How to choose the right Magnesium for You (yes, there is 13 different types of Magnesium) -

How to choose the right Magnesium for You (yes, there is 13 different types of Magnesium)

Posted by The Tenth Co on

Many of us have heard of the benefits of Magnesium… but are all Magnesiums created equal?

For those not familiar what Magnesium does, Magnesium is the original chill-pill. Dr Mark Hyman calls it ‘the most powerful relaxation mineral available” and 50% of people are deficient in Magnesium. There are 3,500 medical references for magnesium deficiencies, e.g.:

Studies suggest (3) that kids who took 200 mg of magnesium daily over six months saw a significant decrease in hyperactivity symptoms compared to children in the study who did not supplement with magnesium.

2. Adrenal fatigue
Magnesium helps to regulate cortisol levels, allowing for more balanced hormone production which is essential in when we are met with endless demands from left right and centre.

3. Depression or anxiety
Magnesium works in the brain to calm down a specific receptor, called the excitatory NMDA receptor. Without it, calcium and glutamate activate NMDA unchecked, which can lead to depression and anxiety. (4)

4. Asthma
Researchers are suggesting that those who do not include enough magnesium in their diet have a higher rate of asthma. One reason could be that magnesium may facilitate healthy bronchodilation. (5)

5. Chronic fatigue syndrome
In a study published in the prominent medical journal Lancet, (6) researchers found that about 50% of the hundreds of participants with chronic fatigue syndrome were dealing with magnesium deficiency. These participants saw an improvement of symptoms when they received injections of a 580 milligram supplement.

6. High blood pressure
Studies also suggest that those using a magnesium supplement lowered their blood pressure levels by up to 12 points. (7)

7. Heart problems
A study published (8) in the American Journal of Cardiology found that a lower level of magnesium intake increased the risk of coronary heart disease by 50 to 80 percent.

8. Inflammation
Magnesium is indicated in decreased two inflammatory blood lab markers. (10,11)

9. Migraines and other types of headaches
Magnesium relaxes blood vessels in the brain. It is estimated that about half of those who suffer from migraines are magnesium deficient. (12)

10. Low thyroid hormone levels
Magnesium is an essential component to the production of thyroid hormones. (16)

11. Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD)
People who have OCD were found in studies to have lower levels of magnesium (17) compared to individuals in control groups.

12. Muscle cramps and spasms
Spontaneous spasms, cramps in your muscles are not really random —they are the most common sign of magnesium deficiency. (18)

13. Poor memory & Brain Fog
Research done at MIT found that magnesium is key in regulating brain receptors that are necessary to learning and memory function, and that supplementing with magnesium helped clear brain fog. (20)

14. Sleep
Research has found (22) that magnesium supplementation helped improve all the major physiological markers associated with insomnia.

15. Weak bones
A strong correlation between magnesium deficiency and low bone density has been found. Low bone density increases one’s risk of osteoporosis and fractures. (23)

See below for some of the common forms available and what each of them do.

Magnesium chelate

This form is very much bioavailable (unlike many others) and is found in magnesium containing food sources and premium supplements. (24)

Magnesium oxide

This is most commonly used in supplements. Research has shown (25) it only has a 4 percent absorption rate, so if you want to get the relaxation benefit and nervous system support, this is probably not your best option. Try to avoid this one.

Magnesium citrate

Magnesium is combined with citric acid to make this form. It has a higher absorption rate than magnesium oxide, being 16% bio available, yet still it functions more like a laxative.

Magnesium Sulphates

Also known as Epsom Salts. It is a combination of magnesium and sulfate (sulfur and oxygen). You can use them as a foot or full body soak as your body is able to absorb magnesium through the skin through. Magnesium sulfate soaks and supplementation has been shown to relax restless leg syndrome (2) and lower inflammation. (3)

Maybe you don’t get the time to sit in a bath, but if you do a bath for your kids, might as well pop your legs in while they have a bath.

Magnesium oil

Instead of ingesting it, magnesium oil is placed directly on our skin. This a great option for people with gut dysfunctions (which limit absorption). Since it also soothes the muscles in our digestive tract, rubbing magnesium oil on our belly can combat an upset stomach.

Saving the all-rounder til last...

Magnesium Glycinate

This magnesium is our go-to, it is composed of magnesium bound to an amino acid known as glycine. Glycine is shown to have a calming effect on the body and the brain, this is a great option for us who looking to help improve sleep and reduce anxiety. It also has a better absorption rate and has less of a laxative effect than other forms, making it our choice to take on a daily basis and to support our nervous system with a a healthy stress response.

It’s not an exhaustive list, as there are many more forms available. This is a starting point, if you have any questions - please feel free to pop them in comments x

All references listed below 📖

  1. Magnesium NIH March 24, 2020.
  2. Killilea DW, Ames BN. Magnesium deficiency accelerates cellular senescence in cultured human fibroblasts. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008;105(15):5768‐5773. doi:10.1073/pnas.0712401105
  3. Starobrat-Hermelin B, Kozielec T. The effects of magnesium physiological supplementation on hyperactivity in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Positive response to magnesium oral loading test. Magnes Res. 1997;10(2):149‐156.
  4. Felice N. Jacka, Simon Overland, Robert Stewart, Grethe S. Tell, Ingvar Bjelland & Arnstein Mykletun (2009) Association between magnesium intake and depression and anxiety in community-dwelling adults: the Hordaland Health Study, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 43:1, 45-52, DOI: 10.1080/00048670802534408
  5. Soutar A, Seaton A, Brown K. Bronchial reactivity and dietary antioxidants. Thorax. 1997;52(2):166‐170. doi:10.1136/thx.52.2.166
  6. Cox IM, Campbell MJ, Dowson D. Red blood cell magnesium and chronic fatigue syndrome. Lancet. 1991;337(8744):757‐760. doi:10.1016/0140-6736(91)91371-z
  7. Kass LS, Poeira F. The effect of acute vs chronic magnesium supplementation on exercise and recovery on resistance exercise, blood pressure and total peripheral resistance on normotensive adults [published correction appears in J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2018 Jul 25;15(1):36]. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2015;12:19. Published 2015 Apr 24. doi:10.1186/s12970-015-0081-z
  8. Abbott RD, Ando F, Masaki KH, et al. Dietary magnesium intake and the future risk of coronary heart disease (the Honolulu Heart Program). Am J Cardiol. 2003;92(6):665‐669. doi:10.1016/s0002-9149(03)00819-1
  9. Stepura OB, Martynow AI. Magnesium orotate in severe congestive heart failure (MACH). Int J Cardiol. 2009;131(2):293‐295. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2007.11.022
  10. Almoznino-Sarafian D, Berman S, Mor A, et al. Magnesium and C-reactive protein in heart failure: an anti-inflammatory effect of magnesium administration?. Eur J Nutr. 2007;46(4):230‐237. doi:10.1007/s00394-007-0655-x
  11. Sugimoto J, Romani AM, Valentin-Torres AM, et al. Magnesium decreases inflammatory cytokine production: a novel innate immunomodulatory mechanism. J Immunol. 2012;188(12):6338‐6346. doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1101765
  12. Mauskop A, Altura BT, Cracco RQ, Altura BM. Intravenous magnesium sulfate relieves cluster headaches in patients with low serum ionized magnesium levels. Headache. 1995;35(10):597‐600. doi:10.1111/j.1526-4610.1995.hed3510597.x
  13. He K, Liu K, Daviglus ML, et al. Magnesium intake and incidence of metabolic syndrome among young adults. Circulation. 2006;113(13):1675‐1682. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.105.588327
  14. Ma B, Lawson AB, Liese AD, Bell RA, Mayer-Davis EJ. Dairy, magnesium, and calcium intake in relation to insulin sensitivity: approaches to modeling a dose-dependent association. Am J Epidemiol. 2006;164(5):449‐458. doi:10.1093/aje/kwj246
  15. He K, Song Y, Belin RJ, Chen Y. Magnesium intake and the metabolic syndrome: epidemiologic evidence to date. J Cardiometab Syndr. 2006;1(5):351‐355. doi:10.1111/j.1559-4564.2006.05702.x
  16. Moncayo R, Moncayo H. The WOMED model of benign thyroid disease: Acquired magnesium deficiency due to physical and psychological stressors relates to dysfunction of oxidative phosphorylation. BBA Clin. 2014;3:44‐64. Published 2014 Nov 12. doi:10.1016/j.bbacli.2014.11.002
  17. Shohag H, Ullah A, Qusar S, Rahman M, Hasnat A. Alterations of serum zinc, copper, manganese, iron, calcium, and magnesium concentrations and the complexity of interelement relations in patients with obsessive-compulsive disorder. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2012;148(3):275‐280. doi:10.1007/s12011-012-9371-3
  18. Supakatisant, C. and Phupong, V. (2015), Oral magnesium in pregnancy‐induced leg cramps. Matern Child Nutr, 11: 139-145. doi:10.1111/j.1740-8709.2012.00440.x
  19. Killilea DW, Maier JA. A connection between magnesium deficiency and aging: new insights from cellular studies. Magnes Res. 2008;21(2):77‐82.
  20. Slutsky I, Sadeghpour S, Li B, Liu G. Enhancement of synaptic plasticity through chronically reduced Ca2+ flux during uncorrelated activity. Neuron. 2004;44(5):835‐849. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2004.11.013
  21. Błach J, Nowacki W, Mazur A. Wpływ magnezu na reakcje alergiczne skóry [Magnesium in skin allergy]. Postepy Hig Med Dosw (Online). 2007;61:548‐554. Published 2007 Oct 8.
  22. Abbasi B, Kimiagar M, Sadeghniiat K, Shirazi MM, Hedayati M, Rashidkhani B. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012;17(12):1161‐1169.
  23. New SA, Robins SP, Campbell MK, et al. Dietary influences on bone mass and bone metabolism: further evidence of a positive link between fruit and vegetable consumption and bone health?. Am J Clin Nutr. 2000;71(1):142‐151. doi:10.1093/ajcn/71.1.142
  24. Firoz M, Graber M. Bioavailability of US commercial magnesium preparations. Magnes Res. 2001;14(4):257‐262.
  25. Carpenter TO, DeLucia MC, Zhang JH, et al. A randomized controlled study of effects of dietary magnesium oxide supplementation on bone mineral content in healthy girls. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2006;91(12):4866‐4872. doi:10.1210/jc.2006-1391

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