There are more than 10 types of magnesium, which one should you take?

Not all types of magnesium are the same, and each has its own unique benefits. Of course, some may overlap, but choosing the best iteration of a mineral can play a big role in finding the best option for you.

According to the National Institutes of Health, many Americans don’t get enough magnesium from diet alone, and chronically low magnesium levels can lead to symptoms such as decreased appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, weakness and muscle cramps.

Magnesium is a mineral needed by the human body and is a cofactor for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, explained Jim White, RDN, ACSM Ex-Powner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studio. Magnesium Benefits May include stress management and better sleep. Additionally, it is necessary for body functions such as protein synthesis, muscle contraction, nerve function, energy production, and more.

While there are many food sources of magnesium, including beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, milk and yogurt, if you are unable to meet recommended needs from food and beverages, you may need a magnesium supplement. Laura Vetter, RDN, CDCESis an outpatient dietitian at St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ.

Some types of magnesium found in supplements are more bioavailable (or more easily absorbed by the body) than others, and some types may be beneficial for specific health problems or goals. But it’s worth noting that not all available supplements are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) before they hit the shelves, so be sure to check with your doctor before adding one to your routine. Healthcare Provider.

Meet the experts: Jim White, RDN, ACSM Ex-Powner of Jim White Fitness and Nutrition Studio and Laura Vetter, RDN, CDCESis an outpatient dietitian at St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick, NJ.

Next, experts break down the differences and benefits of the most common magnesium types.

Types of Magnesium

1. Magnesium citrate

Magnesium citrate is one of the most common types of magnesium and consists of magnesium combined with citric acid. White explains that it’s one of the most bioavailable forms of magnesium. It is usually taken by mouth in capsules or powder and is used to replenish low magnesium levels. White notes that it also has natural laxative properties and is often used in medications to treat constipation.

2. Magnesium glycinate

Magnesium glycinate, which is magnesium plus the amino acid glycinate (which has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties), is the most beneficial form of magnesium, says Witt. It is usually taken by mouth in capsules or powder. It’s very bioavailable and works quickly, making it a popular choice, Vetter said. Benefits may include muscle relaxation and pain relief. White adds that it may also help reduce inflammation in the body.

3. Magnesium oxide

Magnesium oxide is magnesium bound to oxygen and is usually formulated as a capsule supplement and taken orally. White explains that it’s most commonly used to treat digestive problems such as heartburn, indigestion, constipation, and migraines. However, magnesium oxide is also less absorbed by the body than other types, White adds.

4. Magnesium chloride

Magnesium chloride is made from magnesium, chlorine and sodium. White explains that it’s often used to treat low magnesium levels and is well absorbed by the body. It can also be used topically in oil or in a bath (via soak and with salt) to soothe and relax sore muscles, but it has little effect on magnesium levels when used in this way, White adds. One study found that when taken orally, it helped lower blood pressure.

5. Magnesium sulfate

Magnesium sulfate is a combination of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. It’s given as an intravenous injection to quickly replenish low magnesium levels, Witte explains. However, the most common form of magnesium sulfate is magnesium salt (Epsom salt), which can be used in baths to relieve muscle soreness. It can also be taken orally in small doses to treat constipation.

6. Magnesium lactate

Magnesium lactate is the magnesium salt of lactic acid, Witte explains. Magnesium lactate can be taken orally as a supplement for people with low magnesium levels, Witt says. White adds that it’s easily absorbed by the body and is gentle on the digestive system. Both experts noted that this type of magnesium is also commonly used as a food additive.

7. Magnesium L-threonate

Magnesium L-threonate is magnesium bound to threonate, a substance produced during the breakdown of vitamin C. It is taken orally and has many potential benefits for brain health and may help reduce depression, the effects of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related memory loss, White said. White added that while more research is needed on this form of magnesium, it is easily absorbed and can increase magnesium levels in brain tissue.

8. Magnesium Taurate

Magnesium Taurate is made from magnesium and taurine, an amino acid. White says this form of magnesium is taken orally and may help promote healthy blood sugar levels. According to White, it may also help support healthy blood pressure, aid sleep (thanks to taurine), reduce inflammation, and support healthy digestion. However, this form requires more research.

9. Magnesium malate

Magnesium malate is magnesium plus malic acid and is thought to increase magnesium absorption. It’s used to boost low blood magnesium levels and in those with muscle pain or fatigue, Witt said. It is most commonly taken orally. White adds that magnesium malate is well absorbed by the body and doesn’t function like a laxative compared to other forms. One study found it may be beneficial for people with fibromyalgia.

10. Magnesium orotate

Magnesium Orotate is a combination of magnesium and orotic acid. Witt said orotic acid is being studied for possible links to improved athletic performance, exercise endurance and heart health. However, it is currently the most cost-effective form of magnesium supplementation.

Should you take magnesium supplements?

If you can’t get the recommended amount of magnesium from food alone, taking a magnesium supplement may help, says Witt. According to Vetter, the recommended amount for those assigned male at birth is 400-420 mg per day, and for those assigned female at birth, the recommended amount is 310-320 mg per day. As always, it’s best to check with a health care professional before adding any supplement, including magnesium, to your daily routine because there may be some food and drug interactions, adds Vetter.

A dietary supplement is a product designed to supplement the diet. They are not drugs and are not intended to treat, diagnose, mitigate, prevent, or cure disease. Use dietary supplements with caution if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Also, be careful when giving supplements to your child unless advised by a healthcare provider.

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Shannen Zitz is the Assistant Editor prevention, She covers all things lifestyle, health, beauty, and relationships.Previously served as editorial assistant prevention, She graduated from SUNY Cortland with a BA in English. When she’s not reading or writing, you might find her frequenting skincare and makeup forums on Reddit or hogging the squat rack at the gym.

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Eric M. Ascher, DO, is a board-certified family medicine physician. He completed medical school at the New York College of Osteopathic Medicine and residency and fellowship training in family medicine at Northwell Health, where he has been working ever since. Dr. Ascher practices in New York City and focuses on preventive medicine and healthy lifestyles. He is annually named to The New York Times’ “Super Doctors List” and has been named “Rising Star of the Year” and “Doctor of the Year” by Northwell Health. He hosts a YouTube series called “Hack Your Health” in partnership with Northwell Health, teaching viewers why household items can alleviate their ailments. Dr. Ascher, an assistant professor at Northwell Zucker Hillside School of Medicine at Hoftsra, has been a telemedicine pioneer throughout his career, a media expert and actively involved in practice and technology optimization. He values ​​building relationships with his patients and their families to encourage them to live long, happy and healthy lives.

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