The 13 Types of Magnesium Food Supplements

types of magnesium

Magnesium plays a big role in proper cellular and nerve function.

This mineral is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body.

Interestingly, it comes in other forms, and these forms offer different benefits.

So, which of these is preferred? 

In this article, we will discuss some common forms of magnesium supplements, their benefits, and how to properly take them.

13 Forms of Magnesium Supplements

Magnesium supplementation


1) Magnesium citrate

Magnesium citrate occurs from the combination of magnesium and citric acid.

Although the latter is usually used as a food flavoring agent or preservative, it still offers many health benefits.

Generally, magnesium citrate is widely available in the market.

According to a clinical trial from the United Kingdom, compared to other forms, magnesium citrate is the most bioavailable. 

In this study, entitled “Mg citrate found more bioavailable than other Mg preparations”, it was also found that magnesium citrate, at large doses, can help treat constipation.

According to a study from Washington, aside from the study entitled “Mg citrate found being bioavailable”, this magnesium form also comes with calming effects.

Thus, it is safe to say that this form of magnesium can potentially treat and manage depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.

Aside from supplements, you can get this form of magnesium from food sources such as citrus fruits.

2) Magnesium oxide

Magnesium oxide results from the combination of magnesium and oxygen.

This form of magnesium comes in a white powder form, thus, it is usually sold in capsule or tablet form.

According to a study from Germany, magnesium oxide is not typically used to treat magnesium deficiency.

Instead, it is mostly used to treat constipation and manage heartburn.

According to a study from New York, magnesium oxide is also used to treat migraines.

When combined with water, magnesium oxide turns into magnesium hydroxide.

This form will be elaborated on in the next section.

3) Magnesium hydroxide

This form of magnesium is generally used to manage constipation in both children and adults.

Aside from dietary supplements, they can also be bought in the form of chewable tablets and oral suspensions.

Mg hydroxide belongs to the classification of drugs called saline laxatives.

Generally, they work by drawing water to promote watery stools.

When taking this type of magnesium, you have to be cautious of the dosage as too much of it can lead to loose bowel movements.

For safer use, it is highly recommended to seek professional medical advice.

A healthcare professional, such as a pharmacist or doctor, can help you find the best dose for you.

4) Magnesium lactate

Magnesium lactate occurs from the combination of magnesium and lactic acid.

Unlike Mg, the latter can be produced by your muscles and blood cells.

Aside from this, lactic acid is also used as a preservative and food additive. 

Generally, this type of magnesium is a less popular dietary supplement. But, did you know that magnesium lactate is easy to be absorbed by your digestive system?

If you cannot tolerate other types of magnesium supplements, you might want to consider this as it is said to be gentle on the stomach.

Most Mg lactate dietary supplements come in the form of a slow-release tablet.

According to a study from the United Kingdom, even at high doses, slow-release Mg lactate tablets can offer fewer digestive side effects.

In another study from the United Kingdom, a magnesium supplement with lactate can also offer anti-stress and anti-anxiety effects.

5) Magnesium malate

Magnesium malate occurs from the combination of magnesium and malic acid.

Generally, malic acid is used as a food additive to make beverages, such as wine, a little sour.

According to a study from Turkey, magnesium malate is easy to be absorbed in your digestive tract, making it a suitable option for addressing magnesium deficiency. 

Additionally, compared to other magnesium preparations, magnesium malate is gentler and comes with lesser laxative effects.

In another study from Chile, it was reported that Mg supplements with malic acid can also be used in managing symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

6) Magnesium taurate

There are also types of magnesium supplements that contain amino acids.

One of these dietary supplements includes magnesium taurate. 

Magnesium taurate occurs from the combination of magnesium and the amino acid taurine.

In a randomized controlled trial from Palestine, it was found that magnesium taurate can help you regulate blood sugar levels. 

In another study from Indiana, it was also reported that magnesium taurate can support cardiovascular health by controlling high blood pressure.

Consistent with a study from India, using animal subjects with high blood pressure, it was found that this type of magnesium can effectively reduce blood pressure.

7) Magnesium l-threonate

This type of magnesium comes from the combination of magnesium and threonic acid.

Generally, threonic acid is a water-soluble substance that is derived from the metabolic breakdown of ascorbic acid.

Like other types of magnesium, Mg l-threonate is also easily absorbed.

Based on a study from Maryland, different types of magnesium can increase Mg concentrations.

However, Mg l-threonate is the most effective one for increasing the Mg levels in brain cells.

This means that compared to other types of magnesium, this one can provide better benefits to brain health, such as managing brain disorders like depression and memory loss. 

8.) Magnesium sulfate

Magnesium sulfate results from the combination of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen.

Also known as Epsom salt, the texture of magnesium sulfate resembles table salt. 

Generally, Epsom salts are used to treat constipation, however, their taste is not that pleasing.

Thus, many medical doctors use other alternative Mg preparations and types of magnesium for their patients.

Other uses of magnesium sulfate include managing sore muscles and anti-stress.

There are also topical preparations for this type of magnesium, however, according to a study from Germany, there is only a little evidence to support that this type can be absorbed into the skin. 

9) Magnesium glycinate

Magnesium glycinate is formed by combining magnesium and glycine, another amino acid, making it a magnesium chelate.

Generally, glycine helps in building muscles. 

According to a study from India, when combined with magnesium, it can offer many health benefits such as sleep improvement, blood pressure control, anti-inflammation, and diabetes prevention.

Based on a report from New York, magnesium glycinate also comes with calming properties.

Thus, this is also one of the types of magnesium that can address mental disorders such as anxiety and depression.

However, more research is still needed to support this claim.

10) Magnesium orotate

This is one of the types of magnesium that can support heart health.

Magnesium orotate occurs from the combination of magnesium and orotic acid.

The latter is a substance that supports the construction of genetic materials like your DNA.

Unlike other types of magnesium, Mg orotate is not easily absorbed in the body.

Additionally, according to a study from Germany, it also does not come with strong laxative effects.

If you wonder how this Mg orotate can support heart health, you might want to read the study below.

In a randomized controlled trial from Russia, Mg orotate was found to improve the symptoms of patients with congestive heart failure.

Thus, it can increase patients’ survival rate and quality of life.

11) Magnesium chloride

Magnesium chloride occurs from the combination of magnesium salt and chlorine.

According to a study from Germany, this combination is one of the best dietary supplements you can consider.

Magnesium chloride is well absorbed in your digestive system.

When it comes to uses, magnesium chloride can treat low Mg levels, heartburn, and even constipation.

Generally, this magnesium supplement comes in tablet, capsule, and topical forms.

In another study from Germany, this magnesium supplement can also treat sore muscles. Still, more research is needed to prove this claim.

12.) Magnesium gluconate

This is a form of magnesium supplement, which is magnesium bound to citric acid and gluconic acid.

Generally, this magnesium compound works by increasing the magnesium levels in the body caused by kidney disease.

One of the common forms of this medication includes vials and ampoules.

13.) Magnesium aspartate

This magnesium compound works by preventing low magnesium levels in patients with kidney disease, stomach upset, and indigestion.

According to some experts, Mg aspartate is highly bioavailable, especially in oral form. 

Foods Rich in Magnesium

mg food forms

There are different types of magnesium products on the market, and if you want to skip these magnesium compounds, you might want to consider foods rich in magnesium.

Some of these foods include the following:

  • Whole grains
  • Dark leafy vegetables
  • Dark chocolates
  • Avocados and bananas
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Tofu and Legumes
  • Fatty fishes

Magnesium intake through these foods can offer the same, and sometimes, better benefits than supplements.

Some of these benefits include energy production and bone health support. 

Magnesium Supplements: How to Use

Products or supplements, containing magnesium, sold in the market should be used with caution.

If you want to increase your magnesium intake through these supplements, understand that the daily recommended dietary allowance is 310-320 mg per day for women and 400-420 mg per day for men.

If you will use one to get enough magnesium for your body, make sure to take it with meals.

According to some experts, doing this can increase the absorbability of the supplements.

Concerning time, you can take these supplements or products any time of the day, as long as you can commit to consistency.

Final Thoughts

Indeed, getting enough magnesium is vital for one’s body to function properly.

Aside from supporting heart health, magnesium can also increase energy production, support bone health, and prevent diabetes.

Furthermore, there are different types of magnesium compounds.

Each of these offers different, unique benefits.

When taking any of these, one should consider the proper dose to avoid side effects.

If you prefer to avoid these supplements, you can also increase your Mg intake by consuming whole foods such as whole grains, some fruits, and dark leafy veggies.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What other supplements can I use to support proper bone function?

Aside from magnesium, you can consider taking vitamin D supplements to improve your bone and joint health.

What is the magnesium type that is best absorbed in the body?

Magnesium citrate is the type of Mg that is best absorbed by the body. Aside from this, this type is also widely accessible.

What is the common side effect of magnesium?

Too much magnesium can cause an irregular bowel movement. Thus, before taking one, you should know the required dosage for you.