Good magnesium levels are vital for optimal health. Magnesium is needed for energy production in body cells and helps to reduce tiredness and fatigue. Increasing evidence suggests that good magnesium levels are especially important for people with problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or heart disease. And even for those who are in good health, optimum magnesium levels are associated with a longer lifespan.
The EU register on nutrition and health claims accepts that magnesium contributes to:
- normal energy-yielding metabolism, protein synthesis and a reduction of tiredness and fatigue
- electrolyte balance and normal functioning of the nervous system
- normal muscle function and psychological function
- maintenance of normal bones and teeth
- and has a role in the process of cell division.
Which magnesium supplements are best?
Many magnesium supplements are available, but some are better than others. My advice is to select a product made to a pharmaceutical standard known as GMP (Good Manufacturing Practice). This quality control ensures that each tablet supplies what it says on the label.
Several different magnesium salts are available, of which the most popular and cost-effective is magnesium oxide. Although this form is often dismissed as having low bioavailability, this is more than compensated by the high amount of elemental magnesium it provides – an impressive 600mg magnesium per 1g magnesium oxide.
In contrast, although magnesium citrate is better absorbed, it only supplies 113 mg elemental magnesium per gram because the citrate part is relatively heavy. Similarly, magnesium gluconate only supplies 58mg magnesium per gram which explains why it is often described as more gentle and less likely to cause laxative side effects.
In reality, the body is clever at grabbing what it needs. Research shows that, in times of deficiency, you will absorb between 50% and 67% of the magnesium present in whichever magnesium salt you take.
You can also add magnesium flakes to a bath, to promote relaxation and sleep, or rub magnesium oil in to your skin. Both these methods overcome any laxative effect that can occur when taking more than 400mg magnesium as an oral dose.
Oral magnesium supplements
Here are my recommendations for some top-quality magnesium supplements. I take magnesium every day – actually, I take my magnesium at night as it helps to relax muscles and improve sleep quality.
Oral magnesium supplements are also an effective way to help regulate the bowels and overcome any tendency towards constipation.
Magnesium is also helpful for any woman who experiences fluid retention and bloating as part of the monthly pre-menstrual syndrome.
Wassen Magnesium-OK are produced to GMP standard and are designed to support hormone balance for the female monthly cycle. This supplement is particularly helpful if you experience pre-menstrual syndrome. Each one-a-day tablet provides 145mg magnesium (in the form of magnesium oxide) plus vitamins B1, B2, B6, B12, C, D, E, folic acid and minerals zinc, copper, selenium, chromium and iodine.
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Pharma Nord Bio-Magnesium are produced to a Danish pharmaceutical standard equivalent to GMP. Each tablet provides 200mg magnesium (in the form of three salts: magnesium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide and magnesium acetate) but no additional vitamins or minerals.
The dose is 1 or 2 tablets per day which provides some flexibility – you could take one in the morning and one in the evening, for example, to maximise absorption. If you notice a laxative effect with 2 tablets (not always a bad thing!) you can easily cut back to 1 tablet.
Solgar’s Chelated Magnesium Tablets are also made to GMP standard and supply magnesium in the form of magnesium glycinate chelate and magnesium oxide. Because of the larger size of the chelated molecule, however, the recommended dose of 400mg is obtained by taking 4 tablets per day.
NB If taking magnesium supplements, it is important to ensure a good intake of calcium as these two work together in the body to maintain hormone balance.
Have you taken magnesium supplements? If so, what for? Did you find them helpful? If you have any comments or questions, please use the form below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
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