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The Magnificent Powers of Magnesium

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What Type of Magnesium is Right For You?

Magnesium is involved in more than 300 metabolic reactions in the body, including the production of energy and blood pressure regulation.

Research is being conducted into the impact of low magnesium levels on health conditions such as type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

There are ten types of magnesium supplements available, with each having its own unique benefits.

Benefits of Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate

Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, often called chelated magnesium, is a highly effective form of magnesium, commonly used in nutritional supplements.

Because it is chelated with the amino acid glycine, it is easier to absorb, compared to traditional magnesium in the form of salts. The body uses glycine in protein construction and is found in several protein-rich foods including meat, fish and dairy.

Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate for Sleep

Several studies of glycinate, which is one amino acid commonly combined with magnesium, in animals, suggested it can help improve sleep and treat some inflammatory conditions. However, this research is still in its early stages, and more research is needed.

Research has also been undertaken into the calming properties of magnesium glycinate. It discovered use of the supplement may help to reduce mental health issues, including anxiety, depression and stress, and ease in the reduction of the impacts of insomnia.

Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate for Testosterone Function

Several studies have shown potential improvements in testosterone function when supplementing with magnesium.

One study over four weeks assessed how supplementation and exercise affected the levels of testosterone in sportsmen practicing tae kwon do. Split into three study groups, overall results showed supplementation helped increase values in both those who were sedentary in a control group, and athletes – with the increases higher for those who exercised.

Another study investigated the potential interplay of magnesium and the positive influence it can have on anabolic hormonal status, including testosterone. Published in 2014, it discovered male individuals with a lower concentration of magnesium in their body and testosterone deficiency could benefit from magnesium to target physical performance.

Benefits of Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium citrate is bound with citric acid and is one of the more common formulations used in magnesium supplements.

A 2019 study of 14 male participants suggested that it is more easily absorbed into the body than other forms.

Magnesium citrate is usually taken orally to help replenish low magnesium levels. It’s a natural laxative and can sometimes be taken at a higher dose to treat constipation. It can also be marketed to help relieve symptoms of mental ill health, however more research is needed to back those claims.

Uses for Magnesium Oxide

Magnesium oxide is a salt, combining magnesium and oxygen. In this form, it is a white powdery substance and is sold in either powder or capsule form. Studies have shown it’s poorly absorbed in the digestive tract, meaning it isn’t commonly used to prevent or treat deficiencies.

Magnesium oxide is mostly used to relieve digestive symptoms like heartburn, indigestion and constipation. It is also used to treat and prevent migraine episodes, with more research needed to confirm magnesium deficiency can contribute to migraine attacks.

Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride is a magnesium salt, which has several beneficial uses for the body. It’s a type of magnesium that is well absorbed and is often used to treat low magnesium levels.

Magnesium chloride is frequently taken in capsule or tablet form and is also used as an ingredient in topical treatments like lotions and oils. These products are used to soothe and relax sore muscles, but research doesn’t show significant links between their use and improved magnesium levels in the body.

What Is Magnesium Lactate?

Magnesium lactate is formed when magnesium salt is bound with lactic acid, with lactic acid produced by muscle and blood cells. Lactic acid is also manufactured as a preservative and flavouring agent.

Magnesium lactate is commonly used as a food additive to regulate acidity and fortify foods and beverages. It’s less popular as an over-the-counter dietary supplement but is easily absorbed and may benefit people who need to take large doses of magnesium regularly. A study of people with a rare condition requiring magnesium treatment, showed fewer digestive side effects when taking magnesium lactate tablets compared with those in a control group.

This form of magnesium can also be used to treat stress and anxiety.

Magnesium Malate to Boost Magnesium Levels

Magnesium malate, magnesium with malic acid, is another well-absorbed type, making it a popular option for replenishing magnesium levels. It’s been reported to be gentler on the digestive system and have less of a laxative effect than other popular types.

Some studies have found magnesium malate can treat conditions such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue symptoms, but more high-quality research is needed to be sure it has significant benefits.

Magnesium Taurate for Healthy Blood

Research has shown adequate intake of the amino acid taurine and magnesium can play a role in regulating blood sugar levels, making it potentially beneficial to people with diabetic conditions. 

Studies have also shown magnesium taurate can help support healthy blood pressure. One research study conducted on rats in 2018 found rats with high blood pressure treated with magnesium taurate saw significantly reduced blood pressure, indicating this may help boost heart health but more research is needed.

Magnesium L-threonate and Brain Function

Another easily absorbed type of magnesium, this salt is formed by mixing magnesium with threonic acid, a water-soluble substance created when Vitamin C is broken down.

Research on animals has shown Magnesium L-threonate may be the most effective type of magnesium for increasing concentration levels in brain cells. It’s commonly used for its potential benefits for the brain, with studies suggesting it may help with the management of certain disorders including depression, Alzheimer’s disease and age-related memory loss.

Magnesium Sulfate to Soothe Aching Muscles

Ever heard of magnesium sulfate? Maybe not, but you’ve most likely heard of Epsom Salts. This popular type of magnesium is formed by combining magnesium with sulfur and oxygen. 

It’s a white salt, commonly dissolved in bathwater to help soothe sore and aching muscles and reduce stress, as well as being included in skincare products like lotions and body oils. There is little evidence that suggests this type of magnesium is well absorbed through the skin.

It can be used in capsule form to treat constipation, but it has an unpleasant taste, and using too much or too often can be dangerous.

Magnesium Orotate for Heart Health

The tenth type of magnesium is blended with orotic acid, a natural substance involved in the construction of genetic material including DNA. It’s another type of magnesium that is easily absorbed in the body, and doesn’t have the strong laxative effects of other types of magnesium.

Research has suggested it may promote heart health with orotic acid playing a role in the energy production pathways in the heart and blood vessel tissue. Due to this, it is popular with athletes and fitness junkies.

It may also aid people with heart disease. A study of 79 people with severe congestive heart failure found that compared with a placebo, magnesium orotate supplements were much more effective for managing symptoms and overall survival.

Should I Take A Magnesium Supplement?

The type of magnesium you should consider depends on any deficiencies and goals. It’s always recommended you contact a health professional before adding any nutritional supplements to your diet, especially with the risk of magnesium causing symptoms like diarrhea.

If you’re deficient in magnesium, it’s recommended that you try and eat a diet of magnesium-rich foods including vegetables, nuts, legumes and whole grains – dark chocolate is also said to contain good magnesium which doesn’t sound like a bad idea!

People regularly undertaking physical activity who are looking to ease their aching muscles could see benefit from regular baths bath using Epsom Salt/magnesium sulfate.

Bulk Nutrients Expert - Ebony Abblitt

Ebony Abblitt

Ebony is our resident wordsmith here at Bulk! A reforming journalist and a graduate of the University of Tasmania, she's our resident copywriter, cat mum, pilates princess and (self appointed) Chief Swiftie!

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