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Magnesium Menubar
Oral Magnesium Supplementation

Oral magnesium supplementation

Bioavailability of Mg

 Ensure Mg in supplement is bioavailable -since many magnesium supplements are poorly absorbed, it is important to choose one that is bio–available - i.e.able to be absorbed and utilized by the body's cells.

–   Only approx. 1/3 to ½ of oral Mg is absorbed by the body - even under the best conditions of intestinal health. Mg supplied in food or oral supplements is primarily absorbed in the far end of the small intestines and then transported via the blood to cells and tissues.

NIH Magnesium Facts Sheet

–   Absorption rate is affected by body's levels of Mg, Calcium, phosphate, phylate, and protein

–   Uptake involves various transport systems - such as the vitamin D-sensitive transport system. For optimum absorption, ensure sufficient vitamin D, preferably by taking a daily sunbath.

Vitamin D –The Sunshine Vitamin

–   GI disorders impair Mg absorption - E.g. Crohn's disease, IBS

–   Optimum absorption from the intestines requires a minimum 12 hour transit time – according to Dr. Shealy in his book Holy Water, Sacred Oil: The Fountain of Youth. This allows sufficient time for absorption. Unfortunately many Mg forms cause diarrhea, thus speeding up the transit time and of course expelling the Mg in the stools.

–   A slow-release form of Mg would prevent diarrhea and better similate food consumption of Mg - i.e. in smaller doses

 

Only those forms of Mg having high ionic availability are good choices for supplementation - not unlike other minerals, Mg occurs in various organic/inorganic and high/low ionic forms. Poor, inorganic or ionic sources are not well-absorbed (E.g. Magnesium oxide, magnesium carbonate). Magnesium oxide has been shown to have only ~4% absorption rate and is primarily used as a laxative.

Firoz M, Graber M. Bioavailability of US commercial magnesium preparations. Magnesium Research. 2001; 14: 257-62.

 

–    All non-magnesium chloride forms require a sufficiency of hydrogen chloride for their absorption – a problem for many aging people, especially with chronic diseases. If chloride is not supplied with Mg, as in magnesium chloride, then our body needs to produce additional hydrochloric acid to convert the Mg in the supplement to chlorides to be able to absorb them (any supplemental Mg salt ionizes into Mg plus whatever other substance it is attached to)

–   Some forms may cause diarrhea - which depletes magnesium - E.g. magnesium carbonate, sulphate (Epsom Salts), citrate, carbonate, bicarbonate and magnesium hydroxide (“Milk of Magnesia”)

So What are the best choices for oral Mg supplementation?

OK sources: magnesium acetate,   gluconate,   lactate,   malate,   ascorbate;

Amino acid chelated forms are well absorbed - magnesium orotate, glycinate, succinate, taurinate, aspartate (but possibly neurotoxic, see below), lysinate, alpha-ketogluconate or arginate. Although, well absorbed these forms still lack the beneficial contribution of chloride ions required for Mg absorption (body must produce the chloride ions).

–   Choose a FULLY-chelated supplement – some companies produce a supplement containing only some chelated Mg and the rest inorganic.

–   HIGHLY RECOMMENDED are Pure Albion Laboratories mineral chelates - Look for Patent Number 4,599,153 Albion Laboratories on the label and ensure the entire tablet/capsule is Albion chelate and not a combination mixed with other ionized Mg sources.

Sold under the brand names: Douglas Labs Amino-Mag 200 (magnesium glycinate and lysinate), Solgar chelated Magnesium, J.R. Carlson Chelated Magnesium, and others

Magnesium Citrate, Glutamate and Aspartate may be neurotoxic

Aspartate and glutamate are excitatory neurotransmitters (i.e.brain chemicals that stimulate neurons to fire) - At high doses (consumed either independently or in excess of other protein–containing foods. E.g., as components of food additives or nutritional supplements like magnesium aspartate), they can potentially stimulate neurons to the point of injury or death, called excitotoxicity. In animal studies, neuroscientists found that aspartic acid loads on the same brain receptors as glutamic acid, to cause identical brain lesions and neuroendocrine disorders as glutamic acid, and to act in an additive fashion with glutamic acid.(Similar brain-receptor “overload”results from consuming mono sodium glutamate and the artificial sweetener aspartame, which contains aspartate)

Aspartame –Excitoxin

MSG –And other forms of neurotoxic free glutamic acid

Magnesium citrate can also contain aspartate and glutamate in its citrate component - according to Jack Samuels, President of the Truth in Labeling Campaign, “. . . the magnesium has been chelated with citric acid. Most of the citric acid used in this country is made from corn. Producers of corn based citric acid do not take the time nor undertake the expense to remove all protein from the product. During production, the remaining protein is broken down, resulting in some glutamic acid and some aspartic acid”.

The blood brain barrier (BBB) only partially protects the brain against neurotoxicity - the BBB is a selective filter, which regulates the level of excitatory amino acids in the brain to a degree. However, some structures of the brain, and in particular the hypothalamuswhich is involved in regulating appetite, emotions, energy levels, and hormonal balance, are not protected by the BBB. It is ironic that those who most need Mg to counter neuronal excitation, suffering from such as migraines, depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, epileptics, should then suffer neuronal damage from the chelate part of the Mg supplement:

–   Brain damage in mice from voluntary ingestion of glutamate and aspartate - When glutamate and aspartate were added to the water of laboratory mice, the mice voluntarily ingested enough of these substances to cause brain (hypothalamic) damage

–    Aspartame (containing asparate) exacerbates EEG spike–wave discharge in children with generalized absence epilepsy: a double–blind controlled study

–    Relief of fibromyalgia symptoms following discontinuation of dietary excitotoxins.

–    Adverse reactions to aspartame: double–blind challenge in patients from those with depression and mood disorders -“Although the protocol required the recruitment of 40 patients with unipolar depression and a similar number of individuals without a psychiatric history, the project was halted by the Institutional Review Board after a total of 13 individuals had completed the study because of the severity of reactions within the group of patients with a history of depression.”

–   Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment.

 Magnesium asparate worsened depression symptoms, in contrast, magnesium glycinate and taurinate forms markedly benefited depressive symptoms

Quote from study:

“Magnesium glutamate and magnesium aspartate greatly worsened the 59–year old man's depression. . .These magnesium compounds should be considered as neurotoxic to depressives, and perhaps all people, and should not be used during treatment of depression, anxiety or similar hyperemotional disorders.”

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