FOR SEVERAL YEARS, THERE HAS BEEN A GREAT INTEREST THAT HAS FORMED AROUND THE MAGNESIUM FOR ITS MULTIPLE HEALTH BENEFITS (CARDIAC, NERVOUS, HORMONAL, DIGESTIVE, STRESS, etc.).
IT IS ONE OF THE MOST DEFICIENT MINERALS IN NORTH AMERICA, AND HOWEVER, IT IS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT, BECAUSE IT IS INVOLVED IN 800 METABOLIC FUNCTIONS! SOMEONE WITH DEFICIENCY MAY EXPERIENCE IRRITABILITY, ANXIETY, CRAMPS, TREMENCES …
HOWEVER, WHEN PURCHASING MAGNESIUM, THERE ARE SEVERAL FORMS. TO KNOW WHICH FORM IS THE MOST SUITABLE FOR OUR OBJECTIVE, ONE MUST CONSIDER SEVERAL FACTORS (ABSORPTION, DIGESTIVE TOLERANCE, THERAPEUTIC EFFECT OF WHICH COMPLETE MAGNESIUM…)
IF YOU DON’T HAVE THE TIME TO READ IT ALL, HERE IS A SMALL SUMMARY DIAGRAM OF THE MOST INTERESTING FORMS OF MAGNESIUM:
- FOR ENERGY PRODUCTION: MALATE, FUMARATE, CITRATE, SUCCINATE
- FOR CARDIOVASCULAR HEALTH: TAURATE
- FOR NEUROLOGICAL HEALTH: BISGLYCINATE, TAURATE, GLYCEROPHOSPHATE, THREONATE
- FOR DIGESTIVE TRANSIT: CITRATE, CHLORIDE
- FOR JOINT HEALTH: MALATE, CHLORIDE (TOPICAL), SULFATE (BATH)
- TO FILL A GAP: BISGLYCINATE
- GENERAL: BISGLYNATE, CITRATE (LESS EFFICIENT THAN BISGLYNATE IN ABSORPTION, LESS EXPENSIVE, TRANSIT AID)
If you have any interest in natural health and supplements, chances are you’ve heard of them.
Its deficiency is one of the top 5 most omnipresent deficiencies in North America.
It is found especially in everything that is dark green vegetables, but also in some nuts / seeds and fish. I will continue on the subject of its deficiency, then I will continue with what exactly does magnesium do.
Why is it a deficiency? In addition to the fact that the foods previously named are not consumed enough, refined cereals (often consumed) are low in magnesium. Also, magnesium competes with other nutrients (calcium, phosphorus). So even if magnesium is required for the proper absorption of calcium, they compete. This is a detail to consider if you are taking a calcium supplement. In addition, if you eat a lot of meat (phosphorus) and very little (too little) vegetables, phosphorus will compete with magnesium.
You will ask me ‘’ but some foods are rich in calcium AND magnesium !? ’’. Yes indeed. That said, the food (e.g. spinach) is always well dosed. Therefore, in addition to ensuring that we have a well-balanced diet, we should also be concerned with competitions between high-dose nutrients, therefore more in the context of supplements, for example.
Another important point that should not be overlooked as a factor in the malnutrition of magnesium is the diet high in sugar! 1 sugar produces 36 ATP (unit of energy of the body), but ATP, to form, requires as much magnesium! So the more sweet you eat, the more magnesium you need.
Other causes can promote magnesium deficiency:
Why is magnesium an important nutrient?
It has 800 functions in the body. In 1970, we knew 300, today it performs 600 functions and activates 200 enzymes.
It is involved in functions such as energy production, heart function, blood pressure, testosterone levels, muscle relaxation, helping with stress management, glycemia management, etc. It is also involved in everything that is depression, ADHD, cramp, blood sugar, physical performance …
PS: the majority of people who take magnesium before going to bed at night sleep better.
If you want to know about its other functions, I suggest you go to the https://examine.com/supplements/magnesium/ site which has made it a free public meta-analysis containing 412 scientific references on the subject. You will therefore have a reliable source full of information. with the proper dosages for health benefits.
After reading all the benefits of magnesium, you will understand why it is one of the most beloved supplements by naturopaths.
How do you know if you are deficient in magnesium? Of course, only a doctor can confirm this, but here is what to give you some potential clues.
Is there a way to test it if I’m not sure I am deficient? Yes voici Here they are! Note that the blood test may or may not be a good test. Let’s explain: besides what is indicated in the following table, you should know that magnesium is an electrolyte.
An electrolyte is important because it is involved in the proper functioning of cells, the management of pH as well as nerve transmission (and that is beyond the heart health in which magnesium is involved!). An electrolyte deficiency can be serious! (Whatever an excess can be too, but a deficiency is more common).
Because of this, the body wants to maintain its blood magnesium balance as much as possible, and to do so, it can “dip” into the body’s reserves where there are some.
So, before a deficiency is diagnosed (ex: to notice in a blood test), it is possible that we are in “ process ” of deficiency, or rather in non-optimal rates: the assimilated quantity is less than the amount required to fill the body’s needs = you may have symptoms as shown in the image Box 3 such as anxiety and irritability for a long time before having more serious symptoms such as insufficiency when it happens, in general, there are major factors that explain this.
In conclusion: The rate may not be optimal, which may cause several hundred functions in your body to be non-optimal, but not yet serious enough for your doctor to diagnose it.
I remind you that only your doctor can diagnose and interpret the test results.
While the majority of people lack magnesium, an excess is possible. Here are the causes:
We therefore understand from the functions of magnesium that it is very important and that its popular deficiency makes it a must!
This is why it is often suggested to take a magnesium supplement.
What is special about magnesium in supplementation is that there are many forms of magnesium. I’ve already heard that there were 48 (that’s if there’s been more since … unfortunately I have been unable to find any information on these 48 forms). It can be an inorganic, organic or chelated form (chelated = linked to an amino acid: it is the best for absorption). We mix magnesium with something else, otherwise the atom would be unstable.
In itself, magnesium remains magnesium and fulfills about 800 functions, but it is this little something that comes with it that it will act more on certain functions as well as on the absorption level of magnesium and its amount in a capsule. A little absorbed magnesium (or just too much) is a magnesium which creates a more laxative effect in addition to these other potential functions. It is also the first symptom of excess magnesium. Here are the forms that have the greatest incidence of laxative effect.
The needs of this mineral are estimated at around 200-400 mg / day (rely on elemental magnesium – if indicated – on the labels), but it may be necessary more or less depending on the case , forms and person (age, stress, physical activity, blood sugar management, etc.).
Interesting fact: unless you have a low dosage of magnesium, the majority of companies supplement their good form of magnesium with a cheaper one (ex: magnesium oxide). These companies do this for 2 reasons: 1) Putting in just the right shape would be expensive 2) Magnesium oxide, a small molecule, is made up of about 50% magnesium even if it is little assimilated … l The idea is to find the ideal ratio of oxide and, for example, bisglycinate, in the capsule to have the most magnesium at the best price. It’s just a math question! Only the companies who were “warned” had to mention it, but that does not mean that others did not!
In addition, you can find it in the form of oligotherapy, that is to say in the form of a trace. Unless you have symptoms of magnesium deficiency and which you need to replenish, someone who is not too deficient (or in diarrhea, so who absorbs little) could benefit from this form as an enzyme cofactor while allowing ideal absorption.
Regarding magnesium capsule / tablet vs liquid, the tendency would be to believe that in liquid, it would be more advantageous to absorb as much as possible while ensuring to be as much as possible in contact with the most intestinal mucosa. .
You can also find it in certain forms and homeopathic dilutions to benefit from the advantages, but in a more energetic way. Convenient in cases of interactions with medication or major kidney problems.
Important fact to know : If you are taking medication, not only should you have it checked for potential interactions, but you may need to space it for at least 2 hours of any medication (that’s ‘applies to a large majority), otherwise you could affect the absorption of it-
Here are the different forms of magnesium which I have information on this subject to better guide you. Please note that this is only the average of what I saw, but that some information is not completely exact. Over time, science will tell us more.
- Hydroxide: Antacid and / or laxative I have only seen one author who said that this form helps the lymphatic system, but I have not found any studies on this subject yet …
- Oxide: Laxative, 58% of the molecule is magnesium, absorption rate of about 10%.
- Citrate: Versatile, about 11% of the molecule is magnesium, absorption rate of 25%. Citrate is involved in the Krebs cycle which is a biochemical process allowing the production of energy. Note: The Garden of Life company made an effervescent magnesium. Because of Health Canada standards, they had to mention Magnesium Carbonate, but in fact, it is Magnesium citrate, because Magnesium carbonate + citric acid = magnesium citrate
- Aspartate: Exciter, 7% of the molecule is magnesium, absorption rate of 30%.
- Bisglycinate: Chronic pain, anxiety, insomnia, muscle tension, 11% of the molecule is magnesium, absorption rate of 90-100% (if we rely on studies by the company Trophic, that said, it is a very assimilable form whatever it is). The glycinate form does not necessarily want to refer to a molecule containing a glycine molecule … if you want to be sure of having the best, take a bisglycinate. A glycinate, it seems that this is a term dedicated to refer with magnesium combined with a certain number X of glycine. The more there is, the easier it is to absorb it. When there are 1 or 2 wisteria, it’s very well assimilated. Note that the absorption rate comes from a study the company did … so it may be biased. On the other hand, another naturopath has already shown me studies that show that it cannot be absorbed 100% … we have yet to learn on the subject
- Malate: Fibromyalgia, energy production, chelation, 11% of the molecule is magnesium, absorption rate of 60% Malate is involved in the Krebs cycle which is a biochemical process allowing the production of energy.
- Orotate: cardiovascular health, 7% of the molecule is magnesium
- Taurate: heart function, insulin sensitivity (management of blood sugar), myo-calming, nerve conduction, 8.8% of the molecule is magnesium, absorption rate of about 40-60%. Well absorbed in the brain to such an extent that it takes little to meet daily needs. Another naturopath has already shown me very recent studies on magnesium taurate … it does not take much to reach the recommended needs because it is well assimilated! Without having the % of absorption figures in this same study, it suggests to me that the average that I mentioned could potentially be revised upwards
- Chloride: topical muscle use as muscle relaxant, metabolic function, blood pressure, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant / anxiety, anti-infectious, 50% of the molecule is magnesium, absorption rate of about 11%. There would be some works reporting mucolytic effects for the respiratory system …
- Threonate: passes the blood-brain barrier, increases synaptic density, 8.1% of the molecule is magnesium, absorption rate of about 60-80%. If we want the official claim to say that it helps concussions, you will find it with small dosages of vitamins C and D as in the Mind Mag of ATP
- Sulfate (Epsom salt): muscle relaxant, draining, very powerful laxative if it is a good quality magnesium which can and is consumed orally (but only in case of emergency). In bath, the standard quantity suggested would be 1 cup, but for anti-inflammatory properties, it would be 6 cups / bath for 2-3 baths / week. PS: If you have kidney problems, forget about magnesium supplements, including Epsom salts in the bath!!!
- Gluconate: good absorption, generally used in trace elements in small quantities (except ex: Monnol Ion-Mag)
- Picolinate: good absorption
- Carbonate: Antacid, poorly absorbable which is usually found in pharmacies and which causes digestive disorders (precisely by its antacid appearance)
- Stearate: Lubricant (for the industrial aspect) and preservative; never seen sold as is in a natural health product store personally
- Phosphate; never seen sold as is in a natural health product store personally
- Nitrate; never seen sold as is in a natural health product store personally
- Glutamate️; never seen sold as is in a natural health product store personally
- Fluoride; not recommended; never seen sold as is in a natural health product store personally
- Acetate; never seen sold as is in a natural health product store personally
- Fumarate; never seen sold as is in a natural health product store personally, but would aid energy production since fumarate is involved in the Krebs cycle (the cellular energy production cycle).
- Gluceptate; never seen sold as is in a natural health product store personally; through my research, I only saw the name of the molecule without further details
- Glutarate; never seen sold as is in a natural health product store personally; through my research, I only saw the name of the molecule without further details
- Glycerophosphate; Di Glycerophosphate is another form very well assimilated in the brain
- Lactate; lactate is a precursor molecule of pyruvate in the liver before being used by the Krebs cycle which is a biochemical process which allows the production of energy
- Pidolate; never seen sold as is in a natural health product store personally; through my research, I only saw the name of the molecule without further details
- Succinate; succinate is involved in the Krebs cycle which is a biochemical process that allows the production of energy
I have no information on the other existing forms.
In summary, among the recommended forms that you will most often find in stores:
- For energy: Malate, Fumarate, Citrate, Succinate
- For cardiovascular health: Taurate, Orotate
- For neurological health: Bisglycinate, Taurate, Glycerophosphate, Threonate
- For digestive transit: Citrate, Chloride, Sulfate (for emergencies)
- For joint health: Malate, Chloride, Sulfate
- To fill a deficiency: Bisglycinate (cheap, very assimilated: it could be taken for any reason except for the laxative effect, then there, the doses should be increased by a lot!)
- Generally: Bisglycinate (more relaxing) or Citrate (less assimilated, less expensive, helps more energy and transit)
Here are a few other major references that sum up the subject (but may not necessarily include absolutely everyone, no matter what the majority).
Some figures and forms come from several other sources which I have averaged (example: for citrate, I saw figures in 20 and 40% on average of absorption) – the approximate idea remains relatively the same – but the majority come from the two references above. For the rest, I do not have more information at the moment. You may see other forms of magnesium through other supplements. I
Besides that, it only remains to look at the non-medicinal agents to know the quality of the product. Often, in magnesium products, you will find magnesium stearate which is an agent used for the lubrication of industrial machines, which saves the cleaning costs of these. However, some people may experience digestive disorders after consuming this agent, much like xanthan gum.
Now, magnesium products have no secrets for you 🙂
Now, which magnesium products do I recommend the most among those I know?
If we are talking about magnesium only, Design for Health has the most concentrated magnesium products on the market! Then there are Gamma Force, New Roots and Trophic, in that order.
If we talk about “ synergy ”, that is to say products combining several other ingredients that will “ potentiate ” the work of magnesium for a targeted objective, there is ATP, AOR (they also make a complex of several forms of magnesium together as well as a product similar to that of Lorna) and Lorna Vanderhaeghe (powder containing magnesium, but also other vitamins and minerals to help in the production of energy and cramps) which make interesting mix.
If we talk about “ combination ”, in the sense that a product which contains magnesium, but also other ingredients which, together, will work on several functions of the body without necessarily being specific, we could think of a ZMA ( or ZMX which is the advanced form) which is a combination of magnesium, zinc and vitamin B6. I like that of XPN which combines other ingredients often used with cheap.
Are you going to try magnesium now?
Whether to help with your transit, your blood sugar management, your stress management, help with your cramps or even to support your energy?
Written by Charles Vaillancourt – Naturopath, Neurotherapist, Coach
Download my colleague Anthony Borsellino’s nutrition for sport book:
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