Published on March 8, 2019
GrassrootsHealth recently released the D*action + Magnesium Safety project – a project to learn more about current levels of magnesium (Mg) in our study population and how it relates to magnesium intake, vitamin D levels, and health outcomes. In previous blogs we discussed what magnesium is, why it’s important for health, and how magnesium status is assessed.
Forms or types of magnesium
There are many different forms or types of magnesium contained in nutritional supplements, topical creams, and oils. Each form consists of a magnesium molecule or ion attached to another molecule, which can affect the action and bioavailability of the magnesium itself. Some people find magnesium supplements may give them diarrhea, particularly with magnesium chloride, gluconate, hydroxide, and oxide. This is often resolved by trying a different form, or reducing the dose.
Following is a list of some common forms of magnesium found in supplements, in order of popularity among GrassrootsHealth participants:
derived from citric acid
supports digestion-specifically, to alleviate constipation and acid indigestion
may lead to dehydration (and the imbalance of minerals associated with this), as it pulls water into the intestines
potential to improve cognitive functions, memory deficits
shown to increase levels of magnesium in the brain
lower levels of bioavailability
encourages improved digestion
promotes muscle relaxation — the amino acid glycine is also known for calming mind and body
minimal laxative properties
bound to malic acid, an organic compound found in fruits and vegetables, especially apples
binds to toxic metals, like aluminum
promotes healthy skin, muscle performance, saliva production, energy levels
Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate
This one is a bit different than the others as it is a general term for magnesium attached to an amino acid that encompases several different forms, including magnesium glycinate, magnesium lysinate, magnesium orotate, and magnesium taurate.
may be extracted from brine or ocean water
can be absorbed through the skin
encourages sleep, digestion, bone health and a sense of calm (both mental and physical)
helps to relieve muscle spasms, cramps, dermatitis, eczema, and acne
may cause diarrhea
used in antacids
low solubility and absorption
proposed use for prevention of migraines
suspended in water
used in antacids and laxatives
encourages heart health
orotic acid may naturally support the repair of tissues, as well as enhanced stamina and performance
more expensive option
otherwise known as Epsom salts
helps to alleviate sore muscles
most potent laxative effect
intravenous for the management of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia
less of a laxative effect
commonly used to manage digestive issues
should be avoided by those with kidney disease or kidney-related problems
What forms of magnesium do D*action participants take?
Out of 1,320 D*action participants who reported taking supplemental magnesium, the most popular forms reported were magnesium citrate (32%), magnesium threonate (27%), magnesium oxide (21%), and magnesium glycinate (20%).
How can I track my magnesium intake and levels?
To help you track your magnesium intake, status, and other nutrient levels, GrassrootsHealth has created an online tracking system called myData-myAnswers. This will help you know how your supplementation and intake may be affecting you and impacting your health. Check it out today!
How Can You Use this Information for YOUR Health?
Having and maintaining healthy vitamin D and other nutrient levels can help improve your health now and for your future. Measuring is the only way to make sure you are getting enough!
STEP 1 Order your at-home blood spot test kit to measure vitamin D and other nutrients of concern to you, such as omega-3s, magnesium, essential and toxic elements (zinc, copper, selenium, lead, cadmium, mercury); include hsCRP as a marker of inflammation or HbA1c for blood sugar health
STEP 2 Answer the online questionnaire as part of the GrassrootsHealth study
STEP 3 Using our educational materials and tools (such as our dose calculators), assess your results to determine if you are in your desired target range or if actions should be taken to get there
STEP 4 After 3-6 months of implementing your changes, re-test to see if you have achieved your target level(s)