Many of us may be aware of the importance of obtaining optimal daily amounts of vitamins and minerals through a healthy diet and supplementation. The importance of magnesium, however, is often overlooked. Poor diet, aging, chronic alcoholism, certain medications and medical conditions, such as diabetes type 2 and gastrointestinal disease, can contribute to low levels of magnesium. And, while a true deficiency is rare, low levels of magnesium are common among the general population. According to the National Institutes of Health, dietary surveys consistently show that intakes of magnesium are lower than the recommended amounts, with senior men and adolescent females the most likely to have lower intakes and therefore inadequate levels of this vital mineral. Although magnesium status is hard to measure, NIH data also shows that those who supplement, rather than rely strictly on food intake, exceed the estimated average requirements (EAR) levels.
In addition to supporting all bodily organs, magnesium is involved in energy production, nervous and immune system functions, protein synthesis, muscle function and contraction, electrolyte balance, cell division and the maintenance of teeth and bones. Certain medical conditions, such as an intestinal virus, can temporarily upset magnesium balance. Prolonged stress, excessive sweating or heavy menstrual periods can result in low magnesium levels as well. Habitually low or inadequate levels of magnesium can lead to an increased risk of illness over time. Symptoms of inadequate magnesium might include loss of appetite, fatigue or headaches. Symptoms of deficiency may include abnormal heart rhythms, muscle cramps, restless leg syndrome or fibromyalgia. The good news – diets with higher amounts of magnesium are associated with lower risks of diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease, migraine headaches and osteoporosis.
In order to provide slightly different health benefits, magnesium supplements come in a variety of forms. For magnesium supplements to be utilized, magnesium must be bound to another transporting substance. As always, supplement quality depends upon the nutrient bioavailability, assurance that the body can easily assimilate and utilize the benefits contained therein. While B complex vitamins, specifically B6, aid in the absorption of magnesium into the cells, it’s also important to note that magnesium, calcium, vitamin K2 and vitamin D work synergistically. To maintain good health, make sure you are getting adequate amounts of all essential vitamins and minerals each day.
Some of the most well absorbed forms of magnesium include:
Magnesium citrate – This very common and easily absorbed form of magnesium/citric acid combination is most often used for its laxative effects.
Magnesium glycinate – Considered ideal for correcting deficiencies, this chelated form of magnesium provides high levels of bioavailability, absorption and intestinal tolerance.
Magnesium taurate – This form of magnesium combines magnesium with the amino acid taurine, a blend that helps to calm the body and mind. Magnesium taurate may help to improve cardiac muscle function and aid in reducing blood pressure and stabilizing nerve cells.
Magnesium aspartate – This well absorbed form combines magnesium and potassium aspartate for a positive effect on cellular energy production.
Magnesium malate – Less well known than other forms, magnesium combined with malate can help improve ATP energy production and may help to reduce muscle pain.
Following are some customer favorite high quality magnesium supplements:
Magnesium Citrate (M234) by Thorne Research – Rated 5 stars by our customers, this product provides highly absorbable magnesium in combination with citric acid. Gluten, soy and dairy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.
Mag Glycinate by Kirkman Labs – This highly absorbable and easy-to-digest formula promotes relaxation and restful sleep. Gluten, dairy and soy free formula.
Magnesium Malate by Vinco – An excellent form of bioavailable magnesium combined with malic acid and thiamine to help reduce muscle soreness and fatigue.
Magnesium (aspartate) by Pure Encapsulations – This highly bioavailable magnesium chelate supports energy production and the metabolism and utilization of many essential nutrients. Gluten and soy free, Non-GMO vegetarian formula.
Magnesium Taurate 400 (83071) by Douglas Labs – This fully reacted magnesium taurate complex supports cardiovascular and bone health. Gluten, soy and dairy free, vegetarian formula.
Although excess amounts of magnesium are processed and excreted through the kidneys, excessive amounts are never recommended. Should you have any questions about magnesium supplementation, please consult a healthcare professional before beginning any supplement program.