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This amazing guest post was written by James McDuffy, a fully qualified nutritionist, and personal trainer! You can check out his website here!

Suppose you know what benefits magnesium can provide you. You know the fact that magnesium is concerned with hundreds of biochemical interactions inside the body. You also know that magnesium helps to produce energy derived from food. You’re aware that magnesium is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system, as well as keeping the muscles, the heart and nerves in check.

That’s just the tip of the iceberg…

Studies seem to point to several interesting indicators. Magnesium has shown to effectively alleviate symptoms of fibromyalgia. Moreover, magnesium has demonstrated its effectiveness in relieving headaches. What’s more, low magnesium levels have shown to increase the risk of developing heart disease, as seen here.

Sadly, magnesium levels are slowly diminishing, largely thanks to GM foods that are synthetically manipulated for faster growth, often at the expense of nutrients that should come as standard. It’s not just the food you eat that can contribute to a magnesium deficiency.  Certain health conditions (chronic diarrhea, hypercalcemia, and hyperaldosteronism) and even some medications (antibiotics, chelators, and aspirin) have shown to trample on magnesium levels as well as other vital nutrients.

Magnesium Supplementation

Unsurprisingly, health supplements containing at least some quantity of magnesium are on the rise.  It’s not unusual to find supplements like natural testosterone boosters, and multivitamins containing magnesium.

How many times have you seen the word ‘magnesium’ followed by variations like ‘citrate’ or ‘oxide’? When magnesium is combined with an additional element like calcium, for instance, its therapeutic value bioavailability and absorption are affected, meaning its end benefits change. Some ‘combos’ will provide benefits that magnesium as a stand-alone mineral won’t be able to offer. This is exactly why it’s important to understand the different forms of magnesium.

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The Most Common Magnesium Forms

Magnesium Oxide

This is known for its powerful laxative effects, but in terms of bioavailability, it’s considered to be poor. Although magnesium oxide contains a high percentage of magnesium relative to the oxide content, it’s only mainly used to alleviate constipation. If you are using magnesium oxide as a laxative, it’s best to take with cold fruit juice or water, never late in the day or on an empty stomach.

Magnesium Sulfate

This is applied topically and should never be ingested. Magnesium sulfate is commonly found in Epsom salts. Doctors advise against using magnesium sulfate if you happened to suffer from certain medical conditions including kidney disease and diabetes.

Magnesium Citrate

This is known to be rapidly absorbed in the digestive tract, and can be found in many health supplements. Magnesium citrate bioavailability is excellent in comparison to magnesium oxide, and in the opinion of experts, is one of the best ways of competently delivering magnesium to the body. It may be effective in relieving constipation by increasing fluid content in the small intestine. Magnesium Citrate has also shown to provide improvements during moments of extreme physical stress.

Magnesium Aspartate

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This is a combination of magnesium and aspartic acid (potassium aspartate to be more specific). It is believed that magnesium aspartate plays a central role in the production of cellular energy, and may be effective in helping to alleviate chronic fatigue syndrome. Magnesium aspartate has shown to possess much higher bioavailability than magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate. Common side effects include diarrhea and some people have known to experience rashes, itchiness, swelling, troubled breathing and dizziness.

Magnesium Glycinate

This is a type of amino acid known for its relaxant properties. Thankfully, unlike most other versions of magnesium, magnesium glycinate won’t trigger laxative effects. Magnesium glycinate is effective in promoting calming effects, and it’s been successfully tested on individuals suffering from chronic pain. Although side effects are extremely rare, nevertheless bouts of dizziness, swelling and troubled breathing should be immediately reported to a doctor.

Magnesium Malate

This is not yet fully understood, but preliminary studies looking at its effects of fibromyalgia noted improvements in ATP production as well as pain alleviation.

Magnesium Orotate

Just like magnesium malate it isn’t fully understood as of yet. However, preliminary studies looking at the magnesium and orotic acid combination noted excellent bioavailability. Thanks to the Orotates, magnesium can now reach the deepest areas of the nucleus and mitochondria. Orotates have shown to increase formations of DNA and RNA, which mean enhanced cellular repair and function. Furthermore, Orotates have shown to improve athletic performance and endurance.

Magnesium Taurate

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This is a combination of magnesium and Taurine. This combo has shown to provide improvements in insulin sensitivity and cardiac function.

Magnesium-L-Threonate

This is known to provide goodness to the brain. A 2014 animal study found that Magnesium-L-Threonate decelerated the hyperactive NMDA receptor signaling pathway, improving ‘synapse plasticity’ and massively reducing plaquing. Although this study noted incredible results on overall brain function (both short term and long term memory benefitted) human studies need to place to ascertain the full effects of Magnesium-L-Threonate.

Magnesium Pidolate

Although Magnesium Pidolate attracted a lot of attention due to the possibility of it converting into a liquid supplement on the cheap, Pidolate does not offer any additional benefits.

Hopefully, after reading this article you won’t ignore the word after ‘magnesium’ like I used to! Although magnesium comes in different forms, the bottom line is that it’s an essential mineral vital for maintaining overall health.

And it’s important to remember that when magnesium is combined with an additional element, be it taurine, be it malate, or be it sulfate, its effects change according to the combination in question.

By looking at the brief list above, you will be in a better position to choose the right type of magnesium for you!

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