Oral Magnesium Supplementation
Oral magnesium supplements
What makes a good ORAL magnesium supplement?
We take a magnesium supplement for its magnesium ions (mg++)
This subject of Mg bioavailability has been quite challenging!
There are few pertinent human studies (of which, participant numbers are low
and many are carried out by manufacturing companies with a bias for their own
product; veterinary studies used animals on mineral-deficient diets, which
slants results) and there are many factors involved in the body that reduce or
encourage the metabolic utilization of a nutrient; also, I didn't put much
stock in the rat or cow studies, since our digestive systems are so different and the
variable conditions in our gut are strongly affected by our diet.
A The magnesium
ions in a good magnesium supplement molecule must be able to be separated (dissociated) from
its companion (ligand). Eg. In magnesium oxide (MgO), the mg++ ion must be
separated from its oxygen ion, or in magnesium citrate, from the citric acid. good
ORAL magnesium supplement is one that is
absorbed effectively through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream / lymph in a form
the body's cells.
separated from the ligand substance it is bonded to, the magnesium ion may meet and bond with drugs or phytates, oxalates,
carbs, fats or amino acids in
food. Magnesium supplement must be soluble to enable release
of its elemental
magnesium content from its "traveling companion". to magnesium (also calcium, iron, zinc, selenium,
chromium and manganese) making it near impossible to separate the magnesium ion for
absorption. The main benefit of the Phytates bind strongly bonds of
such as amino acid chelated magnesium,
seems to be in preventing magnesium making stronger bonds with other binding agents,
such as phytates, but still having weak enough bonds to separate for intestinal
absorption over the several hours it travels along the GI tract. It is also postulated (as yet no studies)
that the chelated magnesium amino acid molecule may be absorbed intact. medium strength
while consumed (in spinach, rhubarb,
french fries, bran flakes, nuts) tend to bind with magnesium, current studies do NOT
support their negative effect on magnesium absorption oxalates
- Take magnesium supplement away from
This prevents their almost inseparable binding of the magnesium ion in
the intestine, thereby making magnesium unavailable for absorption through the gut
wall. You do not need to concern yourself about phytic acid consumption if you are taking an amino acid chelated form of
magnesium, which prevents phytic acids from bonding to magnesium ions.
in foods. phytic acids
- Ensure a sufficiency of
has been shown
to improve magnesium absorbability; best obtained by taking a daily sunbath. vitamin D.
Vitamin D -The Sunshine Vitamin
- Split high daily doses. 100-200 mg at a time work more
efficiently; , which may result in diarrhea. Do not take more than 300-400 mg. of an oral Mg supplement at one
(see above). Many magnesium
supplements (but not chelated forms)
need stomach acid to help separate magnesium ion from its companion substance.
food stimulates stomach acid production, HCl production tends to decrease with
age and since the break down of the molecule is key to effective digestion, Take magnesium supplement with a meal, but not one containing phytic acid to better utilize dietary and/or
supplementary magnesium or other nutrients. it
may be necessary to take a betaine hydrochloric acid supplement Avoid
drugs/antacids that reduce or prevent stomach acid production.
- Avoid the many factors that cause magnesium loss
or reduce its absorption:
Why are we
short-chain sugar molecules) -
Carbohydrates, such as fructose and fermentable carbohydrates improve magnesium
absorption by feeding intestinal bacteria.
E.g. bananas, plums,
- Don't use enteric-coated (time-release)
tablets. Studies have shown time-release tablets are less absorbed than immediate release supplements.
The tablet must be able to disintegrate / dissolve in time for effective absorption in the
intestines. Fine 1991,Ricketts 1993, Rudinskas 1989, Walker 1989
Percentage of magnesium in the supplement molecule
DIfferent magnesium supplements contain different
amounts elemental magnesium in their molecules. E.g. magnesium oxide is
59% elemental magnesium; magnesium citrate is 16%, magnesium orotate is 6.2%,
magnesium gluconate is 5.5%;
However, the bioavailabilty of each form can be very
different and has to be taken into consideration;
Is there any
magnesium "companion" substance? benefit or harm
Magnesium Glutamate and Aspartate may be neurotoxic
How much magnesium to take?
How much magnesium should I take?
What form of magnesium to take?
Main recommendations for an ORAL magnesium
Prefer Transdermal Magnesium Chloride :)
Not as convenient as an oral supplement, but fast acting and very
whether one form of magnesium over another is best for oral use; getting close with my
conclusions :) For the moment a chelated form of TRAACS ® magnesium bisglycinate
(buffered) is recommended for both availability and cost-effectiveness, such as
Albion Magnesium sold by Swanson's
Forms of magnesium to stay away from
Magnesium Glutamate and Aspartate
supplement forms may be neurotoxic
Fine KD, Santa Ana CA, Porter JL, Fordtran JS. Intestinal absorption of
magnesium from food and supplements. J Clin Invest 1991;88:396-402.
Ricketts CD. Iron bioavailability from controlled-release and
conventional iron supplements. J Appl Nutr 1993;45:13-19.
Rudinskas L, Paton TW, Walker SE. Poor clinical response to
enteric-coated iron preparations. Can Med Assoc J 1989;141:565-6.
Walker SE, Paton TW, Cowan DH, et al. Bioavailability of iron in oral
ferrous sulfate preparations in healthy volunteers. Can Med Assoc J