnesium Citrate
- 0.3 Benefits of Magnesium Citrate
- 0.4 Magnesium Oxide
- 0.5 Benefits of Magnesium Oxide
- 0.6 Magnesium Chloride
- 0.7 Benefits of Magnesium Chloride
- 0.8 Magnesium Lactate
- 0.9 Benefits of Magnesium Lactate
- 0.10 Magnesium Malate
- 0.11 Benefits of Magnesium Malate
- 0.12 Magnesium Sulfate
- 0.13 Benefits of Magnesium Sulfate
- 0.14 Magnesium L-threonate
- 0.15 Benefits of Magnesium L-threonate
- 0.16 Magnesium Taurate
- 0.17 Benefits of Magnesium Taurate
- 0.18 Magnesium Glycinate
- 0.19 Benefits of Magnesium Glycinate
- 0.20 Magnesium Orotate
- 0.21 Benefits of Magnesium Orotate
- 1 The Best and Most Commonly Used Forms of Magnesium are: Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Chloride.
- 2 FAQ’s About Magnesium
- 3 The Bottom Line
The 10 Most Common Forms of Magnesium
Although there are many different types of magnesium, I’m going to take a look at the top 10 most common forms of magnesium.
Each type of magnesium provides different benefits and does different things for the body, so although there is one specific type that comes out the best overall, you may want to supplement with different types of magnesium for your desired health benefits.
Magnesium citrate is a type of magnesium combined with citric acid.
This is typically the most common form of magnesium available in supplement form, especially since this type of magnesium is sold over the counter for digestive and gut problems, such as constipation.
This form of magnesium is beneficial because it’s more easily absorbed in the gut than other forms, meaning it’s more likely to provide the consumer with high-level doses of magnesium.
Benefits of Magnesium Citrate
Magnesium citrate promotes digestion regularity by causing the intestines to release water into the stool and therefore softening the stool and relieving constipation.
It also helps to regulate the transport of calcium across the body and therefore supports bone creation, supports heart health, and provides the electrical charges to muscles and nerves to support their health.
Magnesium oxide is a form of magnesium that’s combined with oxygen – it’s a salt. Therefore, since it’s a salt, it’s commonly found in supplements such as electrolyte powders and capsules.
This form of magnesium isn’t typically used for long-term magnesium supplementation, but instead for short-term digestive and gut benefits, since research has shown that it’s not absorbed as well into the body as form such as magnesium citrate.
Benefits of Magnesium Oxide
Magnesium oxide helps to neutralize stomach acids and therefore helps to manage digestive and gut issues such as constipation and indigestion.
It helps to reduce the likelihood of stroke by reducing blood pressure and it also reduces the intensity and frequency of migraines.
However, it can also benefit mental health – magnesium oxide can reduce stress levels and the severity of depressive symptoms.
Magnesium chloride is a form of magnesium that includes chlorine. Chlorine is an unstable element but it binds together with magnesium to form a salt. This type of magnesium is easily absorbed into the body and therefore is a good, long-term magnesium supplement.
Although this form of magnesium is commonly found in capsule and powdered supplements, it is also the most common form to be used in topical ointments.
These types of ointments are typically marketed to soothe sore muscles.
However, there actually isn’t a lot of evidence to support the fact that topical magnesium chloride ointments actually work, and they’re not proven to improve the intake of magnesium.
Benefits of Magnesium Chloride
Magnesium chloride promotes the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is an essential acid that helps to regulate metabolism and assists with the absorption of nutrients from macromolecules.
Therefore, supporting the production of hydrochloric acid, magnesium chloride can support digestion, reduce acid reflux, and protect against certain digestive illnesses such as leaky gut.
It also helps reduce the likelihood of type 2 diabetes and reduce high blood pressure.
Magnesium lactate is magnesium bound with lactic acid – it’s a salt. This form of magnesium lactate is commonly used as a food additive in food and drinks, and less commonly taken as a supplement.
This form of magnesium is easily absorbed by the digestive system and doesn’t disrupt the gut in the way that some other types do.
Therefore, magnesium lactate can be consumed by those who actually need to supplement with very high doses of magnesium long-term.
Benefits of Magnesium Lactate
Since magnesium lactate is most commonly used in food additives, there aren’t actually many benefits associated with magnesium lactate supplements apart from the typical benefits associated with magnesium overall – it supports heart and nervous system function, as well as the digestive system.
Magnesium malate is a form of magnesium that contains malic acid. This form of magnesium is commonly used in dietary supplements.
This form of magnesium is commonly used for supplements because it is easy for your digestive system to absorb! Therefore, a good choice when it comes to supplements in the long run if you are trying to reach the daily recommended dose of magnesium.
Benefits of Magnesium Malate
Magnesium malate helps to support protein synthesis, which is the process that all cells use to make protein. It helps muscles to perform better and can actually support the body to build muscle.
It may also support nerve function and therefore may reduce the likelihood of and the symptoms of neurological illnesses such as migraines, anxiety, and Alzheimer’s.
Magnesium sulfate is the combination of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. The most common name for this form of magnesium is Epsom salt. Although this form of magnesium can be consumed, it’s not commonly consumed and is instead used as a bath salt.
Magnesium sulfate can be dissolved in water and then the person who is looking to derive benefits from it will sit in the bath in order to soothe their muscles and reduce their stress levels.
Benefits of Magnesium Sulfate
As mentioned above, magnesium can sometimes be consumed to help with gut issues such as diarrhea. However, it’s much more commonly and safely used as bath salts.
When used as bath salts, there is little – no evidence that shows magnesium will be absorbed into the body, so it can be used this way to try and reach the daily recommended dose of magnesium.
However, when used as bath salts, magnesium sulfate can reduce anxiety, stress, and depression. It can also promote and improve sleep.
Magnesium L-threonate is a salt created by mixing magnesium and threonic acid. This form of magnesium is very easily absorbed by the body and research has shown that it may be the most effective type to improve the concentration of magnesium in brain cells.
Magnesium L-threonate is therefore typically used as a cognitive enhancing supplement rather than a magnesium supplement intended to help increase the daily intake of magnesium.
Benefits of Magnesium L-threonate
Although there hasn’t been extensive research on the benefits of magnesium L-threonate, certain research has shown that it can cross the blood-brain barrier and reach the parts of the brain that truly need it.
It’s supposed to improve mental health, reduce memory loss, and may improve neuroplasticity, meaning it helps the brain change and grow.
Magnesium taurate is magnesium that contains taurine, an important amino acid. This type of magnesium is very rarely used as a supplement to increase the amount of magnesium consumed daily.
However, research has shown that this form of magnesium can help to support the circulatory system and therefore some people that have circulatory system issues supplement with this type of magnesium.
Benefits of Magnesium Taurate
Research has shown that magnesium taurate can help to improve heart and circulatory health. This is due to the fact that both magnesium and taurate alone can help to regulate blood sugar levels and support a healthy blood pressure.
Magnesium glycinate is created by bonding magnesium and glycine, an important amino acid that helps to support the creation of protein.
Typically, people who need support from glycine will take glycine supplements alone, since they’re readily available.
However, magnesium glycinate is easily absorbed by the body and can provide benefits to the body other than supporting protein creation.
Benefits of Magnesium Glycinate
Although there hasn’t been extensive research on the benefits associated with the consumption of magnesium glycinate, some researchers have shown that it may be used to reduce mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, and depression due to the fact that it has calming properties.
Magnesium orotate is a form of magnesium with orotic acid. Orotic acid is a natural substance that supports the construction of DNA and other genetic material in the body.
This form of magnesium is commonly taken by people that frequently practice intense exercise and athletes. It’s easy for the body to absorb and doesn’t upset the gut as intensely as other forms of magnesium do.
Benefits of Magnesium Orotate
Research shows that magnesium orotate can promote heart health since the orotic acid takes on the role of improving energy production in the heart and blood vessel tissue.
It can also reduce the likelihood of heart and circulatory-related illnesses, as well as help to manage the symptoms of them both. However, more research on the benefits associated with the magnesium within magnesium orotate is needed.
The Best and Most Commonly Used Forms of Magnesium are: Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Chloride.
FAQ’s About Magnesium
Now you know all about the different forms of magnesium, it’s a good idea to know how to take magnesium, whether magnesium is safe for everyone, and whether or not there are side effects associated with supplementing magnesium.
How Much Magnesium Should You Take?
The recommended daily intake of magnesium for adult men is between 400 to 420mg, and for adult women, it should be between 310 to 320mg.
However, pregnant women and other specific individuals may be recommended by medical professionals to take higher doses of magnesium for their specific health concerns.
Is Magnesium Safe For Everyone?
Although you might assume that magnesium supplements are safe for everyone to take since magnesium is an essential micronutrient, they’re not suitable for everyone.
Magnesium may slow down the blood’s ability to clot and therefore should not be consumed by anyone that has blood clotting disorders.
High doses of magnesium should not be consumed by anyone who has heart, circulatory system, or respiratory system illnesses.
In addition, those with kidney problems should not consume magnesium since their kidneys may not be able to clear unnecessary magnesium from the body.
Are There Any Side Effects From Taking Magnesium?
Magnesium shouldn’t cause any side effects in most people, but in some cases, it may cause nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
More serious side effects occur when very high doses of magnesium are consumed, which range from an irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure to slowed breathing and heart problems.
The Bottom Line
Magnesium is an absolutely essential micronutrient that should be prioritized. If you are not consuming enough magnesium through your diet, you may look to magnesium supplements for help, and they can help you!
The best and most commonly used forms of magnesium are Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Chloride.
However, you may also look towards other forms to provide you with specific health benefits.
Just make sure you’re safe when using magnesium as a supplement, just like you should be when adding any important micronutrient to your diet!