Magnesium: Reactions, Most Common Forms and Recommended Amounts


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By Dr. Jason Jones, Discussions with successful health experts such as Ben Greenfield, and Terry Wa. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Magnesium is one of the essential minerals needed for overall health and wellbeing. It represents the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, and it is present in many whole foods like legumes, green leafy vegetables, seeds, and nuts.

But studies have shown that about two-thirds of the western population doesn’t meet their magnesium needs with diet alone. And low levels have been linked to health ailments, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes, migraines, and mood disorders.

That’s more reason why a lot of people turn to magnesium supplements. However, it can be difficult knowing which supplement is appropriate for you as there are multiple varieties of supplemental magnesium.

Reactions of magnesium in the body

Magnesium is needed for over 400 metabolic reactions that contribute to healthy living. Some of the reactions this mineral in the body include:

  • It helps in the conversion of food into cellular energy needed to transmit nerve impulses
  • It helps in nerve signal transmission
  • It is needed alongside calcium in equal proportion to control muscle contraction and relaxation
  • It supports the absorption of other minerals and vitamins, especially potassium, calcium, sodium, and vitamin D
  • It is needed for bone growth and density
  • It helps to balance blood sugar levels and dilate blood vessels

Best Absorbable forms of magnesium

Magnesium comes in many different forms, but they differ in bioavailability. Some are not efficiently absorbed by the body, even when they appear to have high amounts of magnesium. So it is important to always know if your body can make use of it.

Below are the various forms of magnesium and their uses:

Magnesium citrate

This is a form of magnesium that is bound with citric acid. It is one of the most common formulations and studies have shown that it is one of the most absorbable forms of magnesium. This means that magnesium citrate is better absorbed than other forms.

It is typically used to replenish low magnesium levels, and sometimes at higher doses, it can be used as a laxative to treat constipation.

Magnesium chloride

Magnesium chloride is one form of magnesium that gets absorbed easily in the oral cavity and it is used to treat constipation, heartburn, and low levels of magnesium. You can also apply it topically to relieve muscle soreness.

Magnesium oxide

This form combines magnesium and oxygen to form a salt. It may be sold in capsule or powder form, and it is used to relieve digestive issues like heartburn and constipation.

However, this salt is not typically used to treat magnesium deficiencies, as it has been reported to be poorly absorbed by the digestive tract. It is the cheapest and most commonly used in supplements.

Other forms of magnesium include:

  • Magnesium lactate
  • Magnesium chloride
  • Magnesium malate
  • Magnesium L-threonate
  • Magnesium taurate
  • Magnesium glycinate
  • Magnesium sulfate

Dosage and possible side effects of magnesium

The average recommended daily amount of magnesium for men is 420 mg and 320 mg for women. This is one good reason for you to check labels of supplement formulations, to ensure you’re taking the appropriate dose.

However, if you have to take magnesium in absorbable forms, always look for products tested by a third party, such as NSF International, USP, and ConsumerLab.

Lastly, it is important to always speak with your healthcare provider before trying any dietary supplement.

So, you can consult Dr. Jason Jones at our Chiropractic office at Elizabeth City NC, to get advice on the best diets to meet your daily magnesium needs. You’ll also get recommendations of the ideal magnesium supplement if you’re unable to meet your daily needs.

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