Magnesium: A Popular Supplement- A Necessary Nutrient


Food containing magnesium: pumpkin seeds, poppy seed, beans, chocolate, almonds, sunflower seeds, oatmeal, buckwheat, hazelnuts, sesame bars, figs, spinach, bananas and avocado.

Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems- including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. This makes it vitally important for all cellular functions and processes.

One of its most important functions is that it plays a key role in energy production. Magnesium is one of the busiest minerals in the body, activating almost all of the enzymes that transform fats and sugars into useable energy.

It also helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm regular, supports a healthy immune system, relaxes muscles and  supports mood.

Magnesium also contributes to the structural development of bone and is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and the antioxidant glutathione.

Most people do not consume sufficient dietary levels of magnesium for optimal health.  Evidence shows that 60-90% of people are deficient in magnesium.

To offset a chronic magnesium deficiency, many people find it very helpful to supplement with magnesium to reduce muscle spasms, restless legs, headaches, high blood pressure, and constipation.

Recent research on Magnesium L-Threonate is supportive for memory and cognitive function as it can cross the blood brain barrier.

The following table includes various supplement forms of magnesium, their absorbability and some of their uses.

Please feel free to contact any of the Naturopathic doctors at Advanced Naturopathic Medical Centre to discuss the need for extra dietary or supplemental Magnesium and what form is best to include in your optimum health program.


of Magnesium

Absorbability Properties Indication
Ascorbate -good absorption -provides some Vit C also
Aspartate -very good absorption -well tolerated (GI effects) -chronic fatigue, improves energy


Carbonate -poor absorption 45% elemental, 30% bioavailability
Citrate -good absorption and is highly bioavailable 80 mg of elemental magnesium per 500 mg tablet.

-soluble in hot water


16% Elemental, 90% bioavailability

-beneficial for patients that have a tendency towards constipation

-good, all-round magnesium


Chloride -skin good

-IV best

-oral (if GI tolerated)

-highly osmotic orally and can cause loose stool

-best trans-dermal or IV

-12% Elemental,

? bioavailability



Glycinate/ bisglycinate


-best absorption

The magnesium (elemental) content per tablet or capsule is usually 100 -150mg/cap


-least osmotic, best tolerated

-provides some glycine (calming action)

18% Elemental, 80% bioavailability

-tendency towards loose stool

-chronic pain and muscle cramping

Lactate -inexpensive 12% elemental, 99% bioavailability

Magnesium L-Threonate

-great absorption, especially over Brain barrier -low gastrointestinal side effects

-increases Brain Mg levels

Short- & long-term memory, enhanced learning,, improved synapse connections, possibly Alzheimer’s /dementia
Malate -good absorption 56 mg of elemental magnesium per 500 mg tablet

-6.5% elemental, unknown bioavailability

-muscle pain and muscle function


Taurate 9% elemental, undocumented  bioavailability Cardiovascular-both Mg and Taurate have blood pressure lowering effects, improved contraction, anti-thrombotic, calm neuromuscular exciting
Oxide -poor absorption


-strong laxative effect

-60% elemental, 4% bioavailability