Collection: Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral found in the body. Magnesium serves as a cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions, which include those responsible for blood pressure, glycemic control and the degradation of lipids. Without magnesium present, organs such as the heart and muscles simply shut down.

The age group most commonly suffering from magnesium deficiency include adolescents (from ages 14 to 18 years old) and both men and women over the age of 71 years old. Conditions that may influence magnesium deficiency include alcohol abuse, diabetes (increased magnesium losses via urinary excretion due high blood glucose levels and increased urine output), diseases of the digestive tract (due to chronic diarrhoea and fat malabsorption e.g. ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) and use of medications that reduce stomach acid (proton pump inhibitors) for conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux, certain chemotherapy agents and diuretics. Signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness. Severe symptoms include seizures, numbness and tingling in the hands, changes in personality, skeletal muscle cramps and contractions and cardiac arrhythmia.

Foods rich in magnesium include dark green leafy vegetables, whole grains, and legumes, but the body only absorbs around 30% to 40% of magnesium from foods. Lifestyle factors can also negatively impact absorption, therefore many individuals prefer to supplement the mineral. Magnesium absorption may decrease with age, varies with dietary protein intake, and can even be affected in those with gastrointestinal disorders. Including a magnesium supplement in your diet may be one approach to make sure you are getting enough of this essential mineral.

Magnesium supplementation may be helpful for conditions such as migraines, menstrual pain, constipation and reflux. Magnesium is also beneficial for lowering blood glucose in individuals with prediabetes who have low magnesium levels. Adequate magnesium levels have cardiovascular benefits and maintaining a proper ratio of magnesium to calcium may have cognitive benefits.

According to the National Institute of Health (NIH), males between 31 and 50 years of age should have 420mg per day of magnesium. Women in the same age group (between 31 and 50 years) should receive 360 mg daily. If 300 - 400mg of magnesium is not being met by the diet, then supplementation is required. Magnesium supplementation with 200mg is a safe and efficient dosage. If a known deficiency is identified then doses of 250 - 600 mg are recommended daily. It is important to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner to find out the correct dosage and form of magnesium suitable for you.

Elemental magnesium is the amount of actual magnesium available within each salt. Magnesium oxide is about 60% magnesium, which means that 400mg of magnesium oxide only provides about 240mg of actual elemental magnesium. Other salts provide even lower percentages. Elemental magnesium refers to the volume of magnesium that the body can actually absorb and use.

Magnesium supplements in powder form should be completely dissolved in water before taking it to avoid esophageal injury. Magnesium can bind with certain medications and prevent their full absorption. These include statins and tetracycline-type medications. The best way to avoid this is to take them 2-3 hours apart. Supplementation with magnesium may cause nausea, diarrhea and an upset stomach in some individuals. Excessive intake of magnesium may cause thirst, low blood pressure, drowsiness, muscle weakness and slowed breathing.

Magnesium bis-glycinate is one of the most highly bioavailable forms, meaning it is well absorbed into the bloodstream. This form of magnesium is unique in that it is attached to an amino acid, glycine. Glycine is known to promote a calming effect on the nervous system which makes this form of magnesium recommended where sleep disturbances, muscle spasms, or high stress levels are present.

Magnesium citrate has been the form of choice for many individuals, most likely because it has been shown to improve clinical outcomes for many health conditions. This form of magnesium is attached to citric acid, which is well absorbed into the bloodstream and has the ability to relax musculature and improve one’s stress response. This form of magnesium is an osmotic laxative, which means it relaxes the bowels and pulls water into the intestines. The water assists in softening and bulking up the stools, which makes it easier to pass, being recommended for individuals who experience constipation. It can also support those that may have difficulty sleeping. Magnesium citrate also provides enhanced muscle function (supports muscle relaxation and contraction), modulates the body’s stress response and supports cardiovascular health (regulating blood pressure and maintaining normal heart rhythm).

Magnesium chloride is one of the forms of magnesium which may be absorbed better. It is less likely to cause diarrhea and is recommended if a high dose of magnesium is required. It is recommended to take in liquid form as it tends to hold onto water which can cause the tablet form to disintegrate.

Magnesium L-threonate is an amino acid chelate form of magnesium bound to threonic acid. Amino acid forms of magnesium are easily absorbed from the gut without the need for stomach acid and is associated with decreased intestinal discomfort.This is the newest form of magnesium available and has shown a superior ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and improve cognitive function when compared to the other forms of magnesium. This form is best utilized when cognitive support is needed and mental relaxation, or to improve concentration. Certain studies have found that magnesium L-threonate may increase synaptic plasticity (the ability of neurons to modify the strength of their connections) resulting in improving certain aspects of cognition and memory.

Magnesium oxide is a form that is frequently used in supplements because the size of this compound is very small, therefore large amounts can be packaged in capsules or tablets without occupying much space. This form is a poor source of magnesium and has been known to cause undesirable digestive symptoms such as loose stools and intestinal cramping when taken at high doses.


Magnesium orotate is a combination of magnesium and orotic acid. A study found that supplementation with 6000 mg magnesium orotate daily for one month, followed by 3000mg for 11 months in individuals with heart disease, reduced the risk of mortality by 25%. Heart failure symptoms also improved in 40% of patients.

Magnesium malate is a form that is chosen for use in any health conditions where cellular energy needs to be supported. Malic acid (from malate) supports energy production inside cells so individuals who suffer from sore muscles, muscle pain, or body discomfort may experience relief from the use of this form.

These topical applications of magnesium may help with muscle and joint pains, relieve migraine pain, assist with anxiety and sleep and even boost energy levels. If you suffer from severe kidney dysfunction disorders, cardiac conduction disorders (atrioventricular block) or myasthenia gravis (rare muscle disease), please consult with your healthcare practitioner before using topical magnesium applications.

Bath salts, also known as epsom salts, consist of magnesium sulfate. Epsom salts help to promote stress relief, used to relax muscles and relieve pain in the shoulders, neck, back and skull. When purchasing epsom salts, look for a product that is 100% magnesium sulfate. Epsom salts are not recommended for individuals with severe skin inflammation, skin infections and open wounds.

30 products