Magnesium is a vital mineral, central to our overall health and wellbeing. It plays a pivotal role in over 300 enzyme reactions within the human body, influencing everything from nerve function and muscle contraction, to blood pressure regulation and protein synthesis. However, not all of us are getting enough of it from our diet alone, which raises the need for supplementation.
In the numerous supplements avialable, the various types of magnesium compounds available can leave one a bit perplexed. Magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, magnesium glycinate, and several others, each with their unique properties and benefits, make the task of choosing the ‘right’ supplement a formidable one. The differences among these types often come down to the rate and extent of magnesium absorption and how well they are tolerated by the body.
The purpose of this article is to demystify these compounds for you, breaking down each one so that you can make an informed choice. We will delve into the details of each type, understanding their absorption rates, and determining which form could be the best fit for your specific health needs.
So, whether you’re looking to boost your overall health, improve sleep quality, or support bone strength, the right magnesium supplement can make all the difference. Journey with us as we explore the fascinating world of magnesium supplements.
What is Magnesium and Why is it Important?
Magnesium is a mineral found naturally on earth, in our bodies, and in the food we consume. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, with about 60% stored in our bones and the rest distributed in muscles, soft tissues, and fluids, including blood.
Playing an essential role in numerous bodily functions, magnesium is crucial for maintaining good health. It is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions, working as a co-factor to enable these biochemical reactions to occur seamlessly. These processes include protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Additionally, magnesium aids in the production of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione.
Importantly, magnesium contributes to the structural development of bones and is necessary for the proper functioning of nerves, muscles, and many other parts of the body. In the heart, magnesium is pivotal for maintaining a normal heartbeat and is used by doctors to treat irregular heartbeats (arrhythmias).
This mineral is also involved in energy production. It helps convert food into energy, allowing us to lead active, healthy lives. It has also been linked to increased testosterone levels in men, particularly in those who exercise.
In essence, magnesium is not merely a mineral; it’s a vital element to our health that helps keep our bodies functioning optimally and in their prime.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium deficiency, also known as hypomagnesemia, can manifest in numerous subtle and often overlooked symptoms. Early signs may include loss of appetite, nausea, fatigue, and weakness.
As the deficiency progresses, more severe symptoms such as numbness, tingling, muscle cramps, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur.
Chronic magnesium deficiency can impact overall health significantly. It may lead to osteoporosis due to its role in bone health, contribute to high blood pressure and heart disease, degraded hormone health and the many effects this has, and affect mental health leading to apathy, depression, and in extreme cases, delirium and coma.
Therefore, maintaining adequate magnesium levels is fundamental for our health and wellbeing. As such, ensuring we pick the best form of magnesium compound is also essential to maximise absorption and the effect it has.
Types of Magnesium Supplements
Navigating through the world of magnesium supplementation can seem overwhelming due to the diverse forms each offering unique benefits and uses. To help you decipher the best for your needs, we delve deeper into seven common types of magnesium compounds, each ranked by their absorption rates, elemental magnesium content, and specific benefits.
1 – Magnesium Glycinate
Magnesium Glycinate is the result of magnesium combined with glycine, a non-essential amino acid.
Known for its high bioavailability and absorbability, Magnesium Glycinate stands out for its gentle effect on the stomach. Providing no risk of diarrhoea and the best absorption rates, it’s most commonly recommended as the best form of magnesium.
A unique feature of Magnesium Glycinate is its calming effect, making it particularly beneficial for individuals with anxiety or insomnia, setting it apart from other forms. It does this in addition to the other benefits seen with magnesium and does it most effectively as of the high absorption rate.
It takes the top spot due to its high bioavailability, lack of diarrhoea risk, and calming effects.
2 – Magnesium L-Threonate
A relatively newer type of magnesium supplement, Magnesium L-Threonate is notable for its unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.
This property allows it to enhance memory and brain function, making it particularly beneficial for cognitive health. Its potential in managing conditions like Alzheimer’s and brain injury is currently being explored, making it a promising option for cognitive support. It is also being used to increase sleep quality.
As of its unique ability to cross the blood brain barrier and enhance brain health, Magnesium L-Threonate earns it place as second spot in our list of magnesium types.
3 – Magnesium Citrate
Magnesium citrate is formed by the combination of magnesium and citric acid.
Magnesium citrate is regularly used in supplements as it is cheaper than glycinate and is bioavailable for absorption. However, its most distinctive characteristic is its effectiveness as a laxative, and as such it is often used to treat constipation. While this is true, it is effective at helping with kidney disease and overall kidney health.
People who use this supplement sometimes complain of diarrhoea, and therefore it has been ranked lower than magnesium glycinate and L-Threonate, but still at a respectable position of third as of its bioavailability and ability to help kidney disease.
5 – Magnesium Malate
Magnesium Malate combines magnesium and malic acid, a natural fruit acid present in most cells in the body.
Malic acid is essential in the process of deriving ATP (the body’s energy currency) from food, making Magnesium Malate slightly more beneficial for alleviating fatigue and muscle pain than the other magnesium forms.
Its unique contribution to energy production and alleviation of fatigue and muscle pain makes it an important addition, securing it the fifth position.
4 – Magnesium Chloride
Found naturally in seawater, Magnesium Chloride offers high bioavailability. It stands out for its versatility, as it can be taken orally or used topically. This form is especially suitable for individuals with low stomach acid or those who have difficulty with absorption, offering a unique advantage over other forms.
Its unique absorption benefits for those with digestive difficulties and versatility earns it fourth place.
6 – Magnesium Taurate
Here, magnesium is paired with the amino acid taurine. This combination results in a supplement that is easily absorbed and does not cause laxative effects, a unique benefit amongst magnesium supplements. Magnesium Taurate is particularly beneficial for cardiac health, kidney health, and hearing loss.
Its distinct benefits for cardiovascular health and high absorption rate puts it in the sixth position.
7 – Magnesium Oxide
Despite offering high levels of elemental magnesium, Magnesium Oxide has lower bioavailability compared to other forms.
It is commonly used in supplements as it is cheap and you can fit more of it into a capsule. However, the large amount of it which fits into a capsule is misleading, as it has the lowest bioavailability and absorption rate. this means that while you may consume more, you actually absorb less magnesium and therefore get less of its beneficial effects.
What makes it unique is its common use in over-the-counter magnesium supplements for relieving indigestion and heartburn symptoms, a specific benefit not shared by most other forms.
The low absorption rate and bioavailability results in Magnesium Oxide being last in our list of the best types of magnesium.
Choosing the Right Magnesium Supplement
Choosing the right magnesium supplement is a process that should take into account individual health needs, conditions, and the desired health benefits. While the various types of magnesium offer unique advantages, the key is to find the type that best aligns with your specific requirements.
Given that each form impacts magnesium levels differently, it’s crucial to understand how much magnesium intake you need and how dietary supplements can help meet this requirement.
At StayPrime, we aim to utilise only the best ingredients for our customers. ZMAN+ was formulated with this in mind, providing the optimum quantity of the best type of magnesium, Magnesium Glycinate. With this, you can improve your day-to-day life and unleash your potential simply by incorporating a small, hassle-free capsule into your everyday routine.
Navigating the world of magnesium supplementation can seem complex, but understanding the different types of magnesium available can empower you to make the right choice.
From our exploration, magnesium glycinate emerges as the best type of magnesium supplement due to its high bioavailability and wide-ranging health benefits. Its gentle impact on the stomach and calming effects make it ideal for many individuals.
However, each form has unique benefits that may be better suited to specific health needs. Factors such as magnesium absorption, health goals, and individual tolerability are crucial to consider when choosing a supplement. Above all, it’s important to discuss your magnesium needs with a healthcare professional, ensuring you select the most suitable supplement for your personal circumstances.