• Pharmacy Lab

Different types of Magnesium and their Use

Updated: Dec 7, 2018

Which one is best?

Magnesium is a critical mineral for optimal health, but it’s frequently overlooked because it’s not part of routine blood tests.

Magnesium is important for many healthy body functions including, activating muscles and nerves, creating energy in your blood, helping digest proteins, carbohydrates and fats, serving as a building block for RNA and DNA synthesis, and it acts as a precursor for neurotransmitters such as serotonin.

Knowing the importance of magnesium in a healthy diet, it can be tempting to grab the first supplement you see and take the recommended dose. However, many types of magnesium are available. Magnesium does not exist alone, chemically it is always attached to another substance. This substance affects how well magnesium is absorbed and how it works in your body.

Here’s an overview of the different types of Magnesium so you can choose which one is right for you.

Magnesium Citrate

This combination includes citric acid, which has mild laxative properties. Citric acid can cause heartburn for those prone to the condition.

Magnesium Chloride/Magnesium Lactate

Both of these forms contain only about 12% magnesium, but it is more easily absorbed than other forms of magnesium.

Magnesium Glycinate

This form of magnesium typically has the highest absorption levels and is most easily used in your body. Magnesium glycinate is commonly recommended for people trying to correct a deficiency.

Magnesium Hydroxide

You probably know this better as the popular laxative, Milk of Magnesia. Take only as directed as it easy to overdose on this type.

Magnesium Malate

This form of magnesium is often used when patients suffer from fatigue.

Magnesium Oxide

Magnesium oxide is less bioavailable and is used more for its laxative properties than for magnesium supplementation.

Magnesium Sulfate aka Epsom Salts

These are not ingestible! However, they are a great source of magnesium when used as a soak because magnesium is absorbed through the skin. It also has a soothing effect on sore muscles and feet.

Magnesium Taurate

Taurine is an amino acid. When combined with magnesium, they frequently have a calming effect on both mind and body. This form is promoted for improving immune function and protecting the heart.

Magnesium Threonate

This is the newest form of magnesium and it’s still emerging in the marketplace. It appears to absorb more easily than the others and is used for people suffering from Alzheimer’s and other neurological disorders.

Depending on your overall health needs and concerns, the type of magnesium supplement you take can do more than bring your magnesium level higher. Check with your doctor about which supplement type is best for you and then come see us at The Compounding Center; we’ll help you find the one you need.


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