Magnesium- So Many Different Forms

September 05, 2019

piles of white, pink and clear pills

If we’re good to our bodies‑—eating healthy, drinking plenty of water, exercising and getting enough sleep—then we usually feel pretty good, too.  

But there’s one essential nutrient that up to 80% of people don’t get enough of.   Can you guess what it is?

If you answered magnesium, give yourself a gold star!

Magnesium plays a central role in just about every bodily process, from the metabolism of insulin to blood pressure regulation as well as being crucial to the health of bones. It also metabolizes Vitamin D.

Talk about multi-tasking!

Magnesium comes in many specific forms — it’s not a “one size fits all” sort of nutrient. Each type can be targeted to help the different needs of your body. So you might find it useful to have a little knowledge of what each particular type of magnesium can do for you.

Check with your naturopath or doctor to find out if you need to give your body a boost with a particular magnesium supplement, and which might best for you. Below is a list of different forms of magnesium and the different benefits each has! 

Magnesium L-threonate:   has the highest bioavailability for cognition, memory, stress relief and improved sleep.

Magnesium Glycinate:   highest bioavailability for calming the mind and muscle relaxation.

Magnesium Chloride:  aids in sleep, digestion, and bone health.

Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Oxide:   effective laxatives.  (caution:  magnesium oxide can be too effective, if overused.)

Magnesium Malate: helps to relieve muscle fatigue and fibromyalgia.

Magnesium Orotate:  improves cardiac function and exercise performance.

Magnesium Taurate:   improves cardiac function, reduces blood pressure.

Magnesium Sulfate (aka Epsom salts)    Soaking in a bath with Epsom salts helps to relieve muscle aches.

Ideally, try getting as much magnesium as possible from real foods instead of supplements unless you have a severe deficiency.  It’s no surprise that many foods high in magnesium make the list of top anti-inflammatory foods as well.  Like these:


  • Spinach cooked — 1 cup
  • Swiss chard, cooked — 1 cup
  • Dark Chocolate — 1 square
  • Pumpkin seeds, dried — 1/8 cup
  • Almonds — 1 ounce
  • Black beans— 1/2 cup
  • Avocado— 1 medium
  • Figs, dried — 1/2 cup
  • Yogurt or kefir — 1 cup
  • Banana — 1 medium

Make sure you’re getting enough of the mightiest mineral:  magnesium!



Dr. Axe


Emily Passic, Naturopathic Physician, Ayurvedic Professional


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