Magnesium – Which type to take, and why.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 processes in the body including muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and blood pressure regulation making it one of the most important minerals to consume. Many people have a magnesium deficiency that can present itself in symptoms such as leg cramps, insomnia, anxiety, and headaches. Over the long term this deficiency can contribute to more serious health problems such as kidney or liver damage, Alzheimer’s and even osteoporosis because of magnesium’s ability to regulate calcium, potassium, and sodium levels.
When you purchase a magnesium supplement you are not purchasing just the magnesium on its own, it is often bound with another molecule to enhance absorption and provide a particular benefit to the body. Let’s discuss 6 types of magnesium so you know how to choose the best magnesium supplement for you!
- Magnesium Oxide is the least absorbable type of magnesium and is formed by combining magnesium and oxygen ions. It can also be referred to as Magnesia and is used specifically for acid reflux and as a laxative.
- Magnesium Citrate is the most common and affordable type of magnesium. It is attached to a citric acid molecule and has relatively good absorption. This magnesium increases water and fluid in the small intestine helping to relieve constipation among its other benefits.
- Magnesium Malate is attached to the amino acid malic acid. This magnesium has superior absorption and is particularly beneficial for muscle health and endurance, including the heart. Magnesium malate is great for those suffering with chronic pain and fatigue as well as athletes.
- Magnesium Taurate is magnesium combined with taurine. This form of magnesium is great for heart health and has been shown to lower blood pressure, and cholesterol and prevent arrhythmias.
- Magnesium Bisglycinate is highly absorbable and is formed by combining magnesium and glycine. Glycine is known for its calming qualities making this one great for anxiety, sleep, and muscle tension. This form of magnesium can be taken at higher doses without producing a laxative effect.
- Magnesium Threonate combines threonic acid and magnesium. This form of magnesium is much more effective at passing through the blood-brain barrier. It increases magnesium levels in the brain which can improve short and long term memory, help to prevent age related decline, as well as lessen the cognitive effects following a brain injury.
You can also enjoy an increase in magnesium with magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) in a bath or topically. Magnesium levels can be effectively increased trans-dermally through topical sprays or a relaxing soak! Just remember that magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) are not safe to ingest.