Magnesium is an alkaline earth mineral, the fourth most abundant mineral found in the human body (a necessary cofactor for more than 300 biochemical reactions!) and is required for the survival of every single cell in your body. However, studies show that up to 80% of the population is deficient in this vital substance.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include an irregular or rapid heartbeat, muscle spasms/cramps, unexplained weakness or fatigue, sleep issues, calcified arteries, hormonal issues, high blood pressure, depression, migraine headaches, seizures, vertigo, constipation, indigestion or even those annoying little eye twitches. It is far more common though, to be deficient in magnesium and have no symptoms at all.
Though vitally important for health, magnesium is not easily absorbed unless attached to a transporting substance. Therefore, there is typically a second word associated with it. While this may lead to some confusion over which supplement is best, the answer lies in which partner best meets your individual needs.
- Magnesium Citrate (magnesium + citric acid) is cheap and easily absorbed and is an easy way to bring your levels up. Magnesium Citrate has been shown to help prevent kidney stones and relieve constipation. It is also the form of magnesium commonly used in high doses for its laxative effect prior to a colonoscopy.
- Magnesium Glycinate (magnesium + glycine) is good for long term supplementation because it has good bioavailability (easily absorbed) and has a high bowel tolerance (low laxative effect). This form of magnesium is a good choice for promoting mental calm and relaxation and for treating parasites.
- Magnesium Malate (magnesium + malic acid) helps with fatigue because malic acid, commonly found in fruits, is involved in the Krebs cycle. This form of magnesium has also proven useful for depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease and alleviating symptoms of fibromyalgia.
- Magnesium Orotate (magnesium + orotic acid) is the form of magnesium popular among athletes and exercise enthusiasts for its ability to increase production of ATP, RNA and DNA. When combined with magnesium, it helps with cellular energy, function and repair.
- Magnesium Oxide (magnesium + oxygen) is a general-purpose form of magnesium, commonly known as milk of magnesia, that has less bioavailability, meaning it is poorly absorbed and has a strong laxative effect. This type of magnesium is only for short term usage for quick relief from acid reflux, heartburn, indigestion or constipation.
- Magnesium Taurate (magnesium + Taurine) has shown to be an asset in improving cardiovascular health. Partnered with the amino acid Taurine, which feeds cardiac muscle and helps balance electrolyte levels, this form of magnesium may help reduce the chance of a heart attack. It has also been proven beneficial for brain health including improvements in cognitive function, memory, depression and migraine issues.
- Magnesium L-Threonate is a newcomer on the scene and is a synthetic version of magnesium created at MIT to improve neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s. Because it can cross the blood brain barrier, it helps improve mental sharpness, short-term memory and cognitive abilities.
- Magnesium Chloride is the form typically found in oils, liquids or gels and is used topically to be absorbed through the skin. This highly recommended form of magnesium supplementation bypasses the digestive system, providing better absorption directly into the cells.
- Magnesium Sulfate (magnesium + Sulphur) is more commonly known as Epsom Salts, tastes horrific and has a highly laxative effect. When added to bath water it can help with relaxation and sore muscles.
- Foods high in magnesium include: halibut, mackerel, spinach, chard and other dark green veggies containing chlorophyll, pumpkin seeds, yogurt, almonds, cashews, black beans, avocado, figs, dark chocolate, bananas, legumes, whole grains and brown rice.
Melanie Stewart has written 2 books for children (Yum Tum, Good Food is Fun! and Yum Tum, We Get it Done!) and one for adults (Yum Tum For Everyone!) all available on Amazon or at: https://www.yumtumnutrition.com/ All content is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech laws. It’s not meant to give individual medical advice or to make any health claims on the prevention or curing of diseases.