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All You Wanted to Know About Magnesium

Updated: Dec 24, 2023

Sources of Magnesium Magnesium is an essential mineral for the human body and is involved in over 300 vital metabolic reactions, including energy production, blood pressure regulation, nerve signal transmission, and muscle contraction. Low magnesium levels may be implicated in various health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and migraines.

Magnesium is a mineral found in many foods, but despite this fact, up to two-thirds of people in the Western world do not meet their magnesium needs through diet alone.

The list of the most nutritional sources of magnesium:

  • Nuts (especially walnuts, cashews and pecans)

  • Seeds (such as flax, sunflower, pumpkin and sesame seeds)

  • Dark green vegetables (spinach, kale, cabbage, zucchini, broccoli, asparagus)

  • Whole grains and legumes (oats, quinoa, lentils)

  • Fresh fruits (blueberries, bananas, strawberries, avocados, mangoes, oranges)

  • Dried fruits (dates, figs, raisins)

  • Cocoa and dark chocolate

  • Coconut water

  • Fish (mainly salmon, halibut and sardines)

  • Mineral water

All you wanted to know about magnesium and the digestive system

Magnesium is also an important mineral for the health of the digestive system and it helps it in several ways:

1. Induces muscle relaxation - magnesium helps to relax the muscles of the intestines, which relieves pain, cramps, constipation, and the other symptoms typical of a sensitive intestine.

2. Reduces inflammation - studies have shown that magnesium is able to reduce the level of inflammation in the intestines, which contributes to the symptoms of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome).

3. Contributes to the production of acid in the stomach - magnesium is necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which aids the digestion process.

4. Improves mineral absorption - magnesium helps in the absorption of other essential minerals such as calcium, iron, and zinc.

5. Improves intestinal motility - magnesium helps maintain a healthy motility of the intestinal muscles, and encourages regular bowel movements.

6. Reduces gas accumulation - magnesium can help reduce gas accumulation in the intestines and helps get rid of bloating and spasms.

7. Improves water absorption - magnesium improves the ability to absorb water in the large intestine, thus helping to soften the stool.

Magnesium supplements

There are various forms of magnesium available as dietary supplements. Each form of magnesium supplement has unique characteristics, absorption rates, and potential benefits.

Here are some common types of magnesium supplements:

  • Magnesium Citrate: This is one of the most popular forms of magnesium supplements. This type of magnesium is well absorbed by the body and is suitable for relieving pain (such as period pain or fibromyalgia), cramps, anxiety, and sleep disorders. Magnesium citrate has a very subtle laxative effect and is usually noticeable only in extremely high doses.

  • Magnesium glycinate: the most bioavailable and easily absorbed form of magnesium. This type of magnesium is recommended for people who experience symptoms of magnesium deficiency such as muscle cramps and fatigue, and for people who want to increase their magnesium intake without experiencing digestive discomfort. This type of magnesium is less laxative compared to other types.

  • Magnesium L-Threonate: a combination of magnesium and the amino acid L-Threonate. A unique and extensively researched form of magnesium and is considered one of the most significant breakthroughs in the field of magnesium supplements in recent years. It has gained a lot of attention thanks to its potential to cross the blood-brain barrier and to be absorbed at a very high level by the nerve cells, which means it has cognitive and neurological benefits. Studies have shown that this form of magnesium contributes to the regulation of blood pressure, depression, and anxiety, contributes to the quality of sleep, improves memory, attention, and other cognitive functions, and may help prevent and treat cognitive decline and Alzheimer's.

  • Magnesium aspartate - Magnesium aspartate is a common form of magnesium supplement based on a combination of magnesium with the aspartic amino acid. A form that is well absorbed, without significant side effects in the body, and reaches a high level in the cells in a short time. Magnesium aspartate helps to produce energy in the cells and improve metabolic processes. It is effective for treating chronic fatigue, exhaustion and lack of energy. It also supports the functioning of the muscles and the nervous system, improves the transmission of nerve impulses between nerve cells, helps regulate blood sugar levels, contributes to the health of the heart and blood vessels and may help reduce high blood pressure.

  • Magnesium malate: a compound of magnesium and malic acid. It is a form that is well absorbed by the body and is well tolerated without significant side effects. This form of magnesium helps in the production of energy in the cells (the malate contributes to the metabolism of magnesium), contributes to the proper functioning of the nervous system and is particularly effective in the treatment of chronic fatigue and lack of energy. It also helps reduce muscle pain, cramps and angina, which makes it popular among athletes.

  • Magnesium oxide - This is the most common and the most accessible type of magnesium. This type of magnesium is considered to have the lowest absorption in the body. It causes increased bowel motility and hence relieves constipation and helps relieve "the restless legs" syndrome (RLS). This is a good option for mild magnesium deficiency but less effective for complex medical problems.

  • Magnesium chloride: a type of magnesium that is very bioavailable to the body and is absorbed quickly. Helps in conditions with severe magnesium deficiency. It can alleviate muscle contractions, pain, irregular pulse and heart rhythm disorders. Helps to relax muscles and relieve period pain. It should be taken with caution as it may cause diarrhea and gastrointestinal disturbances hence must be used under medical supervision. This form is often used in topical magnesium products such as magnesium oil or cream. Some people find that applying magnesium chloride topically can help relax muscles and ease muscle spasms.

  • Magnesium taurate: this form combines magnesium with the amino acid taurine which contributes to the efficiency of magnesium and its absorption in the body. This type of magnesium is well absorbed by the body, without common side effects of diarrhea, and is known as one of the best types of magnesium for supporting the heart and the nervous system. It contributes to relaxation, reduces stress and anxiety, helps regulate heart rate, reduces hypertension and may even improve the function of the heart muscle in heart patients. It is also a type of magnesium that is highly recommended for sleep disorders and for relieving migraines and chronic headaches.

  • Magnesium orotate: this is a form that combines magnesium with orotic acid. This form increases the absorption of magnesium in the cells with very few side effects. A very effective form that supplies magnesium to the heart muscle and cells of the nervous system, helps to reduce hypertension and contributes to energy levels and the general resilience of the body. It relieves pain, chronic fatigue and exhaustion. This magnesium is also excellent for improving athletic performance.

  • Magnesium carbonate: Magnesium carbonate is one of the basic and common forms of magnesium. It is considered a source of magnesium with relatively low bioavailability. This type of magnesium is more suitable for treating milder problems of magnesium deficiency. Used as an antacid and laxative. Effective for relieving constipation and nausea during pregnancy, helps to relieve abdominal pain, gas and bloating. Contributes to bone health in combination with calcium.

  • Magnesium sulfate: Also known as Epsom salt, magnesium sulfate is commonly used for baths. It is well absorbed through the skin and is not usually used as an oral supplement. Very helpful in soothing pain and relaxing muscles, balancing the nervous system, improving mood and relieving depression and anxiety.

It is important to note that the choice of a magnesium supplement should be based on personal needs and preferences. You should always take into consideration factors such as the reason for taking the supplement, its absorption rate and its possible side effects. In addition, it is recommended to consult a qualified Naturopath or a dietitian before starting any new dietary supplement, to get the accurate supplement type and dosage based on your specific health goals and any possible interactions with medications or medical conditions.

the benefits of magnesium


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