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Updated: Jun 15, 2022

Magnesium is an abundant mineral in the body and is one of the necessary electrolytes needed for good health. It is naturally present in many foods, added to other food products, in dietary supplements, and present in some medicines (antacids and laxatives).

Magnesium plays a part in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate biochemical reactions, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. It is required for energy production, contributes to the structural development of bone, helps to the synthesis of DNA, and plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium across cell membranes.

At-risk groups for magnesium inadequacy are people with gastrointestinal diseases like Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, small intestine malabsorption issues, type 2 diabetes, alcohol dependency, hypertension and cardiovascular disease, and chronic migraines.

The adult body contains approximately 25 g of magnesium, primarily present in the bones and the remainder in soft tissues. Intake recommendations for magnesium are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB).

Below are the kinds of magnesium in more detail:

Magnesium glycinate contains the amino acid glycine, which assists protein structure, improves sleep, and benefits inflammatory conditions, depression, heart disease, and diabetes.

Magnesium citrate is bound with citric acid and is one of the most popular magnesium supplements because it quickly absorbs, raises magnesium levels, and assists with constipation.

Magnesium oxide is a salt that combines magnesium and oxygen and relieves heartburn and constipation. It is not well absorbed by the body and is an excellent choice to raise magnesium levels.

Magnesium chloride is easily absorbed and used to treat heartburn, constipation, and low magnesium levels. Also, applying it topically may help relieve muscle soreness but not boost your magnesium levels.

Magnesium lactate is the salt formed when magnesium binds with lactic acid. It is easily absorbed and maybe a little gentler on your digestive system than other types for people who need larger doses.

Magnesium malate includes malic acid, which occurs naturally in foods like fruit and wine. It has a sour taste and is often used as a food additive to enhance flavor, and has less of a laxative effect.

Magnesium laurate contains the amino acid taurine and helps to regulate healthy blood sugar and pressure.

Magnesium L-threonate is the salt formed with magnesium and vitamin C, which can help manage brain disorders, depression, and possible memory loss.

Magnesium sulfate is commonly combined with sulfur and oxygen and is known as Epsom salts. It can treat constipation taken orally, but the first choice in the bath, relieving stress, soreness, and achiness.

Magnesium orotate has orotic acid, which assists in the building of DNA, promotes healthy heart function, is easily absorbed, and does not have a strong laxative effect.

Sources of Magnesium

Magnesium is widely food in plant and animal foods and beverages. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, are good sources. In general, foods containing dietary fiber provide magnesium. Magnesium is also added to some breakfast cereals and other fortified foods. It is found in tap, mineral, and bottled waters, but the amount varies by source and brand.

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