Magnesium is a very important mineral that is involved in 600 different metabolic processes in our body. It is so important that without it you will die. Its key roles in the body are blood pressure regulation, contraction and relaxation of the muscle fibers, energy production, and nerve signaling. Magnesium is also a fairly common mineral deficiency in the United States and low levels have been linked with many of our common diseases such as heart disease, depression, migraines, fatigue and diabetes. So which type of magnesium should we take and what are the best foods to eat to boost this all important mineral?
Green leafy vegetables – kale, swiss chard, & spinach,
Bananas are the fruit highest in magnesium.
Magnesium Types and why you take each one:
Magnesium Citrate: It is a a magnesium bound with citric acid to make it very bioavailable and highly absorbable in the gut. It is best if your levels are really low and at high doses can be used to treat travelers constipation (700-1000mg but you will know after trying it). Great for Anxiety and Depression too.
Magnesium Malate: This is well absorbed too but doesn’t have the laxative effect. It is most often used for fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Magnesium taurate: This form is good for blood sugar regulation and is helpful in cases of high blood pressure as well.
Magnesium L-threonate: This is a form that the body easily absorbs and it is commonly used for brain health such as cases of depression or mild cognitive decline (tests are still being conducted to determine outcomes).
Magnesium Sulfate: This is most commonly called Epsom salt. It is white and has a texture similar to table salt. While it may look like table salt, the taste is not pleasant but it has been used to treat constipation in souls with sturdy tastebuds. Most often it is used for sore muscles and joints in bath water. Must soak 20 minutes or greater for therapeutic benefits (15 minutes is when the skin become permeable to the mineral). Best ratio of use is: 1 to 2 cups in a standard-sized tub.
Magnesium Glycinate: This one is commonly used to treat sleep related issues so it is best to take at dinner time. It also seems to have an anti-inflammatory response and is used to treat heart disease and diabetes. Some people also try it for depression and anxiety since it is helpful in getting proper rest which improves these conditions.
Magnesium Orotate: This is the most expensive form of magnesium and loved by athletes for its improvement in heart function. This also means that patients that suffer from congestive heart failure can try it and see if they can benefit.
Magnesium Oxide: This is is most often called Milk of Magnesia and not well absorbed. Being that it isn’t absorbed well, it is used to treat things like heartburn, digestive pain and constipation. It is a white powdery chalk-like liquid and the laxative effect works by drawing water into the intestine (an osmotic-type reaction). It also has some mild uses in migraine treatment.
Magnesium Chloride: This is a multi-use form from creams to treat muscle soreness to working on constipation and heartburn. Not the most easily absorbed version either…
Magnesium Lactate: This one is naturally produced in your body when it binds with a lactic acid and it can be taken in large doses as it is easily absorbed by the digestive tract and has shown some promise in treating depression.
When choosing the correct nutraceutical for you, it is best to do micronutrient testing with companies like Cell Science https://cellsciencesystems.com/ or talk to your local Functional medicine practitioner who can recommend which form is right for you. Our office would be glad to help if you think magnesium is needed in your health regime.