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Understanding Different Types of Magnesium

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Magnesium is one of those supplements that is very well known for its benefits throughout the natural health community. Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical processes in the body. One of its most important functions is that it plays a key role is producing energy, this makes it vitality important for all cellular functions and processes. It helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeps heart rhythm regular, supports a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Its wide range of health benefits and biological activity make it effective in addressing a number of common diseases and conditions including fibromyalgia, chronic pain, diabetes, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and headaches. Numerous studies have demonstrated that magnesium supplementation and correction of deficiency has improved the aforementioned conditions. The problem with this essential mineral is that most people do not have sufficient levels for optimal health. A gradual depletion of nutrients from our soils has left many vegetables with lower levels of magnesium. Another factor that contributes to magnesium deficiency is that it often is depleted by various common conditions (i.e. IBS, Crohn’s disease) and medications (i.e. proton pump inhibitors, diuretics).
For a more complete discussion please see the article “The Many Faces of Magnesium” in the Heart Health issue of Advances at our home on the web.

As a supplement, magnesium is most commonly found in small amounts in multivitamins and in certain over the vitaminscounter laxatives. Minerals such as magnesium or calcium are combined with another molecule to stabilize the compound. Each combination, referred to as a chelate, (such as magnesium citrate) has different absorption, bioavailability and therapeutic value. These additional molecules can really impact the medicinal value of the magnesium and some even have beneficial effects in their own right. The most common forms and their benefits are listed below.

Magnesium oxide: Often used in milk of magnesia products since this form has a strong laxative effect. Even though this combination contains a large proportion of magnesium compared to the oxide molecule, it has poor bioavailability and readily causes loose stools; therefore it is considered the least optimal form to use as a supplement.

Magnesium sulfate: This form is often used as an intravenous preparation but it is not used in oral formulations. Since it does have some absorbability through the skin, it is also found in Epsom bath salts.

Magnesium citrate: A commonly used form that has a good bioavailability compared to oxide. It is also very rapidly absorbed in the digestive tract but it does have a stool loosening effect.1 This form is found in many supplements and remains a solid option for delivering magnesium into the body.

Magnesium Aspartate: This form has increased bioavailability compared to oxide and citrate. There were some promising clinical trials conducted in the 1960s that found a combination of magnesium and potassium aspartates had a positive effect on fatigue and they reduced muscle hyper-excitability.2 Physiologically this makes sense since both magnesium and aspartic acid are critical players in cellular energy production. This form is not commonly found but has been used for chronic fatigue syndrome.

Magnesium Glycinate: Glycine is a well-known calming amino acid. This combination has good bioavailability and does not have a laxative effect since glycine is actively transported through the intestinal wall. Due to the calming and relaxing effect of both glycine and magnesium, this combination has been used successfully for chronic pain and muscle hyper tonicity.3

Magnesium Malate: This less well-known combination has been studied for use in fibromyalgia. Since malate is a substrate in the cellular energy cycle, it can help improve ATP production; there is some preliminary evidence that it may reduce muscle pain and tender points in fibromyalgia patients.4

Magnesium Orotate: This is another relatively unknown chelate combination containing orotic acid. This form has good bioavailability has had been studied specifically for heart health. Orotates can penetrate cell membranes, enabling the effective delivery of the magnesium ion to the innermost layers of the cellular mitochondria and nucleus. Orotates themselves increase the formation of RNA and DNA which can help heart cells repair and therefore improve function. The combination has been shown to improve heart failure, symptoms of angina and exercise performance in clinical trials.5,6

Magnesium Taurate: Both magnesium and the amino acid taurine share the ability to improve cardiac function; each has a potentiating effect on insulin sensitivity and also a calming effect on neuromuscular excitability. The actions of both have striking similarities when it comes to cardiovascular health. They both have blood pressure reducing effects, stabilize nerve cells, improve the contraction of the heart muscle and have an anti-thrombotic effect.7 Additionally, low levels of vitamin B6 have been shown to further deplete both magnesium and taurine.

Magnesium-L-Threonate: This form of magnesium has recently been studied to improve memory and brain function. One preliminary study in animals found that it significantly enhanced both short-term and long-term memory, boosting scores by 15% for short-term memory and 54% for long-term memory compared to magnesium citrate.8 Based on this study, it appears that magnesium-L-threonate is a highly absorbable form of magnesium that can improve brain function. While this research is promising, more is needed to confirm its benefit.

Magnesium Pidolate (or picolinate): This form of magnesium has generated interest because it is very inexpensive and can easily be made into a liquid supplement. There really have not been any substantial research trials supporting its specific health benefits. The down side of this form is that the pidolate molecule does not have any additional health benefits.

Due to its broad ranging beneficial effects, magnesium has really emerged as a quintessential health supplement with an excellent safety profile. Various forms of magnesium can be employed for specific health concerns and to increase bioavailability. Consider the research evidence and activity of each form to choose one that is most appropriate for you.

Want to know more about Magnesium check out part 2 here, and a review of magnesium glycinate here

Have you tried Magnesium? What was your experience with it? Leave a comment in the section below!

You may also be interested in: “Understanding Different Types of Calcium Part 1”

Image by © 2015 Tyler Olson via DollarPhotoClub

References

1) Coudray C, Rambeau M, Feillet-Coudray C, Gueux E, Tressol JC, Mazur A, Rayssiguier Y: Study of magnesium bioavailability from ten organic and inorganic Mg salts in Mg- depleted rats using a stable isotope approach. Magnes Res 2005;18:215–223.
2) Nagle FJ, Balke B, Ganslen RV, Davis AW. The mitigation of physical fatigue with “Spartase”. FAA Office of Aviation Medicine Reports. Rep Civ Aeromed Res Inst US. 1963 Jul;26:1-10.
3) Lamontagne C, Sewell JA, Vaillancourt R, Kuhzarani C, (2012) Rapid Resolution of Chronic Back Pain with Magnesium Glycinate in a Pediatric Patient. J Pain Relief 1:101
4) Abraham GE, Flechas JD. Management of Fibromyalgia: Rationale for the Use of Magnesium and Malic Acid. Journal of Nutritional Medicine (1992) 3, 49-59.
5) Stepura OB, Tomaeva FE, Zvereva TV. Orotic acid as a metabolic agent. Vestn Ross Akad Med Nauk. 2002; (2): 39-41.
6) Geiss KR, Stergiou N, Jester, Neuenfeld HU, Jester HG. Effects of magnesium orotate on exercise tolerance in patients with coronary heart disease. Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. 1998 Sep; 12 Suppl 2:153-6.
7) McCarty MF. Complementary Vascular-Protective Actions of Magnesium and Taurine: A Rationale for Magnesium Taurate. Medical Hypotheses (1996) 46. 89-100
8) Slutsky I, Abumaria N, Wu LJ, et al. Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium. Neuron. 2010 Jan 28;65(2):165-77

506 Comments

  1. Maria Reply

    QUESTION: Would I be overdosing myself with Magnesium L-Threonate and after an hour took some Magnesium Glycinate? Thank you for specifying the different types of magnesium. I took Magnesium L-Threonate thinking it would calm me down as I was having mild anxiety attacks and no benefits after an hour. Decided to take Magnesium Glycinate, felt a difference of calmness!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Maria,
      I don’t think you would be overdosing with combo. You really can’t over dose on magnesium since excess is just excreted in the digestive tract.
      Glad to hear you found relief!

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

      1. Gene Reply

        Dr. Hrkal,
        which type of magnesium is best for depression please?
        thanks!

        1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

          Hi Gene,

          There isn’t a form of magnesium studied for depression specifically even though there is evidence that low magnesium levels are most likely related to depression. See the following studies.
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23321048
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19944540
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23950577

          I would stick to a well absorbed form of magnesium with good bowel tolerance like glycinate or malate.

          Hope that helps

          Dr Paul Hrkal

        2. Shaileigh Reply

          I have depression and anxiety with panic attacks and take up to approx 600 mg a day evey day — because of its ability to. Cross the blood brain border its easy to get into your head there by stabilizing the condition..not saying depression goes away permanently but heres proof its so much beter than drugs– i have been perscription drug free (no paxil no ativan) for 6months now..MAGNESIUM BISGLYCINATE. (I use “NOW” brand because its potency per 250 ml ratio is the best and for my dollar value.

      2. Cookie Reply

        Actually, you CAN overdose on magnesium. It’s called hypermagnesemia. Uncommon, but it happens; most aways involves supplementation. More common is magnesium deficiency.

        1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

          Cookie, you are correct. HYPERmagnesia can occur but its rare since it usually involves incorrectly using a supplement or a drug interaction. The vast majority of people with chronic disease, pain, heart disease etc have low levels.

          thanks for raising that point.

          Dr Paul Hrkal ND

      3. Jessica Reply

        Hello, how optimal is magnesium gluconate compared to glycinate? Thank you

        1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

          Hi Jessica,

          Gluconate has no medicinal benefits unlike glycine (calming amino acid, supports detox pathways etc.). I prefer to use the mag glycinate form.

          Dr Paul Hrkal ND

    2. David cantor Reply

      Dr Hrkal i suffer extreme anxiety especially at night. My doctor believes i have a high level of cortisol being produced. He wanted to put me on lexapro and or xanax. I refuse to take any narcotics. I took magnesium citrate for 2 weeks and it actually helped tremendously, but i was experiencing some diarrea. My doctor says i should not be taking magnesium citrate on a daily basis so im so confused and desperate. What should i do and is it safe to take magnesium citrate everyday for the rest of my life basically? My name is David. I value your advice.

      1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

        Hi David,

        Thanks for the question. If you are experiencing loose stools from mag citrate then try switching to magnesium glycinate. It does not cause diarrhea to the same degree as mag citrate plus you still get the benefits of magnesium and glycine (a calming amino acid). You make have to decrease the dose you are taking daily if you still get loose stools but you can play with the dosing to find what works best. Taking extra glycine on top of the magnesium when you are anxious may also decrease anxiety. You can get glycine powder as a stand-alone product. A well absorbed magnesium is safe to take for long periods of time so no need to be concerned about that.

        Hope that helps

        Dr Paul Hrkal ND

        1. Lisa Reply

          Glycine can become excitatory in the presence of too much glutamate in the brain. This is a common cause of anxiety. So magnesium gkycinate may worsen things. Also mag malate can cause stomach pain and digestive distress due to the malic acid.

      2. Marie Reply

        Hey David,
        You’re not alone in having bowel sensitivity to magnesium, especially magnesium citrate. That’s my go to for constipation. And mag glycinate has the same effect on me. It was good to read below about glycine powder for anxiety, which I have too. I want to share that I took ReMag made by Dr. Carolyn Dean who claims it has no bowel sensitivity. Guess again! Oh yes it does! It is reputed to be highly absorbable/bioavailable, but I did not notice ANY sense of calmness while taking it, even as I worked up to therapeutic doses. In addition, if you have product questions, you must listen to 2 hours of radio full of hype and hope your question gets answered. It’s why she lost my business. I’m aware of the topical magnesiums and don’t like them as my go-to; I’m told when it initially stings, it’s because we’re mag deficient and that will go away within a couple weeks, so why does it still sting?! I totally prefer oral that also addresses low stomach acid. You could give Dr. Dean’s stuff a try, but don’t buy into the hype. She claims no laxative effects, but in the small print she adds, “unless you have a bowel sensitivity.” All magnesium that I’ve tried has a laxative effect taken at the lowest suggested doses. I think I’ve tried them all. Hope this helps!

        1. Lisa Reply

          Marie, it takes a lot longer than a few weeks to overcome a deficiency. I’ve read a year. Or more. Please don’t give up on transdermal mag. You can do foot soaks with it or put it on the soles of your feet. I put a couple drops in my hand, add a big squirt of lotion, rub it together and apply to my body. If you get enough lotion there’s no sting. Strangely I can put it straight on my abdomen with no sting but not other places. I feel it in 15 minutes. Often we cannot take enough orally to overcome a deficiency. You really must incorporate this.. Also mag threonate will help your anxiety. Good luck.

        2. Arun Reply

          Hi Marie,
          Ref your sentence ….”oral addresses stomach acid”….
          there is some cloud here… While Magnesium in itself “reduces” stomach acid reflux (which is Why Neksium has started adding Magnesium to its tabs), Magnesium Chloride tried to augment the “good” hydrochloric acid that was destructed by PPIs (proton-pump inhibitors) like Neksium in the first place.

          You are bang on to term this is big Hype. Apart from the above here are some “conditionally” Bad effects of Magnesium that is already expressed in public domain –
          1) Excess Magnesium “just getting excreted” is a complete downplay – any unwanted laxation can cause serious Depletion of Nutrients and create other deficiencies
          2) Any stress on Kidneys to purge excess of chemicals even for patients who do not have Renal complications is highly avoidable
          3) Magnesium is “intricately balanced with Calcium and in turn Vitamin D”. It is well known that “over doze of Magnesium” is absolutely harmful and can cause Calcium /Vit D deficiency” – serum calcium and D must be tested
          4) There are so many Foods / other meds that Seriously affect the Daily absorption of Magnesium – any form. Like Citrous foods, excess Calcium -tabs taken separately, lack of Vit B6 etc – without addressing these Inhibitors and augmentors – I think its no use to just advise Mag supplements
          5) What use if Magnesium HAS to be taken “lifelong” – there has to be a way to unblock the blocked channels of Magnesium channels of bio absorption – the original reason for low Magnesium. While supplements are

          All the above Not withstanding, Magnesium deficiency is serious and Has to be supplemented. We need to transcend from the hype cycle to some serious next.

          Arun

          1. Dr. Hrkal

            Hi Arun,

            I wanted to correct some mis-information in your posts.

            1) Magnesium is not an antacid. It’s actually added to PPI’s because research clearly shows that PPI’s can severely deplete magnesium (and B12). Adding magnesium is the drug makers weak effort to replete the magnesium.
            http://www.medpagetoday.com/Gastroenterology/GERD/25147

            2) Magnesium does not deplete calcium. Low levels of either mineral affects the other but high levels don’t have a negative effect. Magnesium and calcium make each other more soluble (easy to dissolve) so thats why they have always been supplemented together but this doesn’t mean that they need to be given together.
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1331782
            To quote Dr Carolyn Dean MD “The 2:1 ratio—that was a mistake; a mistaken translation from French researcher Jean Durlach, who said never ever go beyond two parts calcium to one part magnesium in your food, water, or supplement intake combined.”

            Generally we eat a calcium excess diet and have a chronic magnesium deficiency so many people should take extra magnesium (not calcium) in the short term. Magnesium actually can dissolve calcium build up found in arteries (think high blood pressure, atherosclerosis AKA calcification of arteries). In the long run, a person should supplement with a complete mineral complex.

            3) Magnesium is not harmful to the kidneys (in normal, healthy functioning kidneys). In kidney disease, any supplementation should be supervised by a qualified doctor.
            In fact, chronic kidney disease causes magnesium depletion. Studies show magnesium supplementation can protect the vascular damage associated with kidney disease. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27039606
            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26997375

            Magnesium can become toxic but that usually occurs in specific conditions where a person has a dysfunction causing excess absorption or is taking medications that increases magnesium.

            4) I agree that magnesium should be ideally be taken with complementary minerals (i.e. potassium) and vitamins (namely B6) but this doesn’t prevent the the short term (<3 months) use of higher doses magnesium (200-400mg)

            Dr Paul Hrkal ND

      3. Kate Reply

        David- or really, anyone reading this now- I don’t know why this wasn’t addressed already but neither Lexapro or Xanax are narcotics. Lexapro is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor or SSRI, an antidepressant. Xanax is a benzodiazepine. Blanket avoidance of pharmaceuticals often makes very little sense when their use can rewire the brain sufficiently so the presenting problem is modified into non-existence. That would be the SSRI. Benzodiazepines should have a long enough conversation so you understand what you’d be getting into and why so it’s a good idea to take them with caution.

        Still- none are narcotics and everyone should understand what meds are being discussed.

    3. Frank Reply

      Hello Dr. Hrkal

      I have just a few simple questions about taking Magnesium Oxide 500mg daily.

      I have had AFib for nearly 20 years and 1 1/2 years ago I had a ablation done (which failed) and started having PVC’s really bad, then a few months later I had a Pacemaker/Defibrillator implanted due to Ventricular tachycardia and again an ablation (not 100 successful). I still suffer from the PVC’s and started taking Magnesium Oxide 500mg daily to help, it’s only been a couple of days since I started taking it.
      My current meds are:
      a. Eliquis
      b. Sotalol
      c. Quinapril
      d. Eplerenone

      Questions:
      1. Is magnesium oxide best for my condition (eliminate PVC’s) at 500mg/day?
      1a. If not which one and why?
      2. Will taking magnesium at these levels daily cause problems with liver or kidneys?

      Regards,

      1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

        Hi Frank,

        Magnesium oxide is not well absorbed and there are better magnesium’s for heart function. I would check out mag taurine or mag orotate in the above article and comments. Really good research on those forms for many cardiac issues including arrhythmia.
        Magnesium will not cause issues with healthy kidneys. If you have kidney disease consult with your healthcare practitioner.

        Good luck,
        Dr Paul Hrkal ND

    4. Arun Reply

      Hi Maria,
      There are ample web authored content by Doctors who explicitly say that “Magnesium and Calcium are intricately connected and balanced”…Taking just Magnesium over al long time can severely reduce your Calcium and Vice-versa !! Thats why Slow Mag and so many other brands are “NOW” mixing the Primarily Magnesium Supplement with Calcium….
      While its true that over doses will get excreted, it DOES put a great stress on your Kidneys which have to work so much harder.
      While you cannot effectively test for Magnesium levels in blood, you can get a much better estimate by testing for Serum-Calcium levels very cheaply – and is so important to be sure you dont tend towards osteoporosis.
      regds/Arun

  2. Camille Reply

    Good article. I have read studies that showed the benefits of supplementing magnesium during pregnancy but none indicated which form is best or used during pregnancy. Are you familiar with this?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Camille,

      Thanks for reading the article. Magnesium (and calcium) are important to take during pregnancy to prevent muscle cramps and healthy bone formation. There has not been any specific form studied but citrate, malate or glycinate are well absorbed and safe for both mother and baby.

      Hope that helps

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  3. Patricia Grimes Reply

    I’m a 85 year old widow and would like to take magnesium for my leg cramps.
    I take Clopidogel Bisulfate for a heart stent and Losartan 100 mg. for blood pressure.
    Could you tell me what type of magnesium would be best for me?
    Will appreciate your reply.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hello Patricia,

      Thank you for the inquiry. Unfortunately we can’t recommend specific products for you on this forum. I would recommend you consult a qualified healthcare practitioner to make sure that your supplements are safe with the medications you are on. I can say that most forms of magnesium are useful for leg cramps. I would direct you to a form such as magnesium malate, that is easily absorbed and does not cause loose stools.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

    2. Arun Reply

      Hi Patricia,
      Even though Im not a practitioner, I can safely advise you take Magnesium Chloride “transdermally” which means through the skin. This will have no complications with your other medications. Actually Magnesium Oil is what you would apply transdermally. While Magnesium Oil is very costly, you could get Magnesium Chloride “Salt” form very cheaply. Stir 1 cup of this Salt into 1 cup of just boil(ed) water. That will become Oily which you can apply. You must choose a “very fine /pure quality”. Ideally it should give you tingling sensation.
      regds/Arun

  4. Mark Reply

    I have restless leg which seems to be getting worse. I was told potassium would help. I have been taking nearly 2000 mg with only very slight improvement. I want to add Magnesium, which form would you recommend?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Mark,

      Any form for magnesium would work except magnesium oxide. Magnesium citrate has a fast absorption so that is something you can take before bed. Magnesium glycinate has a calming effect and mag malate is great for muscle pain. Remember magnesium stores are built up over time so it may take a few months to see lasting benefits but usually people see an improvement quickly.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  5. Sara Reply

    Hi there,

    I’m just wondering what the best form of magnesium would be in order to get as many benefits as possible. Do you have to get each type of magnesium separately, or is there a way to get them all in one form of magnesium? If you do have to get them all separately, is it okay to mix them together and use all at once?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Sara,

      Sorry for the late response. I don’t think you need to take all the forms to get the benefits of magnesium. Any of the amino acid combinations of magnesium will give you the benefits of repleting magnesium plus the effects of the amino acids. I would pick a magnesium form that best fits your goals (i.e. magnesium orotate if you have cardio vascular concern) and stick with it for a few months to build your levels. Magnesium glycinate or malate are my favorite for general health since they have a broad spectrum benefit on muscles.

      If you want feel free to mix them but a better approach would be to take each one for a period of time and rotate so you get the benefits of each. This way you amy be even able to tell which form you feel the best with. This will help guide you which form is best for you.

      Hope that helps
      Dr Paul Hrkal

  6. Roger Reply

    Hello Dr. Hrkal,

    Your article list the benefits of different forms of magnesium that have different health attributes. My question is once cellular magnesium levels have reached optimal status. Would the benefits of Orotate’s effect on RNA & DNA be achieved? As such would L-Threonate benefits to cross the BBB be achieved as well. I guess my question is are these health benefits attributed to the FORM or magnesium. Thank you in advance
    .

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Roger,

      Great question. The benefits of ortotate or threonate would be effective right from the start of supplementation since they have an independent and distinct therapeutic benefit. That being said, the evidence suggests that it can take months to replete cellular magnesium levels depending on the intestinal absorption and previous level of deficiency. It’s also very difficult to accurately measure this. So assuming that after 3 months of rigorous supplementation you achieve optimal magnesium levels the benefit of orotate would be there throughout this time since the effects are independent. You could argue that once magnesium levels are optimal orotate would be more effective but they are not needed for it to be effective.

      The form of magnesium makes a big difference but the effects are not necessary tied together. The added benefit of “amino acid” forms of magnesium it that they are actively absorbed compare to citrate or oxide so they don’t cause loose stools are easily.

      Hope that helps
      Dr Paul Hrkal

  7. Janni Reply

    Hello,

    I’ve recently discovered that most magnesium supplements contain dicalcium phosphate. Is there any calcium-free form?

    Thanks in advance.

    1. Justine Reply

      Hi Janni, there are many quality magnesium supplements that don’t contain calcium diphosphate. Calcium diphosphate can be used either as a source of calcium to make a cal-mag type of product, or it can be used as a type of flow agent or bulking agent to help the product go into the capsule better. But there are lots of magnesium supplements that don’t have any type of calcium in them. None of AOR’s magnesium products contain calcium.

  8. Betty Reply

    Hello,

    I want to take some bone health products like calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K2 and magnesium. What type of magnesium do you recommend and how much?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Betty,

      Thanks for the question. Any of the amino acid magnesiums (glycinate, aspartate, malate etc.) or citrate are good for bone health. Just stay away from magnesium oxide because its an inferior form that is poorly absorbed and causes loose stools.
      The recommended amount usually is 500mg.

      Hope that helps

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  9. Adnan Reply

    What is your opinion on Magnesium Oil?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Adnan,

      Some people really advocate for the use of magnesium oil for topical application to relieve muscle pain. While there are some reports of improvement in symptoms, this way of getting magnesium has not been studied nor is a good way to address systemic deficiency. There really isn’t a good way to assess if topical application is actually getting into the body other then patient feedback. I personally stick to oral magnesium products since my clinical experience and the research supports this administration route.

      Hope that helps
      Dr Paul Hrkal

  10. Jessica Ann Reply

    I have been taking 400 mg magnesium oxide once a day for about 2 weeks and I have been feeling very dizzy. Could this be a possible side effect? I have hyperparathyroidism and am below normal levels magnesium and phosphorus but high blood calcium and pth. Thank you

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      HI Jessica,

      Its tough to tell if your symptoms are related to the mag oxide. Magnesium can lower blood pressure which can lead to symptoms such as dizziness. I would stop the supplement to see if the symptoms persist. If they do persist see you doctor.

      Hope that helps
      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  11. rosalind Reply

    Which form of magnesium would be the best to use for severe constipation even though I eat fresh fruit, dark leafy greens each day and plenty of water since I stopped eating gluten. My antibodies were elevated on a blood test to 5.6ug/ml ( the normal range was <2.0 so I was told to avoid wheat,etc. I used to eat a lot of whole grains everyday with all of the above to keep myself regular. I am really afraid of becoming dependent. It is impossible to get enough whole grains without wheat.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Thanks for the question

      Magnesium citrate would be the best to promote bowel movement. Keep increasing the dose little by little each day until you get loose stools. Then reduce dose by half. The absorption is on par with the best amino acid chelate forms of magnesium but it still can offset constipation. If you are gluten sensitive then magnesium is poorly absorbed so I would recommend you continue magnesium supplementation as you get your diet in order.

      Hope that helps
      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

      Hope that helps

  12. rosalind Reply

    I definitely feel better since I stopped the gluten( except for the severe constipation)

  13. Simi Reply

    I was taking magnesium malate 850 mg each day for muscle pain.Now, I am having stomach acid problem. I have cut magnesium malate dose to less then 425 mg. For stomach acid problem, which magnesium would be the good one?
    Thank you

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Thanks for the question Simi,

      My understanding of your question is that you have reflux after taking magnesium malate (“stomach acid problem”).
      Magnesium is very well tolerated and usually doesn’t cause digestive or stomach upset when taken at the recommended doses. There is no one form that is best at minimizing the effect on stomach acid except avoiding magnesium oxide. The only thing you can do is reduce the dose (which you are trying) or change to a different form. Try AOR’s new advanced magnesium complex for a combo of the most absorbable forms.

      There are many other reasons for reflux. I would consult your healthcare practitioner if the problem persists.

      Best of luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  14. Ken Reply

    Hi: I’m a 67 year old male and have been diagnosed with atherosclerosis with a moderate calcium score in the aorta, and also occasional palpitations, nonetheless have worked out regularly for years. Was taking magnesium oxide for a year or two until discovering it’s probably the least effective of the magnesium supplements (actually it seemed to help the palpitations some). Also just upped my Vitamin D3 and added K1 and K2. Was wondering what your thoughts were for which magnesium helps heart and circulation the most…thanks!

  15. Ken Reply

    Hi: I’m 67 and in pretty good shape, but have been diagnosed with a calcium score of about 145 three years ago, also have once-in-a-while palpitations, but worked out at the gym regularly for decades. Was taking magnesium oxide (400mg a day) for a couple years until researching that it’s probably the least effective of the magnesium supplements (actually it seemed to help the palpitations some). Also have upped Vitamin D3 to 4000iu (recent blood level of 40) and added K1 (1mg) and K2 (300mcg). After reading various opinions on various magnesium formulas, was wondering your thoughts on which is best for heart and circulation…thanks!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Ken,

      Thanks for you comment. Magnesium Orotate and Magnesium taurine would be the best for heart health. Take a closer look at those in the above article. Magnesium itself will counter balance calcification and improve blood flow. Orotate and taurine provide additional benefits for heart cell function, nerve conduction and repair. The vitamin K is an excellent addition to offset calcification.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  16. Tammy Reply

    I suffer from chronic migraines and read an article stating to drink 700-1000mg of magnesium citrate/malate along with 4000mg of pyruvate in an 8 ounce glass of water. My question is do you have any experience of using this combination and would it make a difference if it was citrate or malate.
    Thank you

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Tammy,

      Magnesium will help you with vaso-relaxation and headaches. I am not familiar with pyruvate or the combo with magnesium. I like to use magnesium and curcumin for tension headaches but migraines are more complex. I would look at food allergies and other sources of inflammation in migraine cases.
      For magnesium I would use either citrate, malate or glycinate. They are best absorbed.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  17. Tammy Philipp Reply

    Thank you

  18. Jeanenne Reply

    I have Essential Tremors – it mostly affects my hands. Is there a form of magnesium that might help? I’m otherwise in good health, am 79 years old, take no medications but do take supplements.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Jeanenne,

      Thanks for the question. For essential tremor there has been no studies with magnesium. Theoretically it may help with muscle spasms but I don’t think we have any evidence to say it will help with essential tremor.

      There is a lot of evidence supporting the benefit of magnesium (muscle function, bowel regularity, etc.) so you would still benefit from taking a formula like magnesium glycinate or magnesium malate.

      I hope that helps
      Paul Hrkal ND

  19. Jeanenne Reply

    Thank you so much for your prompt reply. We have been taking two or three different forms of Magnesium (one kind at a time) but have run out and wanted a recommendation as to which form to take. I have been unable to find any supplement that lessens the effects of ETs but am planning on starting on a highly alkaline diet as that is what helped me in 2008 when I had PMR. (That and prayer)

  20. Beth Reply

    Hello I am 39 years old, female. I have heart palpitations and chronic upper back pain. Which kind of magnesium do you recommend? the cardiologist had prescribed me magnesium oxide but if another kind will help me more than I would rather try it. Can I take two kinds at the same time the one for the heart and the one for the muscle function? What is the recommended dose?

    Thank you for your help

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hello,

      There is a lot of evidence supporting the benefit of magnesium (muscle function, heart function, bowel regularity, etc.) so you would still benefit from taking a formula like magnesium glycinate or magnesium malate that have been specifically studied for the muscle function. Magnesium orotate or taurine has been studied with heart function. I have included 2 links below to some information that will be helpful.
      http://www.aor.ca/products-page/products-list/cardio-mag-2-0/
      http://www.aor.ca/products-page/products-list/magnesium-malate-renew-4/

      I do think that whatever type of magnesium you choose (outside of mag oxide which is poorly absorbed) will be helpful for both situations.

      I hope that helps
      Paul Hrkal ND

  21. Andrea Reply

    I have adrenal fatigue and the dreaded sleeplessness that comes along with it. Which form of magnesium would help? Thanks!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Andrea,

      In this case you want a well absorbed magnesium to replete levels that were lost during stressful periods. Any type other than magnesium oxide is well absorbed. I would also consider magnesium glycinate for its calming effects before bed for insomnia.

      Good luck
      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  22. Linda Powers Reply

    I have heard that magnesium does not absorb well with fluoride taken either ingested, or transdermal as in soaking in it. Could you verify this information?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Linda,

      This is a very interesting question. There actually is fair amount of research showing that fluoride prevents the absorption magnesium in the intestines. The fluoride ion itself can inhibit the activity of magnesium in enzyme processes throughout the body. This reduces bone formation, vascular relaxation and energy production. It is safe to conclude that fluoride should be avoided and ingesting high levels may counteract the beneficial effects of magnesium. This doesn’t mean you avoid magnesium supplementation. If fact, if you drink fluoridated water you should increase your magnesium levels to offset the negative effects. This webpage has a summary and list of reference that you will find helpful.

      http://www.mgwater.com/fl2.shtml

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  23. Kathy slick Reply

    My product of magnesium citrate does not carry a recommended correct daily dosage. Natural Fractors. Canada is the name of this fine white powder. Please be specific as I find this subject very confusing. 78years old.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Kathy,

      I don’t know the specific dosage of the magnesium you are referring to but it should say on the label. The goal is to get 100mg 2-3 times daily. Take as many caps as you need to achieve that dose. If you get loose stools then reduce the dose by half.

      I hope that helps
      Dr Paul Hrkal

  24. Ooy Reply

    I have numbness on the tip of my big toes. Have been taking Vitamin B12 for that and was diagnosed magnesium deficiency. Could you please recommend what type of magnesium i should take for the numbness. Thank you in advance.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Ho Ooy,

      While there is no type of magnesium studied specifically for nerve pain magnesium glycinate or taurine are great options for nerve issues since they have good absorption and both glycine and taurine are calming neuro-signalling molecules. Also consider other reasons why you could be having numbness in your toes. Diabetes and nerve entrapment can cause numbness in your toes.

      Good luck

      Paul Hrkal ND

  25. Michelle Reply

    I have a 12-year-old son who has asthma, food allergies, and is also ADD. I have read that kids with these problems lack magnesium. I’m not sure which type of magnesium would be best and how much to give.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Michelle,

      Unfortunately we can’t give recommendations for patients on dosage. I would follow the label on the bottle. I can say that there is clinical research showing magnesium is useful in ADD cases and they used a citrate form. Consider a well absorbed form of magnesium like mag glycinate that also has calming effects.

      I hope that helps

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  26. Anna Reply

    It looks like I could benefit from different forms of Mg . Would it be smart take different forms of it either daily at the same time or alternate different ones each day ? I have heard from others that diff Mag forms have different applications so you can’t take them at once . Is it true ? If yes, so then what best time to take each of form during the day ? Thank you for taking time answering all our questions ! I found this site very informative ( I am a holistic health practitioner ) !

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Anna, you are right that different forms have unique benefits but the focus should still be on an absorbable form of magnesium. I suggest taking 1 type for 1-2 months and then switching to another form. There is no benefit to switching forms daily.

      Thanks for you question

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  27. Ooy Reply

    Thank you very much for your prompt reply. I have diabetes checked and the result was ok, but have to keep close look on that. I had never heard about nerve entrapment. Will find out more about it and consult with my doctor. Thank you.

  28. Toni Reply

    Doctor Hrkal,
    December 8, 2014

    My husband has a lot of issues from RLS to calcification of the aorta. He was told by his doctor to take magnesium. At first he was on magnesium chloride but has since switched to magnesium glycinate. I was concerned until I read your article.One question, I would like to know if he should be taking calcium, D and K2 with the magnesium in order for it to absorb properly and be of value?
    Thank you,
    Toni

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Toni,

      If any cases of calcification vitamin K should be used. Studies have shown it reduces and prevents calcification of soft tissue like blood vessels.
      However, to answer your question, Vitamin D, K, or calcium are not needed for the optimal absorption of magnesium. Mag is absorbed better when taken away from food and other minerals since they compete for absorption and require stomach acid to be broken down.

      I hope that helps

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  29. Lisa Reply

    Hello,

    I have a 3 y/o son who is autistic. He currently takes Mag Glycinate 100mg bid. He deals with constipation regularly. Would it be too much Mag to give occ Mag Citrate?

    Thank you,

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Lisa,

      You don’t need to switch magnesium but just very gradually increase the dose of mag glycinate until your son’s stools become more loose. To directly answer your question, there is no harm occasionally adding mag citrate if you desire.

      Paul Hrkal ND

  30. fenty Reply

    Hi Dr Hrkal,
    Can someone have sleep apnea (on CPAP machine for pretty long) consuming magnesium glycinate ? Since mg glycinate will help muscle to relax while sleep apnea person has too relax muscle around the throat that blocking the air, it seems making it worst? If it is okay which magnesium is the best? And what is the correct dose to start? Thanks so much.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Fenty,

      Magnesium’s action is not that is will relax muscle so much that it affects breathing. Its more correct to picture when there is enough magnesium the muscle functions normally, which includes proper contraction and relaxation. Mag glycinate should not adversely affect breathing or sleeping. A well absorbed form of magnesium (like glycinate) is a good form to take to restore proper levels. There is no correct dose because it varies depending on the person and health concern. I typically tell people to follow the label dosage which usually ends up being 200-300mg daily.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  31. fenty Reply

    Thanks Dr Hrkal,
    Pls help me with my last question; for the best sleep aid should i go for mag glycinate or mag bisglycinate?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi fenty,

      Either one is fine. The bisglycinate is just 2 glycine molecules. Both work well for sleep.

      Dr Hrkal

  32. Heather Reply

    You said Mag glycinate was calming, do you know why when I take it it makes me anxious? Also when I take Potassium it gives me chest tightness and pain? Thanks

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Heather,

      Some people have this “opposite” effect to magnesium. We don’t know exactly why it happens but my theory is that since magnesium increases energy production at the level of the mitochondria some people could be overstimulated by this. The same is true for its affect on the brain. Mag is needed in the formation of excitatory neurotrasmitters so you may be pushing these pathways with extra mag. I would suggest trying to support the brain pathways with a B-complex. Its might make the magnesium less excitatory if other co-factors are present.

      here is study that supports this theory
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2880351

      I hope that helps

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  33. dju Reply

    Lots of good info here. So I have a vitamin D/magnesium question. Recently increased my vitamin D3 to 10,000 units/day after latest blood test came back still low after taking 6,000 units D3/day. At the same time I stwitched from magnesium citrate to magnetic glycinate due to intestinal issues. No intestinal issues, but getting that anxiety and jittery feeling again. Wondering if the high dose if D3 is draining my magnesium or if the switch to 800 mg magnesium glycinate/day isn’t maintaining my magnesium level like magnesium citrate did. My intestinal problems seem better though.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Dju,

      Its tough to say exactly what is causing the jittery feeling again but it may be the glycinate component. Even though it is calming for most people it can have the opposite effect for a few. I would try switching to one of the other magnesiums (like malate) to see if you still feel that way. Malate is well absorbed as well. Another option is to reduce the dose of magnesium glycinate to 400mg daily. The vitamin D will not have an effect on the magnesium but it could increase your calcium levels.

      Dr Hrkal

  34. Zenie Ed Reply

    I took mag glycinate for a few months at a low dose 3x a week. It was good but it aggravated my insomnia. What mag supplement do you recommend? I’ve got adrenal fatigue. Thanks

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Zenie Ed,

      Some people have this “opposite” effect to magnesium. We don’t know exactly why it happens but one possible explanation is magnesium is needed in the formation of excitatory neurotrasmitters so you may be pushing these pathways with extra mag. I would suggest trying to support the brain pathways with a B-complex. Its might make the magnesium less excitatory if other co-factors are present. Also another type of magnesium, like mag malate or citrate could not have the same effect on the brain.

      here is study that supports this theory
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2880351

      I hope that helps,
      Dr Paul Hrkal

  35. Erin Reply

    Hi. I recently was diagnosed with hyperparathyroidism and underwent a parathyroidectomy and thyroid lobectomy (it was intrathyroidal) 6weeks ago. I am in the process of determining the damage with doctors but it appears I have had it for at least 10 years. I have suffered from back pain, kidney stones/infection, fatigue, apathy, heart palpitations, Lown Ganong Levine Syndrome, extra clotting (no DVT), and hand numbness. Since surgery, many things have improved but I am now getting muscle spasms often, palpitations have increased, and daily numbness in my arms, hands, legs and feet that lingers for up to an hour. My labs indicate low vitD and low-normal calcium, normal PTH. I am currently taking 100% RDA calcium, 4000 IU D3, 100% RDA K2. Should I request to be tested for Mg deficiency? Do my current symptoms sound like they could be improved with Mg? Is Mg deficiency associated with HPT pre or post-op? Thank you.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Erin,

      That sounds like a complex situation. Low or altered thyroid function could cause all those symptoms which I would suspect before I think of magnesium involvement. If you wanted to test for magnesium deficiency that I would request ionized magnesium but even this test is a poor marker of your true magnesium levels outside the blood stream. For this situation, I would suggest seeing a naturopathic doctor that will be able to answer of magnesium is a good idea for you to take. The good news is that magnesium is very well tolerated and has very little side effects.

      I hope that helps

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  36. Lisa Lansford Reply

    Hi, I’ve been taking 1,000 mg. of Magnesium Oxide per day (500 mg. in the morning and 500 mg. in the evening) for several months and am very happy with the laxative properties (no more constipation). After reading this very informative article, I am wanting to try Magnesium Taurate and Magnesium L-Threonate for their benefits. My question is, would these two forms of Magnesium have the same beneficial effects on my digestive system as the Magnesium Oxide? I don’t want to go back to ineffective elimination.

    Thank you for your help. Lisa

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for you question. There is no doubt that magnesium oxide has the most potent laxative properties but citrate also has this effect at similar doses. Any type of magnesium will have a stool loosening effect but oxide and citrate just have their effect at lower doses. I think you can try another form like mag taurine but just adjust the dose to maintain your stool function. Also once you build up your mag levels your stools should need less of a dose to regulate bowel movements.

      I hope that helps

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  37. Huni Hinrichsen Reply

    Do any of the magnesium types counter each other? I have been taking Magnesium Citrate for a while to reduce risk of getting blocked bowel movement but a doctor is recommending me to take Magnesium Threonate for improved nerve and brain functions. I tried switching but noticed shortly that my bowel movement dropped.

    Can I take both of them right before bedtime or would you recommend sticking to either?

    Thanks Paul!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Huni,

      There is no known interaction between the forms of magnesium. Citrate does a better job at loosening the bowels. Threonate will also loosen stools but at a higher dose since the amino acid is absorbed more readily. In my opinion you could take both together if needed.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

      1. Huni Hinrichsen Reply

        Thank you very much!

  38. Katerina Reply

    Hello,

    Hi how are you? I have a question. A few weeks ago I purchased a product called Natural Vitality Nature Calm. It is magnesium citrate that is in a powdered form which I add to my water at night to drink. I am hypothyroid and even taking my desiccated NatureThroid I still was severely constipated. The magnesium citrate works tremendously for me. I take roughly around 325 mg to 400 mg every night. The problem is my insomnia is still there. I used to have to take prescription meds just to fall asleep. I stopped taking the prescription meds for sleeping because I don’t want to live like that and rely on a pill just to fall asleep. I drink the magnesium citrate and then a few hours later I take melatonin, but it still takes me a few hours to fall asleep. I used to have migraines almost every day, muscle spasms, and muscle twitches. After taking the magnesium citrate that has gone away. My muscles do hurt a lot though and my doctor is still running some blood test to see if this is fibromyalgia or some other autoimmune disease. I wish they made an all in one magnesium pill. I did read that magnesium glycinate is good for insomnia. Why is glycinate better for insomnia versus the citrate form? Will the glycinate also produce a laxative effect? Also, taking the citrate I cannot say that I see a huge difference in my muscle pain. My main concern is I don’t want to become constipated again changing the magnesium type. I really love the nature calm, I feel that it really works but I just can’t easily fall asleep like normal people. Can you please recommend to me what I can do and which one I should take, and how many milligrams is the safest dose for the day in which ever you recommend? Thank you very much and I look forward in hearing from you.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Katerina,

      Thanks for your questions. Its sounds like you have a number of things you are still trying to figure out. Unfortunately, I can’t make treatment or diagnosis recommendations in this post but I can answer some of your questions.
      1) Mag glycinate can be better for sleep since the amino acid glycine has an added calming effect in the brain that complements magnesium. Glycine is a calming neurotransmitter.
      2) Mag glycinate can also keep your stools regular but since its absorbed better than citrate you may need to take more to get the same effect.
      3) A common dosage for mag glycinate is 200-400mg daily in divided doses.

      Note: Mineral supplements can interact with your thyroid meds so be sure to take them at different times of the day.

      I would suggest you consult a Naturopathic doctor to help identify some root causes of the insomnia and muscle pain. There are number of effective things that can be done for fibro and lo.

      I hope that helps

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  39. Joe Reply

    Hello Dr Hrkal,

    My wife and I use mag daily and love it. We always opt for a chelate form. My wife is now 20 weeks pregnant. I have heard that Mag L-Theronate taken before bed can help with better sleep and cognition due to it’s ability to pass the blood brain barrier so quickly. Pregnany has caused some sleepless/anxious nights for my wife. I know most chelates are safe and are often recommended to help with muscle health and calcium absorption in pregnancy. Would there be any reason why Mag L-Theronate would be ill advised in pregnancy?

    Blessings,
    Joe

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Joe,

      Thanks for your question. You are correct that most chelates are safe however since Mag L-theronate is still a very new ingredient we don’t have much human safe data on it however it has been granted GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status by the FDA so I am confident in its safety for all ages. As an FYI, L-theronine is a metabolite of vitamin C which is definitely safe in pregnancy in low doses.

      Here the link
      http://www.fda.gov/ucm/groups/fdagov-public/@fdagov-foods-gen/documents/document/ucm400322.pdf

      I hope that helps
      Dr Paul Hrkal

  40. Xena Reply

    Hi
    I have 3 questions

    1) I am in my mid twenties and a longterm insomniac who sleeps 3 hours a day, before going to bed I suffer from high anxiety and muscle spams and restless leg syndrome which keeps me wide awake, which one would be the best to calm me down and get to sleep and how much (how many grams) shall I use to the optimum effect.

    2) is there any difference in using the magnesium oil vs the tablets and which one is better for my situation

    3) I have heard Magnesium works best when combined, there many on the market such as magnesium/calcium and Magnesium zinc again which one would be the best in my severe insomnia/ anxiety situation

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Xena,

      Thanks for the question. I can’t give you medical advise but I can answer some of your questions.
      1) Magnesium glycinate is a very relaxing form of mag that also has the benefit of glycine which is a calming amino acid. Follow the dose on the label but try taking a higher dose short term until you get loose stools and reduce from there.
      2) Oil is a topical application that can help sore muscles but its a not a good way to build up systemic levels if you deficient. Oral forms used for more than 4 months are needed.
      3) Cal/mag is a common supplement combo but we usually have enough calcium in our diets so I prefer magnesium by itself. I agree that restless legs, insomnia and muscle pain would benefit from all the minerals since they work synergistically together so I would also suggest a high potency multi (not a one a day – a good multi is at least 3 caps daily) along with your magnesium. Extra zinc could also be a good idea.

      I would suggest you see a Naturopathic doctor to help you address some roots causes of your insomnia. Somethings food sensitivities can cause inflammation, muscle spams and even insomnia.

      I hope that helps
      Paul Hrkal ND

      1. Xena Reply

        thank you

        1.can you clarify what you meant by taking high potency multi ? did you mean a multi vitamin, if so which brand do you recommend.

        2. my severe insomnia has made me looking gaunt and sickly looking and have a LOT OF ACNE, I have hollow cheeks now and 2 big lines around my mouth in addition my lips are cracked, very dry and bleeding constantly, is there any vitamin in my body that I am missing is my body being depleted of minerals hence I am looking so gaunt, again what vitamins do I need?

        3. Why Zince how does it benefit my situation and if I buy the multi vitamin do I have to take it with the ZINC

        THANK YOU

        1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

          Hi Xena,

          A high potency multi is one that in NOT a one per day supplement. I like AOR’s ortho core since it has all the active forms of the minerals and vitamins PLUS antioxidants. This makes it much more than just a multi. Some people need extra zinc especially if you are deficient. A hair mineral analysis or blood test (available through a ND) can tell you if you have low levels and you need extra over and above a multi. A good way to think of a multi is that its the minimum of each nutrient to maintain your levels.
          To learn more about what signs and symptoms cause certain symptoms read my blog I posted earlier.
          https://drnibber.com/common-signs-of-nutrient-deficiency/

          Good luck

          Paul Hrkal ND

          1. Xena

            hi sorrry to bother you once more

            due to my severe chronic insomnia which is caused by anxiety you recommended before to take magnesium but after doing some research i found out about DOLOMITE

            these are the active ingredients in it :Active ingredients per tablet:
            Magnesium (Carbonate)133mg
            Calcium (Carbonate)200mg
            Vitamin D (200iu) (Ergocalciferol Preparation)5µg

            http://www.healthplus.co.uk/Dolomite-and-D.html

            is it possible to take Dolomite at night instead, does it work against insomnia and how many should i be able to take

            i am mid twenties female and 5’3 tall

            thank you

          2. Dr. Hrkal

            Hi Xena,

            I don’t have any experience using dolomite. I would be very cautious about using this form of magnesium since its in the carbonate form which is not well absorbed.

            Paul Hrkal ND

  41. Melissa Reply

    Hi, I have a question I hope you can answer , I have read the article twice, lol , and due to my fibromyalgia and lack of concentration, Im having a hard time figuring out which magnesium to take … I have severe VIT D defiency , osteoarthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic back/ knee pain. also .. since I have started taking VIT D , I have ‘read’ I also need magnesium … I do take pain medication , along with a host of other prescribed medications.. I dont know if magnesium can interact with other meds also? please help ? Im not sure which mag to take .. thank you very much … Melissa

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Melissa,

      Thanks for the question. It sounds like you have a number of factors that need to be addressed. The vitamin D would be my top priority. Magnesium can help with both chronic pain and fibro but I can’t recommend anything since I am not your doctor and don’t know your specific meds. A licensed naturopathic doctor can really help you sort this out. I can say look at the magnesium malate info again since this type of magnesium has been clinically studied for fibro. I also would consider assessing your thyroid status. Ask your doctor to run a full thyroid lab panel. Here is a link to a article that is a very comprehensive overview of how to address chronic pain. It can help give you more direction.
      http://www.townsendletter.com/Nov2014/painfibro1114.html

      Best of luck

      Paul Hrkal ND

  42. Armando Reply

    I am 54 male, low testosterone (@ 250) June 2014 injected in shoulder and wrist with Kenalog (corticosteroid) it sent me to ER 3 times in a month where after MRI, Xrays lab of all kind, they found nothing wrong, the Dr. gave me xanax and sent me home, with HBP (155/105), heat in chest and painfull arms and legs. To make it short the Dr. never acknowledge it was the injection (the one in the wrist also caused my left thumb ligament to rupture and had surgery 20 day later to rerun the 2nd in the pointing finger) in all I spend 6 months in disability and getting back little by little. Now I am taking Vit D (had @ 20 the last 3 times tested) and lately have a sense of fatigue and muscle wasted. A Endo gave me 5000 IU Vit D 3 months ago but every time I take it I felt numbness in head and anxiety. I just try again and the numbness is less. Not taking 100 mg mag glysinate 3X a day but it makes me feel weak!. Should I expect to overcome that or lower the dose?. Can I expect to improve testosterone with D, Mag and B12 (methylcobalamin 1 mg a day -I was in low side when Endo saw me, took 5 mg for a month now only 1 mg) At times I feel chest pinching and light headed (dizzy) but I blame the Kenalog resin (alcohol soluble it coagulates inside the body) in my organism still around. Am I in right path ? am I missing something?. Is it possible that taking Vit D, Mag Vit C liposome 1500 a day and risverastol and Astaxanthin could be detoxing me and causing die off simptoms?
    Sorry for the long letter but it really feel good to extern all this. Thanks for your help.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Armando,

      It sounds like a complex situation. Unfortunately I am unable to give you any medical advise on this blog since I am not your doctor. Due to your complex health history I would suggest you see a local naturopathic doctor that can help you answer your questions and get you on the road to healing. I can say that taking magnesium glycinate should not make you feel “numb.” Some people can experience anxiety after taking mag glycinate since it activates some of the neuro-pathways for some people. I would assume that you may also be deficient in cofactors like b-vitamins which complement magnesium activity. Low levels of b-vitamins (more then just B12) can make the neurotransmitter production imbalanced. To answer your second question the vit D, Mag, Astaxanthin,resveratrol and vit C should not cause die off symptoms but that again should be discussed in person with a ND.

      Best of luck

      Paul Hrkal ND

  43. Lane Reply

    Hi: I am taking aor cardio-mag 20. Recommended for high blood pressure. I have taken it twice a day,for about two weeks. I have noticed dizziness. Is that a symptom of the product. Will it subside.
    Thankyou

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Lane,

      Thanks for the question. There aren’t any noted side effects for magnesium orotate however dizziness can be a due to a number of cardiovascular related issues. Typically dizziness is caused by too high or too low blood pressure. If you are on any cardiovascular/blood pressure meds there may be an additive effect with magnesium leading to lower blood pressure. I would track your blood pressure throughout the day and if the symptoms persist, discontinue the cardiomag and see a qualified health practitioner.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  44. Eileen Reply

    I have Hashimoto’s, take Armour and have been gluten free for 4 months. I’ve also added several vitamins due to absorption issues. Currently weaning off of Prevacid. My Dr recommended magnesium Glycinate which I take at night. I’ve had constipation issues since going gluten free. Could I add magnesium oxide on a daily basis, maybe taking in the morning, to help the constipation?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Eileen,

      Thanks for your question. In terms of magnesium you could either add extra mag glycinate or mag oxide. Both will do the trick for loosening stools. The mag glycinate dose might be a bit higher. I would also consider glutamine for gut healing, high dose probiotics for a few months and a fibre supplement. They all should help with constipation. Of course lots of water is must with any fibre supps.

      I hope that helps

      Paul Hrkal ND

  45. Eileen Reply

    Thank you, Dr Hrkal! You’re doing an awesome service for the public. I will pass your link along to friends.

  46. Eileen Reply

    i have another question. What type of mag supplement would you recommend for a child who is an extremely picky eater. Constipation and irritability are issues.
    Thanks again.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Eileen,

      Mag glycinate has the best calming activity. The dose is individual and has to be slowly increased until you get loose stools. A liquid formula is also nice for children as well from a taste perspective. In all cases of children irritability/constipation I suggest you see a licensed ND to assess food allergies; its a huge connection. Also consider probiotics but would be a question for the ND.

      Hope that helps

      Paul Hrkal ND

  47. Sasha Reply

    Hello

    From 2 weeks I have been having severe pain down my right leg which seems to be triggered by a pinched nerve in my buttocks area. Which mag is the best for muscle and nerve issues? Also I have severe constipation issues, which would be the best for it and what dose ? Thank you so much !!!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Sasha,

      For nerve pain magnesium glycinate would make the more physiological sense even though there has been no studies on it and sciatia. I increase the dose gradually until you get loose stools to find your bowel tolerance point then decrease your dose from there. Hydration, fibre and good fats are also key for constipation. Also consider getting good chiropractic care to see if one of your gluteal muscles in not pinching your sciatic nerve and to assess you low back as a potential cause.

      Good luck

      Paul Hrkal ND

  48. Victoria Reply

    Hello Sir. I have read ur article about magnesium. I like it. I have ortharthitis in my right knee from the last 15years.one of my friends talk about Jamieson calcium magnesium+vitamin D3. I try it .its benefit me. Please suggest me which kind of magnesium I have to take how much in a day and when. Before or after food.It will be appreciated if u reply me. Thanks.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Victoria,

      There is no specific type of magnesium for joint pain but muscles support joints so I prefer magnesium malate and glycinate for tight muscles. A good dose to build up your levels is 200mg twice a day and its usually best taken away from food.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  49. Victoria Reply

    Hello sir I received ur mail. Thank you so much. Sir as I mention I have osteoarthritis from last 15 years . So you recommend me magnesium malmate and glycinate. sir I live in Canada I try all the shops but do not find any where. They have citrate. And calcium magnesium. So please help me what to do

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Victoria,

      Mag Glycinate and malate should be available in healthfood stores. Pharmacies may not carry them. If those are not available then use mag citrate. I would avoid calcium by itself. Also consider vitamin D supplementation.

      Dr Hrkal

  50. Caroline Guedes Reply

    Hi ,
    I have headache/migraine for 6 years and usually have TOPAMAX and Botox ( each 3 months) but I heard MAGNESIUM can help , with type should I try ?
    Ty

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Caroline,

      The specific type of magnesium that has been studied for headaches and migraines varies. I prefer a well absorbed form like magnesium glycinate for longer term supplementation but mag citrate can also work.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  51. Jim Reply

    Dr. Hrkal, I have leg cramps regularly at night, often 3 or 4 times per night. They are generally worse after exercising hard during the day and/or having a couple of beers in the evening due to dehydration I expect. I also have tension headaches fairly regularly and have noticed that my spacial memory is not what it used to be, I am 72 years oid. Can you recommend what typ;e of magnesium supplement would be best for me? Thanks.

    Jim

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Jim,

      Thanks for your question. I would suggest magnesium glycinate as a very well absorbed form of magnesium. Its added relaxing properties can address leg cramps and headaches. There is no evidence that magensium helps memory specifically but it will help with general cognitive function and most elderly people are deficient. For memory I would suggest you look into curcumin (an extract from the spice tumeric). Here is some more info.

      http://www.aor.ca/products-page/products-list/curcumind/

      Regards,

      Dr Paul Hrkal

      1. Amber Reply

        Hi Jim. Apple cider vinegar works wonderful for cramps. My husband works out regularly and he used to get terrible cramps when he rode his bike hard. He tried mustard (which has the 1st ingredient as vinegar) but it didn’t work. One of his cycling buddies told him to do apple cider vinegar…as much as he could stand. It works! He has not had a cramp in a few years now. He drinks about 1 cup before and after his hard rides. Also, my grandmother gets cramps very bad when she is dehydrated. During one of her terrible cramps, I mixed 1 cup of pepsi and about 1 1/2 cups of apple cider vinegar. Her cramp went away in less than 10 minutes.
        I too have migraines. Two days ago, I started a magnesium citrate regimen. Hope this helps.

  52. Amina Reply

    Hi,

    Thanks for the article on different types of magnesium, it is very helpful.

    I suffer from extreme anxiety, symptoms include tense muscles, tight jaw, stiff shoulders and racing heart rate. I took a magnesium biglycinate powder combined with B-complex which seemed to increase anxiety and cause stomach upset and loose bowels. Which other magnesium form would you recommend?

    Thanks
    Amina

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Amina,

      Thanks for your question. Its sounds like you have a number of symptoms going on that are pretty serious. I would suggest you see an ND to help guide you with your supplementation. There are be other nutrients that could be very helpful. Check out the research and info about GABA. http://www.aor.ca/products-page/products-list/gaba-4/

      In regards to the 2nd part of of your comment, a b-complex could cause nausea and too much magnesium could be responsible for the loose stools. Magnesium glycinate is a good form but you may not be able to handle the glycine component. I would suggest taking this up with your ND since there are many issue that can come into play here. You could switch to a loser dose of magnesium malate to see if you get the same effects and take it by itself. In some cases magnesium and b-vitamins can be too stimulating.

      good luck

      Paul Hrkal ND

  53. Karen Watkins Reply

    Per my reading, I believe I made to add a magnesium supplement. I have afternoon fatigue, restless legs sometimes at night, leg cramps sometimes at night, and trouble staying asleep. Reading your above explanation of the various magnesium forms, would I be correct in adding magnesium glycinate? Thank you for your information. Is there any benefit to the topical magnesium chloride sprays?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Karen,

      Magnesium Glycinate would probably be your best option due to its relaxing effects. If it doesn’t help with the cramps completely then consider adding multi-mineral complex as well along with it.
      There is not much research on topical sprays so we really don’t know much about if it works. Some people have positive experiences with it so there very well may be on benefit but I have not used it myself with patients

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

    2. Karen Reply

      Hi Hrkal,

      Would low mag levels cause high RA numbers 119
      Or would taking mag cause high R A levels.
      When i was tested for RA I had just stopped taking mag supplements 3 weeks prior.
      Thank you

      1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

        Hi Karen,

        I don’t see any way that Magnesium would have any impact on Rheumatoid factor numbers.

        Dr Paul Hrkal

  54. Dennis Sklar Reply

    Am also an ND in the states. Good luck spreading the word.
    Dennis

  55. Mark Reply

    Very helpful article!

    I want to try magnesium supplements mainly for better sleep (especialy falling asleep).

    In reply to a previous post you mention that magnesium glycinate might be the best option for sleep due to the calming effect of glycerinate. I can only find supplements with magnesium bis-glycinate. Is bis-glycinate the same as glycinate? Do they both offer calming effects?

    In another reply you say that the goal should be to get 100mg magnesium 2-3 times daily. Does this apply to all the different forms of magnesium? I ordered a magnesium taurate supplement which has a dose of only 50mg per pill. Would it be safe to take 4-6 of these pills a day, to get to that daily dosage of 200-300mg?

    Thank you.

    Mark

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Mark,

      Thanks for the questions. Bisglycinate is the same as glycinate (bis means 2 glycines amino acids stuck together).
      The dosage for magnesium is roughly around 300mg/day so if you need to take 6 caps of 50mg mag taurate to get there that works just fine! The extra taurine is an added bonus!

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  56. Billie Bullard Reply

    My dr advised me to start taking vitamin D as my blood work shows I am deficient so I started taking D3 1000 iu..but a friend said if I don’t take magnesium that the D will not work. So I have bought magnesium citrate…should I take the D3 & magnesium at same time of day?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Billie,

      There is absolutely no problem taking magnesium the same day. In fact, I recommend that you do take magnesium (and also vitamin K) along with vitamin D.

      In health,
      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  57. Maggie Reply

    I have been taking Magnesium Malate for a few months (the highest dosage I’ve taken is 3 capsules a day = 540mg) for eyelid muscle spasms, but I read that Glycinate may be a better choice. What do you recommend and at what dosage to be effective? Thank you.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Maggie,

      Mag glycinate may have a more relaxing effect so it could improve muscle spasms and eye twitches. You can try the same dose as the mag glycinate for another few weeks to see it makes a difference. I would also consider taking a multi mineral formula as well to see if that helps. Sometimes extra calcium and potassium along with the mag is helpful for muscle twitches.

      In health,
      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  58. Mark Reply

    I have Fibromyalgia combined with osteoporosis, IBS, CHRONIC PAIN in my lower back and both my shoulders are now causing me issues ( pain in joints , weakness) !
    Muscle pain and inability to remain asleep are chronic issues. What is best dosage to supplement? I have read that 400 mg is the daily recommend allowance?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Mark,

      Its difficult to answer your question with all your conditions since I am not your doctor. I think you are on the right track with 400mg in divided doses through out the day. Use a well absorbed form like mag glycinate or malate which will also help your pain.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  59. Danny Reply

    I am interested in knowing more about magnesium cloride. Is it a good form of magnesium and what is it used for?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Danny,

      Magnesium chloride is commonly used in topical oils and in IV solutions. There isn’t much research on this form as a “therapeutic” form of magnesium but it is used in hospitals and clinics to replace magnesium quickly via IV. Some experts feel its a superior form of magnesium since its totally ionized (meaning totally dissolved into magnesium and chloride) so its easy to absorb. The trouble is that you can’t find any solid research to show that mag chloride is a superior oral supplement so right now we are relying on clinical expertise and theoretical actions.
      I personally like to use forms of magnesium such as mag malate or mag glycinate that will also give you the beneficial effects of the amino group (i.e. malate for cellular energy).

      Hope that helps

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  60. vince Reply

    Hi Doc, which would you recommend for the heart, orate or taurate? Thanks

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Vince,

      Good question. I like both. I always ask are you looking for heart function or conduction. See the my breakdown below and what magnesium form I think is best suited (FYI this is my opinion based on my clinical experience and understanding of the current research).
      Heart failure – orotate
      Exercise performance (heart function) – orotate
      Hypertension – either orotate or taurine
      Arrhythmia – taurine
      post heart attack/angina – either orotate or taurine

      I hope that helps

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  61. Caroline Cioppa Reply

    I have a-fib,and am currently taking magnesium glycinate 200mg daily(first thing in the morning along with norvasc & lescal)
    at noon I take cartia and at bedtime i take coumadin. should I be taking a different magnesium in the morning and the gycinate in the evening or would i be better off just taking one type. if so which magnesium which would benefit me more.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Caroline,

      Unfortunately I can’t really make any recommendations for your situation since you are taking multiple meds. Thats something for your MD or ND to help you with. That being said, I don’t think you need to change the types of magnesium to get the benefits. If you want a form more specifically for heart health I would consider mag taurate or mag orotate. They have better evidence supporting their use in heart conditions then mag glycinate.

      Regards

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  62. bipin Reply

    i have heart palpitation and exteme anxiety too.i have been taking beta bokers for fast heart beat but its not going easy.please kindly help me which magnesium is better for me.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Bipin,

      Unfortunately I can’t really make any recommendations for your situation since you are taking multiple meds for a serious condition. Thats something for your MD or ND to help you with. That being said, according to the evidnce we do have, if you want a form more specifically for heart health I would consider mag taurate or mag orotate. Please be careful with supplementing with magnesium and potassium since some heart medications can alter these levels.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  63. Donna Reply

    I am trying to learn about the differences between a prescription magnesium and products like Natural Calm. I am under the impression that magnesium is best when consumed as a powder or spray. Is this accurate? Thank you for any education you may be able to provide.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Donna,

      There is some information on the internet that suggests powders or sprays are better forms of magnesium but there simply isn’t any peer reviewed evidence to support these claims. Unfortunately these claims are usually associated with selling a product. It is true the tablets can be hard to dissolve in your digestive tract but capsules dissolve in your stomach and intestinal juices to release the powdered contents. Magnesium is not absorbed sublingually (under the tongue) so a spray isn’t that helpful unless you are put it on your skin. Mag calm is a nice formula with a “feel-good” bubble when mixed with water. People like it for its taste and ease of use but the magnesium is no better absorbed then a capsule.

      So overall capsules, powder or a liquid are good options but it really depends of the persons preference. I see patients everyday that like the various forms for many reasons. I will say that if you hate swallowing capsules then a powder or liquid is better. You can also get a higher dose of magnesium since you are not restricted to a capsule. Liquids and powders are also easily mixed into water, beverages and smoothies which hides the taste and is great for kids or for people that already takes lots of capsules. But keep in mind that 99% of liquids also have preservatives (i.e. polysorbate 80) with questionable health effects. Some people are very taste sensitive so they want capsules. If you want an accurate dose then capsules are also better in this case.

      I hope that helps

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  64. Lianda Reply

    I “discovered” magnesium citrate year ago to help with constipation and muscle cramps. I have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and have been taking Armour thyroid. But years before discovering Hashi’s, I was diagnosed with IST (ianppropriate sinus tachycardia) which makes my resting heart rate 105. I take atenolol to maintain a rate in the 70-80s.

    I have to take almost 900-1,000 mg of Mag Cit to deal with both constipation and intense leg cramps. (I divide it up by morning and evening doses). And recently the muscle cramps have gotten a lot worse. I have even occasionally had constipation with a dose of 800 mg!

    According to what you have said in the many wonderful and generous answers you have given, this seems like a HUGE dose!
    I’m planning on trying Mag Glycinate and Taurate – to replace some of the citrate. Should I try one at a time to see what helps? Also, does it sound like there’s another issue going on if I have to take 900 mg of magnesium?

    Thanks so much for your time and expertise!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Lianda,

      Thanks for question. I would try one at a time to see how you tolerate them and what dose works best. Increase by 1 cap daily until you get loose stools. You may need less of either mag glycinate or taurate. I would try the taurate first since its more indicated for heart function. Magnesium orotate also is good option. http://www.aor.ca/products-page/products-list/cardio-mag-2-0/.
      Some people need higher doses of magnesium so don’t be concerned about that as long as there are no contra-indication with you medications (which beta blockers are fine). Magnesium is a very safe mineral but some meds can alter levels so talk to your doctor about that. Your electrolyte levels can also be checked to be safe.
      If the muscle cramps are still a problem try adding a multi mineral complex or a small amount of calcium. Its makes nerves function along with magnesium. Lastly get your doctor to check your iron levels because low levels can cause restless legs and muscle cramps as well.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  65. lisa Reply

    Please help, I was wondering if I can take mag taurate and Natural Calm Raspberry Lemon in the same day?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Lisa,

      In my opinion you can combine different types of magnesiums as long as your bowels can handle the amount of mag. Otherwise there are no safety issues.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  66. TErry Reply

    Hi Dr. Hrkal,

    I am appreciative of the plethora of information provided by you, it is apparent to me you are helping many people.

    My question is twofold. I am currently taking 240 mg Diltiazem for an A-fb condition, with my current cardiologist giving me the okay to add magnesium. First, from the information provided and as I understand it, it appears magnesium taurine would be the choice for A-fib? Second, I am at a magic age that would benefit from magnesium L-Threonate, so can it be taken on a bimonthly intermittent basis substituting the taurine with L Threonate or would that ultimately reduce the benefit of the taurine?

    With sincere appreciation,

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Terry,

      If your cardiologist approved the addition of mag then in my opinion mag taurate would be the most indicated. The benefit of most the mag and taurine out weight the L-threonate benefits for arrhythmia. Taurine itself has cognitive benefits so if you follow the label for dosing you will have your brain covered as well.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

    2. Angela Reply

      Hi Dr. Hrkal
      I have diabetes type 2, sciatica and fibromyalgia which magnesium and other supplements should I take to help me with muscle cramping and pain? Thank you very much in advance.

      1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

        Hi Angela,

        Magenesium glycinate is a very good calming effect for both muscles and nerves. Hi Sharie,
        Consult a Naturopathic doctor to find out if any other supplements are right for you but magnesium is a good start.

        Dr Paul Hrkal

        Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  67. Brook Reply

    Hello,

    I have a wonderful, sweet, inquisitive 7 year old boy who has been having a tough time at school. He’s incredibly smart, but a bit rigid, unorganized, forgetful, very talkative and fidgety. He also has a tendency to get frustrated, overly emotional at times, and has a difficult time following through with instructions. He also has a hard time going to sleep. While many of these traits are common for seven, together they are affecting his overall behavior in school negatively and I’m afraid he will soon hate school. It’s been suggested that he use an ADHD medication. I just cant see that given the biggest behavior issues at school are his talking and fidgeting and need for redirection and yet, his diagnostic assessments still place him at the top of the entire second grade class. However, I think it does bother him that he feels constant anxiousness. He’s very tall for his age, 76 pounds, and healthy. I started him on a supplement with 120mg of magnesium aspartate and after increasing to 180mg per day, began to see positive notes home daily and have heard him say HE LIKES SCHOOL. Is there a better form of magnesium you’d recommend for a child or is this a good one? His pediatrician is supportive of us trying magnesium but doesn’t make suggestions for homeopathics.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Brook,

      Thanks for the question. Magnesium glycinate is the best form for its calming effects but if you are using mag aspartate and its working then thats fine as well. My one thought is that the aspartate form may be to stimulating while the glycinate is more calming.
      Maybe try a liquid version of magnesium if taste and compliance is an issue.
      Another helpful tip is remove all sugar, artificial sweeteners and colourants from his diet. They are HUGE triggers. Gluten is also a big problem.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

      1. Brook Reply

        I am not able to find magnesium citrate in anything other than a pill or capsule form- which he cannot take. I found it in a soft gel but with 200mg per pill. Would it be advisable to squeeze the contents out into yogurt or something similar? Is 200mg or 400mg per day okay for a child? I also found a powder (brand name Natural Calm); however, it just says magnesium. I looked closer and the ingredients list ionic magnesium citrate (created from a highly absorbable propriety of citric acid and magnesium carbonate). I bought it as a substitute for the magnesium glycinate but just read your notes about not using magnesium carbonate as it’s not as absorbable.

        Which of those two are the best option for a child with the characteristics I described previously? While I want to calm his anxiety and restlessness, I do not want a sedative effect or to limit his ability to pay attention.

        Thank you,
        Brook

        1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

          Hi Brooke,

          Some of your questions should be answered by a licensed ND that understands the case better. Here are few points that are appropriate to respond to:
          1) Magnesium does not have a “sedating” effect. If just allows the body’s own relaxation system to function better and it opposes the activation of calcium.
          2) Dosage is based on weight. An adult dose is 400mg then a child can take 200mg safety long term.
          Mag is non-toxic so the only thing that can happen is loose stools.
          3) Mag calm is a good option so don’t have to waste it. The citrate form is still fairly well absorbed.
          4) You can open the capsule of mag glycinate. The taste should be pretty benign.

          Hope that helps

          Dr Paul Hrkal ND

        2. Dr. Hrkal Reply

          Brooke,

          Every nerve/muscle cell uses minerals to fire and send messages. Magnesium counteracts the effects of calcium allowing nerves cells to be more relaxed. It also partially blocks the excitatory receptor (NMDA) in the brain so the nervous system can’t get as excited about every little stimulus. Glycine is an amino acid that has many functions in the body but one of its fastest actions is it helps nerve cells relax by calming receptors that normally stimulate action. Both mag and glycine are not habit forming (since the body normally uses them daily) and can be safely taken long term. Most people are deficient in magnesium and for some it can contribute to anxiety, pain, ADHD etc. so we need to add more to restore function.

          Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  68. Deb Reply

    Hi Dr Hrkel

    I am after the best bio available Elemental Magnesium.

    It is for very low bone density. Already have a serious ?autoimmune condition stomach requiring PPI daily.

    What would be best form of Magnesium that would be absorbed and most gentle on stomach and gut?

    Taking Calcium Citrate
    Vitamin K2
    D3
    PPI

    Thank you

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Deb,

      PPIs are tough since they block the absorption of all magnesium since stomach acid is needed to break apart the magnesium in supplement form. The best way to bypass the entire GI system would be intravenous magnesium once a month however from an oral perspective I would still stick with an amino acid based magnesium like Magnesium glycinate. A combo of all well absorbed magnesiums might be the best option so you get the broadest spectrum forms. This is my favourite http://www.aor.ca/products-page/products-list/advanced-magnesium-complex/

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  69. Amy Reply

    Hi Dr Hrkel,

    I appreciate how much time you’ve taken to write replies to so many people! I read through your post and most of the comments and I cant seem to find an answer to my specific question:
    I have taken magnesium glycinate 400mg daily and I definitely notice a difference with my muscle and nerve pain (I have cfids & fibromyalgia). My problem is that my stomach is already sensitive due to being ill for quite some time that even magnesium glycenate (which you said in your post caused the least gastrointestinal effects) gives me very loose, tarry stools. I need at least 400mg a day for any benefit, and magnesium glycenate has so far been the only kind that has worked (though I haven’t tried ALL forms). I’m already slightly underweight and its hard for me to eat with an upset stomach. Do you have any recommendations? Is a topical oil/spray even going to do anything?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Amy,

      Thanks for your question. Have you had your tarry stools assessed for bleeding? Your stool should not be tarry unless there is bleeding or you are taking some medications that might cause it. My suggestion to you would be to break up the dose as much as possible. For example, 100mg 4 times per day (instead of taking it all at once or in 2 doses). Mg oil could be helpful but you will have to trial it to see if you notice a benefit (which might not happen until a few weeks of regular application). Maybe a combo of oral mag glycinate and topical is good option.

      I also like IV magnesium if you have access to an ND licensed to do IV therapy. Epsom salt (mag sulfate) baths also are a nice option since it does get absorbed through the skin. I hope that helps!

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  70. Christina Raby Reply

    I recently started taking 2 magnesium bisglycinate tablets an hour before bed for help sleeping and with muscle pain due to fibromyalgia and Hashimoto’s. At this point it doesn’t seem to be helping too well, I am still waking up with very sore muscles all over. I also take vitamin D3 and just was checked and levels were good. Is there another form of magnesium that would work best and when is the best time to take it? Also do I need to take K1 or K2 with the magnesium? Thank you.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Christina,

      I would suggest magnesium malate instead of mag glycinate. Its been studied for fibro specifically. I would also increase the dose to 2caps twice a day and maybe you will have to go even higher to get relief.
      Vit K is a good idea not because it should be taken with mag but it prevents calcification of vessels and muscles so a good K2 supplement is a good idea.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  71. Dawn Reply

    My husband grinds his teeth at night to the point that it is causing tooth and jaw pain. I have heard that magnesium would help. He also suffers from IBS with constipation. Which type of magnesium would be best for him?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Dawn,

      I would suggest magnesium glycinate for its effect on relaxing nerves and muscles. Just watch the dose and increase 1 cap at a time so diarrhea (IBS) is not triggered.

      Hope that helps

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  72. Andrew Reply

    Any benefit to taking both Magnesium Orotate and Magnesium Taurate? I have heart issues and high blood pressure and I was wondering if there would be any benefit of taking both instead of one or the other. Would there be synergism taking both of them? Thanks for your help.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Andrew,

      Great question! I think the combo is a great idea if you are really serious about heart protection. It gives you the best of both worlds. The orotate shuttles the magnesium into the heart cell and repairs RNA and the taurate regulates contraction and delivers more magnesium than the orotate (since its a smaller molecule and more magensium can fit into the capsule.

      I don’t see any negative interactions with the combo

      Hope that helps

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  73. Susan Menard Reply

    Dr. Hrkal

    Thank-you for the helpful information!

    I seem to need about 1200 mg magnesium to deal with constipation-I use combination of citrate and oxide. Should it be taken with or without food? I gather from one of your blogs that capsules are more easily absorbed than tablets. One reason I use the oxide is the expense–can Mg Oxide cause problems?

    Also, should Mg glycine be taken on an empty stomach at night to facilitate absorption of the glycine. Thank you!!!!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Susan,

      Magnesium ideally should be taken without food for maximal absorption. This keeps the stomach acid low so the maximal amount of magnesium is dissociated from the citrate/oxide. You are also right in suggesting that amino acids (like glycine) are best absorbed on a empty stomach so I think taking it before bed and between meals is a good idea. Definitely look for a capsule over a tablet since the breakdown is much easier and I would avoid oxide totally and just increase the dose of the mag citrate to get the desired effect on the stools. You should be able to find a inexpensive citrate product.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  74. Linda Reply

    Hi Dr. Hrkal,

    I’ve been told that magnesium deficiency could be one of the causes of cataracts. I have recently had an eye exam and found that I am still 20/20 in my left eye, but my right eye is blurry due to the beginnings of a cataract. I read some studies at the National Institute of Health which mentioned magnesium taurate. However, several friends have recommended magnesium glycinate. Which type of magnesium would be best for me? Taurate or Glycinate? Thanks!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Linda,

      Thanks for the question. You are correct that magnesium deficiency has been connected with eye disorders including cataracts.
      Here is a reference:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24233809
      I would consider magnesium and great prevention strategy. I would use the taurate form since it has an affinity for the eye, heart and brain.
      Also consider this formula called ortho eyes. Its has excellent research for cataract treatment.
      http://www.aor.ca/products-page/acetyl-l-carnosine/ortho-eyes/

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  75. Ashley Reply

    I struggle with constipation and I am wondering if the Magnesium Citrate is the best option for me to take on a regular basis? Also, how many MG should I be taking on a daily basis? thank you!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Ashley,

      Mag citrate is a good option. Start with 200mg and increase by 1 cap daily until you get relief. Then reduce by 2 caps and stay at that point. Also try to divide the doses throughout the day (i.e. 2 in the morning and 3 at night)

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  76. Tamara Smith Reply

    I’ve been reading that magnesium can help with tics. I was a stay at home mom for 6 years and went back to work. About a month later my son was doing a lot of blinking and grunting. We practice TCM and the chinese herbs helped the symptoms go away. I had the summer off, went back to work and his tic came back in a different form, a series of head nods. My son doesn’t know he has a tic, he’s been on chinese herbs for a month and while there’s been a slight improvement they told me it could take months. I was wondering if a magnesium supplement would be beneficial and if so, which one. He’ll be seven soon. Thanks so much!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Tamara,

      Thanks for your question. Magnesium is a calming mineral so it could very well aid the nervous system in a tic disorder. In this case it would best if you saw a Naturopathic doctor to get additional guidance and dosing recommendations for your son. I will suggest that magnesium is very safe in 6-7 year olds and finding a mag glycinate would be optimal form. Cutting the adult dose (on the container) is a good dose to start with. There are powdered versions to helps with compliance.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  77. Cynthia Moneypenny Reply

    Hello Dr. Hrkal,
    I would like to know the best form or forms of magnesium to take and how to take them; one for SVT and PVCs and the other for brain health. I have a very strong family history of Alzheimer’s Disease and I am doing all I can on many fronts to hopefully avoid that terrible disease.
    Currently I take approximately 800-1000grams divided of powdered magnesium citrate product (citric and mag carbonate blend). At a recent consultation with an electrophysiologist, he suggested that I switch to magnesium oxide. From your articles and others it seems that this is not the best choice.
    I welcome your input.
    Thank you for your time.
    Cynthia

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Cynthia,

      For any heart conduction issues I would suggest magnesium taurate. See this link for more info. http://www.aor.ca/products-page/products-list/mag-k-taurine/
      The good news is that magnesium and taurine are very good for brain function as well. I would work with a ND on this situation due to complexity of heart function. They will help you with dosing since thats beyond the scope of this post.

      Good luck,

      Dr Hrkal

  78. r bharadwaj Reply

    Sir ,Greetings.
    Based on my research in web I found most of my symptoms such as depression, anxiety ,irritability ,restless ness ,IBS ,Confusion are caused byagnesium deficiency .
    So I started taking magnesium tich foods such as spinach ,dates,almonds ,,sesame seeds daily.
    Im feeling better now. But not totally satisfied .
    So I consulted homeopathy doctor on this case and he prescribed me magnesium phos 6x ..is it enough to treat mag deficie cy or do I need to take magnesium suppple.ents such as glycinate. .pls help ..
    Thanks

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hello,

      Mag deficiency could be a factor in your symptoms and those foods are rich in mag but I don’t think it will be enough to get you all the way better. A mag phos 6X is a homeopathic (tissue salt) form of magnesium. That means that its been prepared in special way with a LOW dose of magnesium. It can be helpful for absorbing magnesium and has some beneficial effects (but nothing thats been researched, just based on clinical experience). I still think you will benefit from optimal doses of magnesium from a supplement. The glycinate form would work well.

      Good luck

      Dr Hrkal

  79. Alan Reply

    Does magnesium help with OCD and excitotoxicity? If it does, which form is best? Thanks!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Alan,

      Mag can help with excitoxicity and excessive nervous function but its effects vary with each person. I would use the magnesium glycinate form for its nerve relaxing effects. The magnesium itself can reduce excitoxicity. Also consider L-theanine as a very safe, calming amino acid. http://www.aor.ca/products-page/products-list/zen-theanine/

      Dr Hrkal

  80. stormee fischer Reply

    I recently purchased a magnesium malate supplement to help with my anxiety, before I realized that magnesium glycinate would be a better choice. Will the magnesium malate still help ease my anxiety? (I haven’t opened the bottle yet so I could still return it, however I do like the added benefits of the malic acid it.)

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Stormee,

      The mag glycinate would be better so if you can exchange it that would be optimal.

      Dr Hrkal

  81. Zandra Reply

    Dr Hrkal,

    I took A jamison brand 250mg Magnesium supplement last night for the first time along with Tylonol for headache, I slept great but got very cold for the first hour the magnesium in that supplement is oxide, malate and glycerophosphate. I had chronic insomnia and migraines that last for months so I would like to keep taking magnesium, should I switch to a magnesium Bisglycinate powder? Would that be better? Thanks! -Zandra

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Zandra,

      The mag glycinate would be better but if the one you are using is working for you use it up before switching. No point in wasting money and the absorption is only marginally worse. The oxide is not great but the rest of the forms are okay.

      Dr Hrkal

  82. Imajenn Reply

    Thank you for The Best article on magnesium I have come across!
    I have a complex medical situation and have multiple genetic defects resulting in an inability to convert / utilize multiple amino acids, vitimins, etc. My doctor is looking into Mitochondial & Inborn metabolism disorders.

    I have been taking Magnesium bi-glycnate for about 6 weeks, and it is helping with pain a bit, but I can’t seem to take more than 300 mg. I am still getting charlie horses on it.

    I have/had low magnesium levels & testing showed I should try and get 800 mg.

    Question:

    1)If taking a highly absorbable form of magnesium,
    -do you need Less than the RDA?
    – if so, how much less?
    eg (4 magnesium l-threonate has 133 mg magnesium per 4 caps, bi-glycnate has 400)

    2) I just looked at my urine Organic Acid test (from a year PRIOR to taking Magnesium) and my glycine levels were through the roof (something like 7000 mmol/ul).
    -There may be a problem with my ability to utilize glycine
    -Would trading the bi-glycnate form Increase my glycine levels or effect my ability to absorb this form of glycine?

    3)I have GI isdues, nerve problems, Dysautonomia, insomnia & anxiety (among many other things). I also have ATP dysfunction and memory problems
    -Would the taurinate or threonate be better forms for me to try?
    – Which would you recommend?

    Thank You
    Imajenn

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Imajenn,

      I sounds like a complex situation. I can only comment on a couple things. Based on your tolerance and OATs test I would suggest a different kind of magnesium. I would suggest mag malate for mito function and ATP production. Taurate or threonate could also work but they are not not specific for mitochondria. Don’t worry about the RDA as a dosing guide. These are very conservative (and frankly outdated) so just use bowel tolerance as a guide. For charlie horses I would suggest a mineral complex and CoQ10 to see if that works. Also check your iron (ferritin) levels.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  83. soph Reply

    Hi!

    Have been looking for magnesium bisglycinate in the EU for a long time and the closest I could find was magnesium oxide chelated bisglycinate which was not magnesium bisglycinate. Likely companies persuaded the EU to ban sales of Magnesium bisglycinate in the EU so they could sell magnesium oxide far cheaper. I think this because I’ve not found a company outside the EU who would post this into the EU!

    If you know somebody selling this please let me know.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Sophie,

      Check out this site. http://www.supplete.com/
      They have a number of magnesium types.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  84. Nancy Reply

    Hello Dr. I have high blood pressure and my doctor suggested three different kind of magnesium to choose from, magnesium citrate, glycinate or succinate. Which do you think is best

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Nancy,

      Glycinate is the best absorbed on that list. Also consider mag orotate or taurate which are specific for blood vessels and the heart.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  85. Susan Reply

    I have been searching and searching for information for a friend that has CCavernous Malformations in the brain. He has had two surgeries already to take care of the bleeds. The first one was successful, the most recent one was not and left him unable to speak, somewhat ( and hopefuly only temporarily) paralyzed and with a head shake. This is SO sad! He still has young children at home to raise. I had recently read about Magnesium and how it can help TBI’s and stroke victims. However I didn’t realize there were so many different types! From what I read above, it would seem that there could be one or more of these that may help. The nuerosurgen said that there are many more spots and that no more surgery can be done. What hope does he have? Can magnesium help restore him somewhat?

  86. Susan Reply

    PS. To the above statement, Regarding my friend, he’s not actually paralyzed, just doesn’t have full function including poor balance.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Susan,

      Sorry to hear about your friend. Sounds very complex and this question is well beyond something that can be answered online. Based on what you said magnesium probably won’t do much so I would seek the opinion of other integrative and complementary healthcare practitioners.

      Best of luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  87. Sheila Reply

    I have been taking 400mg. Magnesium Glycinate twice daily for about a month and it has has helpled my sleep immensely, but has done nothing to help the constipation. Could I add magnesium citrate along with the glycinate and if so how much? Thank you
    Sheila

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Sheila,

      The issue might be you have to increase the dose of the glycinate. Its not harmful and you will know you have hit the right dose when your stool become softer. You can also add citrate without any issues 1 cap each night until loose stools.

      In health,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  88. JCB Reply

    Hello, what form of magnesium it’s best to take to stop chocolate and all sugar cravings. Thank you

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Jill,

      There really isn’t a specific form that does that specifically. I would look for mag glycinate as a well absorbed form for general health.

      Dr Hrkal

  89. George kelly Reply

    I am taking ionic magnesium and am still constipated but if I take other forms I have diarrhea what is the best to take and get my bowels moving without a real laxative effect? Oh, also, a lot of other types upset my stomach the iconic does not. Thanks, George

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi George,

      Ionic forms are well absorbed so you may not be getting the desired effect on your bowels. If other forms are upsetting your stomach then you may have low stomach acid which isn’t breaking down the magnesium complex well. You can trying increasing the ionic mag dose but a serving each day to see if it has an effect. Also consider that another issue may be the cause of your constipation (food sensitivities, low fibre, low hydration etc.)

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  90. Julie Reply

    Hi. I suffer from daily migraine headaches, anxiety, insomnia, sugar cravings, chronic muscle pain, fatigue and poor memory/concentration. Is there one form of magnesium that will address all of these? What might be an appropriate dosage? I’ve tried magnesium chloride lotion, with success in reducing migraines only, and magnesium l-threonate 150 mg daily, with no noticeable benefit. Thank you.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Julie,

      This sounds a case where you will need more than magnesium to get relief. See a licensed naturopathic doctor to address the root issues. I would consider magnesium glycinate since it is well absorbed and has a calming effect. Studies have used doses of 200-400mg.

      good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  91. San Reply

    QUESTION: WHICH MAGNESIUM IS BEST FOR LEG CRAMPS DR. HRKAL?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi San,

      I would consider magnesium glycinate first for any sort of cramps.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  92. Camille Reply

    I have been taking Magnisium Oxide for several years as a stool loosener and it works perfectly.

    Could you please tell me about Marine Magnesium?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Camille,

      I don’t know much about marine magnesium. This is not an evidence based form of magnesium but some proponents claim since it contains the forms that are found in sea water which are better which are assimilated into the body better then other forms. It can include magnesium including oxide, hydroxide, sulfate, carbonate and chloride. There is no evidence to suggest these form are better and in fact if you consider these forms they actually can have a strong laxative effect with LOW intestinal absorption. For example, mag hydroxide is just the oxide form with an added water molecule. I would stick to more absorbable forms such as glycinate or malate. Even though you have been using mag oxide as a stool softener you are probably not getting the benefits of the magnesium molecule being absorbed into you body. Only 5% of mag from mag oxide is absorbed.

      Warm regards,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  93. Alan Lehto Reply

    Is there a difference between the forms of magnesium in terms of its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier? I am working on improving my Restless Leg Syndrome and wanting to try a form of magnesium that works best

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Alan,

      Great question. Magnesium (and the accompanying amino acid) is fairly effective at crossing the BBB if you use an absorbable, amino acid form. Magnesium glycinate has the added benefit of having a nerve relaxing effect and glycine readily passes the BBB.
      The one other form that has shown promise for brain bioavailability is magnesium L-Threonate. You can consider this as well but I think you will find magnesium glycinate more easy to obtain and it works very well. If magnesium doesn’t help, try adding a small amount of calcium as well before bed and also consider low iron levels.

      good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  94. Julie Reply

    I suffer from severe migraines as a result of abnormal electrical activity in the left temporal lobe, and moderate muscle spasms and pain, but I also have IBS. It’s clear from the article I should avoid the citrate and oxide forms and that malate and glycinate should be ok. What are the effects on stool and bowel movements when taking the L-Threonate, Aspartate and Taruate forms?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Julie,

      Taurate, L-threonate, and aspartate are all amino acid forms so you can expect similar effects to malate or glycinate. They all are actively absorbed in the digestive system. As you are gradually increase the dose, once you get loose stools you have hit your bowel tolerance and reduce from there.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal

      1. Julie Reply

        thanks!

  95. carol Reply

    How much Magnesium Taurate do you take for high blood presssure

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi carol,

      This is a question for your MD or ND to answer. A good place to start is to aim for 200-400mg of magnesium daily and the amount of taurine will take care of itself. If you get loose stools you know you took to much and reduce your dose from there.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  96. carol Reply

    Is Taurate the same ans taurine. thanks.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Carol,

      Taurate and taurine is the same thing. Its just the name given when its attached to magnesium

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  97. Rich Reply

    Can magnesium supplements contribute to kidney disease ?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Rich,

      In fact magnesium can help with kidney disease. Its is true the magnesium is contraindicated in kidney failure but its actually helpful in poor kidney function and to prevent kidney stones. Here are few links that give you more information on this topic.

      http://www.naturalnews.com/038713_kidney_disease_magnesium_nutrition.html
      http://www.renalandurologynews.com/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd/chronic-kidney-disease-ckd-low-magnesium/article/374980/

      Dr Hrkal

  98. Diane Reply

    I have Magnesium Glycinate 400. I have TERRIBLE leg/foot cramps mostly at night. From reading your very informative site, I think this is the correct form of magnesium for my need, correct? Also, the directions say “take 2 tablets daily with a meal or glass of water. Can I take both pills at night (before bed) or should I space them out?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Diane,

      You can take them both together. If that alone doesn’t help try adding some calcium along with the mag glycinate and also ask your doctor to check your iron levels.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  99. Kenny Reply

    Hello, I have been taking beta blockers for tremors for many years but there are some unwanted side effects. Trying to find an alternative my Dr. had me try Magnesium Citrate but the biggest complaint is the “loose stool.” After reading about the different variations, I decided to order Magnesium Taurate, 125 mg because it might also help with my blood pressure issues. My question is about dosage. What would be the normal recommended dosage and how much would be too much? Thank you …

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Kenny,

      Aim for 300mg magnesium and 1000mg taurine daily. Its should be better absorbed then citrate and not affect your stools until your dose higher.
      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  100. Julie Reply

    Hello Dr. I was recently in the emergency room for low magnesium and heart flutters. 1.6 was my reading so they gave me magnesium oxide. I keep reading that magnesium citrate is better though, so I am confused as to which is better. Thanks.

    Julie

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Julie,

      Magnesium citrate is more absorbable then mag oxide. In your case I would follow your doctors advise and ask if you can switch forms. An emergent heart condition should be taken seriously and caution if adding minerals.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  101. Barney Reply

    I have read that Magnesium may have so positive impact on gut bacteria and metabolism.
    I have no ides if this is correct nor if it is what dosage or kind to take.
    I am 74 with a heart valve replacement.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Barney,

      I have not heard of magnesium affecting gut bacteria. I would always consult a doctor before taking magnesium with a hear condition.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  102. Victoria Reply

    Hello sir. How are you. Sir we talk last on 13 april. you recommend me magnesium glycinate\malate.200 mg.one in morning and one at night. so i take every dayonly glycinate200mg. Because i donot find together . spreately yes. i am feeling little better with this . so i purchase spreately200mg malate and then take together. is ok.Sir before i take every day pain killer. but now only onces a week. please advice me.I have onemore problem . my dr check my blood report she said i have thyroid . but she said she is notputting me on medicine because is 8 something if it goes more then ten then medicine. i read magnesium also cure thyroid. also help me in this. it will be appreciate if you reply . Thanks a lot

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Victoria,

      I am really glad to are feeling better. Magnesium has many actions but it will not treat thyroid. I recommend consulting a Naturopathic doctor if you family MD does not want to treat you.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  103. Abbe Reply

    Hello,

    I was wondering what type of magnesium to take. I am starting to get really bad PVC’S (Premature Ventricular Contractions). I also have SVT which isn’t that bad. I have been reading all over forums that magnesium helps with the PVC’S greatly. I wanted to try something natural before trying the beta blockers. Can please tell me which one would be best ?

    I would really appreciate it.

    Thank you

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Abbe,

      To help you with this problem I would consult a Naturopathic doctor. Heart contraction is too complex for a quick yes or no. I can’t properly advise you on this forum.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  104. Anna Reply

    Hello sir my name anna. i am 33 year old. i have back pain problem from a long time . it comes and goes. i used to go to chiropractor. Feel better after 2to 3 visit. But now this time back pain is more bad i cant walk easily. it goes in lag. one of my friend said maybe sciatica pain. Then i check it is not that. my chiropractor said is muscle weak. now a days doing acupuncture. sometime good and sometime again same. i read your article . Like it. also you help too much people . so please suggest me what to do. how megnesium can help me. I will wait for your reply . Thanks.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Anne,

      Hi Sharie,

      To help you with this problem I would consult a Naturopathic doctor. There may be something else going on causing the weakness. Magnesium is safe and can help muscles relax but thats just a start to address your issue.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  105. Heather Reply

    Hi Dr. Hrkal,

    My Fiance and I both need magnesium supplementation. He has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Hypermobility type, which has given him several kinds of chronic pain– his joints crack very loudly and very often, his ‘muscles’ (it’s the “skin” around the muscle– I forget the term, though. Fascia?) will feel like railroad tracks some days, and the general pain is just pretty bad. He’s also a champion sleeper, with a record of 24 hours asleep– pretty likely attributed to the chronic pain. He’s gotten better with the sleeping thing, and he’s taking gabapentin and flexaril for the pain, but there are still bad days.

    As for me, I have adult ADHD and I take 30mg of Adderall in the morning (otherwise I’m useless). I’ve heard amphetamines deplete the magnesium and potassium in the body like nothing else, so I’ve been trying to supplement. I’ll have an antacid first thing when I take the pill as well to slow the absorption of the adderall so that it won’t fade off quite so quickly and i can keep my production up. I didn’t know antacids decreased bioavailability though, so I’m wondering what else to do on that front.

    We both have a couple of mental disorders as well. I have pretty terrible anxiety and depression (controlled well enough by bupropion and propranolol) on top of the ADHD, and he has OCD and Major Depressive Disorder, which is well enough controlled as well.

    As of now, we are taking 200mg magnesium Citrate (as I recently learned magnesium oxide is basically useless for human consumption), and I’m wondering if we wouldn’t be better off with another kind or even a mixture of kinds! Magnesium Aspartate, Magnesium-L-Threonate, Magnesium Glycinate, and Magnesium Malate all look very attractive for us. With the history given– perhaps not even for the conditions as I understand EDS is very uncommon–what, in your opinion might be best? Could we, for example, take one kind of magnesium one day and switch? Could we somehow take all four? Would one kind be less effective for one rather than the other?

    I ask this because the benefits from these four are all VERY attractive. When Fiance saw the specialist, they only told him to supplement with magnesium. I had just learned citrate was a thing, and now that I know there are approximately a billion more (I may or may not be exaggerating), I’m left kind of scratching my head!

    Sorry for the long post– I suppose I’m used to giving as detailed histories as possible when speaking with doctors. I do understand that this is not medical advice; it is advice from a professional and opinions may differ between doctors. If I do get medical advice contrary to what I’ve heard, I’ll be sure to follow that instead. Thank you so much!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Heather,

      To help you with this problem I would consult a Naturopathic doctor. It is too complex for a quick yes or no. I can’t properly advise you on this forum.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  106. Sharie Reply

    Dr. Hrkal thanks for all your responses. I read every post! My problem is I was having panic attacks due to my commute to work. Then i started getting burning feet and calfs in my right leg. My calf muscle would be sore. I then started hot legs!!! Then hot flashes. One day at work i felt tingling in my jaw and mouth. One day I was home watching tv and I started getting these electic shock sensations everywhere! I went to er Doc said it was anxietxy. Went to my primary he said the same. He did a full blood panel thyroid,iron and everything was good. I went to gyno because my mom said it was premenopause Im only 33 but hormone test and blood panel was good. Gyno said anxiety take lexapro. Went to neuro and he said it was peri menopause and to take paxil. Well i took none of the prescriptions. The tingling sensations are getting worse! They last all day and are everywhere. But i havent had a panic attack in weeks. Should i try magnesium and if so what kind?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Sharie,

      To help you with this problem I would consult a Naturopathic doctor. It is too complex for a quick yes or no. I can’t properly advise you on this forum.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  107. BJ Reply

    Hi there, do you have any research or results of using Magnesium Glycinate on a very nervous high strung horse.
    I am wondering if something like this will help my horse who is extremely deficient.

  108. Stig Reply

    Hello! I am 62 and have resently understood that I might be low on magnesium. I have this adrenalin driven nervousness which increases heart rate and BP. I have also resently been diagnosed with diabetes 2 and are taking 1tab. 850mg Metformina pr day. Where I live they only sell Magnesium Carb which I have started to take but would Magnesium Taurate be a better choice for me? And how much should I take daily.
    Thanks
    :-)Stig

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Stig,

      Try to use anything other then mag carbonate or oxide. They are poorly absorbed. Mag Taurine would be great. A good starting dose for most people is 200mg twice daily of mag.

      good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  109. Bonnie Reply

    Dr. Hrkal, Thanks so much for answering all of our questions. I understand that there is a synergy between calcium, magnesium, and vitamins K2 and D3. I’d like to know exactly what to take and when. I currently take magnesium, taurate (thought it was the best choice because I have high-blood pressure and IBS with diarrhea). I take about 375 mgs. before bed. I take 1000 mg of 85% calcium citrate/15% calcium carbonate in the a.m. I take D3 (5000 i.us.) and K2 (200) after supper. Is the timing correct? And are the amounts correct?

    Thank you for your input.

    Bonnie

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Bonnie,

      Mag Vit K and D all work to regulate calcium. Calcium supplementation without these nutrients can actually be harmful since it can cause calcification leading to pain, tight muscles and heart disease. I think your routine is pretty good. I would just divide the doses to calcium 3 smaller doses through the day to increase absorption. Taking 1 big dose lowers the amount you can absorb. I would also take my vit K (divided doses again) along with the calcium. I also think 1000mg is high for what most people need. Its easy to over do it and you get calcium from your diet (dairy, green leaves, nuts etc) while you get very little mag. I would cut the calcium dose in half (250 in morning 250 in evening) and double your mag (add another dose in the morning) for a more balanced approach.

      good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  110. Caren Reply

    What is the difference between bisglycinate chelate and glycinate magnesium?

    Why would the bisglycinate make my stomach feel heavier than the glycinate chelate.

    Why would the bisglycinate make my body feel cold after taking it?

    Thank you

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Caren,

      Glycinate and bisglycinate are actually the same thing. See the chemical formula and the 2 after the brackets which shows there are 2 molecules of glycine (hence its called bis) – (C2H4NO2)2 Mg. They both are 2 molecules of glycine attached to magnesium. The glycinate is just short formed. The difference you are feeling may be just the quality of the different brands you are using other wise I don’t really have any other reason.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  111. Jennifer Reply

    Hi I have a question. I was reading this article and found it quite interesting. I have had heart palpitations for many years now. I am a 34 year old female. It seems as the years go by, the palpitations get stronger. I went to another cardiologist. They did blood work, ekg, and an echo. The also put me on a24 hour heart monitor. They found I am having pacs. They said everything is normal though. I explained what I feel and they said I am just extra sensitive to the palpitations. I honestly can’t deal with them. So they told me to start taking magnesium oxide. Said it should help with the palpitations. I’ll try anything at this point, but I saw in this post that mag oxide is the least absorbed. Why would they put me on that instead of a different one? They also did blood work and said my mag level was normal. Any ideas? Thanks in advance
    Jen

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Jen,

      Thanks for the question. Most conventional docs just use mag oxide since its the most common form found in drug stores. They have not been taught or done the research on what forms are best absorbed so they just default to mag oxide.

      In your case, I would look in to a formula that uses mag taurine with extra potassium since it also helps with cardio nerve conduction. Try the formula below.
      http://www.aor.ca/en/product/mag-k-taurine

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  112. carly Reply

    hello, i just began taking magnesium glycinate. i started with one pill the first day (100mg) with the hopes of getting up to 3 pills in the end. i took it before bed because i heard it helped you sleep but it made me hyper and restless all night. the next day i tried taking one pill at lunch and another with dinner and i was even more restless in bed and have woken hyper. do you know why this would be? i need to take it as i am about to start taking a high dose of vitamins D and A. i chose glycinate after reading your wonderful website and finding out it is suposed to be calming! thank you in advance, carly.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Carly,

      A few people experience the opposite effect that mag glyciate should give because of how they react to the amino acid component glycine. Normally it’s a calming amino acid but for a small % of people it actually is stimulating. We don’t really know why this is the case other then every person has a unique metabolism and usage of amino acids at the level of the nerve receptor. In your case I would use a different form of mag (malate or citrate) since they don’t have the same effect on nerve receptors.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  113. Linda Whittle Reply

    I have been diagnosed after a bone density test with osteopenia in my lower back and hips also osteo arthuritus in my left hip. I am taking adcal- D3 750mg//200iu caplets two twice daily. I’ve added to that myself 2twice daily 200 mg of magnesium citrate. I take these morning and evening. Am I taking the right magnesium and ant correct amount?

    PDW

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Linda,

      200mg twice daily of mag sounds like a good place to start. You can go higher without any issues until you get loose stools.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  114. Jack Reply

    Hi Doctor. I am a 51 year old male and my only complaint is daily anxiety. I do not take any meds. My doctor has me on vitamin D3. Is it safe for me to take Magnesium Glycinate with D3, K, and a B complex? Thank you!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Jack,

      Magnesium glycinate sounds like the best form for you to try and I don;t see any issues with the supplements you mentioned. I actually think there is synergy between all of the them with Mag.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  115. Jack Reply

    Thank you!

  116. Adam Reply

    Dr. Hrkal,

    I’m 23 years old and have ADD. I have been taking Concerta for several years now.
    I would like to know which typ of magnesium is better for my ADD problem- Magnesium citrate or Magnesium-L-Threonate and why?

    Which way is the best way taking magnesium-with certain foods or without certain foods and at witch part of the day.

    What dosage woukd you recommend me?

    Thank you very much

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Adam,

      Thanks for your questions. You should really have a licensed ND look over your case to answer your questions. I can say that I don’t see any interactions with concerta and magnesium. For you, Mag glycinate has a calming effect so I would try that first over citrate. They both have equivalent absorption. You can take it any time of of the day but I would avoid it at the same time as with a big meal or with dairy products which can block absorption. Small meals or empty stomach is fine. A general good place to start with is 200mg/day and work up until loose stools occur.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  117. Talia Reply

    Hi Dr. Nibber ,

    I have read numerous good things about magnesium; and have been on the hunt to find the right form for me.. I suffer from IBS combination (D and C) and also anxiety. I initially wanted to take magnesium for its mood and anxiety boosting affects but read about the digestive side effects as well. I wanted to know what the best form would be to benefit from… Thanks ! Such a great article

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Talia,

      In you case consider any of the well absorbed, amino acid, forms of magnesium. Malate, glycinate taurate are all good. Start with a low dose and work up to gauge the effects on your gut but it should also benefit the IBS.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  118. Talia Reply

    So sorry, Dr. Hrkal !!!

  119. Michelle Reply

    I started taking magnesium glycinate about 6 days ago. I started with 100mg, then 200 the next day.. Noticed it was making me VERY alert and ruining my sleep. Took 300 the next, worse sleep, more alertness, and yesterday, thinking I was taking too much, only took 100 again. Super alert, super focused, almost like a stimulant. Last night I didn’t even get one minute of sleep. I realize that I’m one of those people that get the opposite effect, but am wondering if it’s the magnesium or the glycinate that is making me so stimulated and unable to sleep. It has worked wonders on my anxiety and back spasms and chest pressure, but at the cost of no sleep. I’m scared to “trial and error” different types of magnesium because I’m afraid I’ll be further damaging my already hyper-stimulated nerves due to my anxiety. In your opinion is it the magnesium or the glycinate that would cause such severe insomnia and stimulation?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Michelle,

      It most likely is the glycine part causing the hyper-stimulation. Despite the benefits for the anxiety I would suggest switching to another type of magnesium (like theronate, or malate) because poor sleep in the long run has a much worse effect on your health then any of the benefits you are getting. Also consider taking a high potency b-complex in the mornings because a b-vitamin deficiency can exacerbate the hyper-activity potential of magnesium.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  120. Crystal Reply

    Hello Doctor,

    I am a 45 year old diabetic with high blood pressure. For some reason Unknown to several doctors I’ve seen my magnesium levels have been low even after increasing magnesium oxide daily. I have mentioned to them all that I have gerd and have had my gall blather remove which has resulted in loose stool. The mag seems to loosen the stool even more. Is there a particular mag you could suggest yay may help me? I’ve been in and out of the hospital getting infusions of mag just for the levels to decrease again. Any suggestions of advice would be helpful.

    Thanks!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Crystal,

      The mag oxide is very poorly absorbed so I would avoid using it as source of magnesium. Switch to another form like mag glycinate or taurate. This will help increase your levels less of a loose stool effect. Mag taurate is also helpful with any heart related issues like blood pressure.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  121. Wendy Reply

    I am suffering from Polymyagia and currently take 20 mgs of prednisolone ( steroids). Being a 60 year old female I am at risk of osteoporosis because of the high dose of steroids. I therefore take a daily supplement of calcium and Vitamin D. I think magnisium would help me with my auto immune disorder and with the imflamation nut I have been told that taking mag ilium will effect the calcium absorption. Is this right. Do you think I would benefit from magnisium and what should I take. Thank you.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Wendy,

      A common myth is that calcium and magnesium oppose each other when in fact they actually make each other more soluble. You don;t have to be concerned about taking them together. In fact I would never take calcium with out magnesium since excess calcium can be a health issue. Anyone with autoimmunity can benefit from mag since its has so many benefits but I would never consider it a cornerstone of an autoimmune treatment plan. Its more foundational to overall health and recovery. Look for a well absorbed form I mention in my blog.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  122. Pamela Walk Reply

    My husband has MS and has muscle spasms and cramping. His neurologist advised him to add magnesium. What would the best form be for this?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      HI Pamela,

      Mag glycinate would be my top option for spasms due to the relaxation effects of glycine. A multi mineral complex along with it would also be a good idea.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  123. John Reply

    I have high blood pressure, and a seizure disorder that causes cognitive slowness along with muscle spasms in my neck, stomach, back and legs. I take prescription blood pressurre meds Benicar HCT, and Ramipril. I also take Dilatin for my seizure, and Aciphex for my stomach. Would any of the magnesium complex’s help me to reduce my Rx meds?
    Thank you.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi John,

      Unfortunately I can’t help you with that. You need to ask that question to a qualified healthcare practitioner in person.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  124. Sheila Morabito Reply

    I need to give 20 to 30 grams a day to a horse…. I give oxide right now but I was looking for a better absorbable type….but the taste is a factor to….is there another that is better but has a taste close to oxide.. Any info is appreciated.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Sheila,

      I don’t really have any info on taste of the various forms but I assume it would all be similar. I can say the (magnesium) glycinate is a sweet tasting amino acid so I would start there.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  125. Annette Reply

    Have been diagnosed with calcific tendinitis with calcium diameters of 9mm with the distal most 2cm of the left achilles tendon and some tendon thickening. Pain has been horrible and can’t get relief. Magnesium biglycinate was suggested. What are your thoughts? Any info would be most helpful….thanks

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Annette,

      Thanks for your question. Mg is very helpful since it makes calcium more soluble but I would also consider vitamin K and A as well. They both help remove excess calcium. Mag glycinate is a good form to use but malate is another very good option.

      Topical magnesium is also helpful.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  126. Kim Reply

    Hello, I am a 51 year old woman. I had a complete hysterectomy two months ago and am doing well recovering from surgery except my carpel tunnel syndrome in both hands has increases even though I have been off work for 6 weeks.

    I am researching the connection between menopause and carpel tunnel and came across your site. Which magnesium do you think would be most effective for carpel tunnel?

    Is there a magnesium that would help with menopause symptoms? I am not on any hormone replacement. I do take Singulair for asthma and have read it has been connected to carpel tunnel.

    Thank you for your time. I find your answers very informative.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Kim,

      Thanks for your question. You are right there is a connection between magnesium supplementation with both asthma and menopause. Research shows that taking mag helps decreases the reactivity of bronchi and also reduces hot flashes. It also will help with nerve pain. Mag glycinate or malate are 2 good forms to try. They both will have a positive effect on nerve/muscle function.

      good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  127. Susan Reply

    Very interesting. I am one of the people who find magnesium very stimulating, at first it was extremely sedating but now all forms are stimulating so I take them in the morning.

    I recently had amino acid levels tested and glycine was high, can you please tell me, does magnesium glycinate supplementation increase glycine levels?

    Captcha is going haywire on iPad!!!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Susan,

      Mag glycinate can increase glycine levels but only slightly. If you have glycine levels then try another type of mag like malate or citrate.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  128. Susan Reply

    A coup,e of other questions…

    What is your opinion of liposomal magnesium. Does it has superior absorption? Is it absorbed better into our cells and what are the pros and cons?

    One of the formulations of magnesium that I take includes B6. Does this make a significant difference in the bodies utilisation or uptake of magnesium?
    Thanks

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Susan,

      I like the addition of B6 to any magnesium product (in the formula or with a good quality B-complex). Its helps drive mag into each cell where it is needed the most.
      Magnesium is a mineral that is absorbed well compare to other fat soluble substances (like glutathione). For this reason I don’t think a liposomal formula is that important. We don’t really know if the liposomal for of mag is better then salt forms of mag since there has been no research conducted on it that I know of but it very well could penetrate into the cell better. The type comes down to personal experimentation. The down side is that liposomal costs more money per milligram and liquid products always contain preservatives like polysorbate 80. Right now I suggest amino acids forms at increasing doses.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  129. michelle Reply

    hello

    can you please tell me the benefits/cautions around combining magnesium chloride and magnesium sulphate in a bath for transdermal magnesium therapy?

    thanks
    Michelle

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Michelle,

      I don’t really know about the combination of these 2 forms. I don’t see any cautions except I would increase the dose slowly to see how you tolerate it.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  130. Thaer Reply

    Hello

    there is really great information here thx alot for this amazing replies ,,amazing
    am sorry but i’ll ask alot of ques. sorry again
    i was diagnosis with essential hypertension (am 31 years old male ) and am on DASH diet now and am taking omega-3 fish oil and that’s working fine with me.
    recently i start reading a bout magnesium that it could lower BP
    so i would like to know your opinion regarding that and is there any problem taking magnesium with omega-3?
    from reading your amazing answers to the people i noticed that magnesium orotate is the best for my condition
    but its not available in my country the only magnesium is available is magnesium aspartate (250 gm) so is it fine?
    there is also potassium+magnesium aspartate (250 gm) which is in alot of studies shows its really good for lowering BP and promote heart health
    and 1 last ques.
    if you agreed that potassium+magnesium aspartate (250 gm) is best for my condition what a bout the daily value since we are not reaching it here?
    thx alot
    i appreciate ur amazing replies

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hello,

      Thanks for you questions. There is no issues taking any magnesium and fish oils. In fact they are synergistic. Mag+potassium aspartate is fine but you are just going to have to increase the dose to get to the higher doses of magnesium (target: 200-400mg/day). That means more capsules then other magnesiums.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  131. Dima Reply

    Hello

    What can you say about this comparison between magnesium oxide and citrate? Please see page 2 of this PDF
    http://www.navehpharma.co.il/download/magnox-clinical-proof.pdf
    Looks like this research contradicts the claim that oxide is less bio-available.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Dima,

      Thanks for your post. This piece of research is the first I am seeing the oxide is better then any other form. I think I would need to see this study replicated to give it more weight. There are numerous other studies showing oxide is poorly absorbed but that being said I am glad to hear that oxide may be doing more then we thought because it’s still the most common form consumed by most people. I still won’t use it clinically because its not well tolerated (loose stools) and I like the beneficial effect of the amino acids forms in addition to just the magnesium.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  132. Jon Reply

    Dr. Hrkal,

    I am in my twenties and had an episode of atrial fibrillation over a year ago. My doctor told me that it was due to having artificial sweeteners in my diet (I had only introduced them into my diet about 3 weeks before the episode, specifically it was Sucralose). So I took his advice and cut it out of my diet. He then told me that my B and magnesium levels were low, so he put me on B and Magnesium Lacate. Are you familiar of magnesium lactate and it’s benefits? I have read a lot about Manesiun taurate and it seems to be a good fit for heart issues. Just want your expertise in this area. Please let me know what you think!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Jon,

      I am not familiar with Mag Lactate so I don’t have any clinical experience with it. It’s not a common form used my NDs since lactate doesn’t have any additional therapeutic benefits like taurine or malate. In your case its sounds like Mag taurine would be a leading option.

      Good Luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  133. Mary Reply

    Hi Dr Hrkal, I am suffering from hashimotos thyroiditis and recently tested hypo again with many symptoms including insomnia, muscle and joint aches, depression and cold sensitivity. My meds were increased but will take time to relieve symptoms. I just picked up magnesium malate to because I heard it would help the joint pain if their was a build up of lactic acid. Now I was reading there may be an interaction with the levo thyroxine I take. Can I safely take the magnesium malate at the 450mg magnesium and 2.5g malic acid dose? It says take 1 to 3 daily with meals. What would you recommend?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Mary,

      Thanks for the question. There is an interaction between levothyroxine and pretty much anything else. In fact, you should take it on a totally empty stomach, away from food or any other meds/supplements. That means 3 hours after food or 1 hour before.
      The mag malate it not an issue otherwise.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  134. Teresa Reply

    Hi Dr Hrkal,

    Brilliant site and great answers – I’ve been reading for two hours now.

    I’ve been taking 400mg magnesium citrate for around six months and it has been a big help with menopausal-related insomnia. I get loose stools however and am wondering whether another type of magnesium would be better tolerated. I have no trouble falling asleep but wake during the night – often several times – feeling anxious, with racing thoughts and a headache. The mag citrate has helped a lot but I’m still getting only around 5-6 hours of sleep, which isn’t enough.

    I’ve been tempted to try mag glycinate for its relaxation properties but am slightly put off by the number of people who find it has the opposite effect. Do you have any figures on how many people find mag glycinate to be a stimulant? A small minority or enough that I may want to try another type?

    I also have high blood pressure – which I suspect may be caused or at least not helped by five years worth of poor sleep. It sounds like mag malate might be better suited, but does it have the same relaxation effect as glycinate?

    Thank you – we need more sites like yours!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Teresa,

      It’s really trial and error to find out if you can tolerate glycinate better. It not that expensive so I think worth a try. I find maybe 2/10 people have an opposite effect in my practice.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  135. esther greenfield Reply

    Wondering if you feel that the trace amounts of lead in epsom salt (non pharmaceutical grade that most people buy) is a concern. Would you say there is trace amounts of lead in other things we are exposed to so whatever there is in epsom salts , the beneftis of the magnesium out weighs any negatives with trace heavy metals.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Esther,

      I have heard about lead being present in epsom salts. My understanding it that trace amount of “heavy” metals occur in most epsom salts since that how they are found nature. Each brand will vary so if you are really concerns contact the manufacturer for a materials data sheet. They should have it. I also would be conscious where the salts are sourced from. Foreign sources my have less strict standards. Beware the man-made ones from sulphuric acid which is much higher in metals vs the ones that come from the earth. Look for food grade (USP) which has the higher purity since it’s approved for consumption.

      If there are trace amount of other metals present I do believe the benefits of magnesium outweigh the potential negative effects.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  136. esther greenfield Reply

    Here is what I have on my bag of epsom:

    lead 10 mg/kg max
    magnesium 9.8%
    sulfur 12.9%
    iron 20 mg/kg

    Just don’t know how to evalutate it and I imagine this is what most people are using.sss

  137. Marcy Reply

    Are you aware of a magnesium glycinate supplement that does not contain magnesium oxide? Trying to avoid magnesium oxide, as I have a sensitive digestive track and all magnesium supplements, including glycinate cause increased bowel function. But I’ve noticed that even the magnesium glycinate supplements contain some amount of magnesium oxide, and I’m wondering if that’s exacerbating the digestive problem. Thank you!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Marcy,

      Good question. Look for a magnesium glycinate that says “100% fully reacted.” This means that it has no other types of magnesium. You are correct that when you get up to the higher doses of magnesium glycinate the product can also contain mag oxide. Since it’s a smaller molecule, it increases the amount magnesium that fits in the capsule and thus increases the dose a company can put on the label. Suspect added mag oxide if there is more then 160mg of elemental magnesium per capsule.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  138. Taffy Reply

    I have been taking magnesium biglysinate off and on for a few years for muscle weakness and aches and found it very helpful but I started to increase it a bit and it helped even more( still only 300 mg of elemental a day). But I started getting tighter muscles in my back and shoulders and shortness of breath which hasn’t gone away after decreasing it again . Do you know why this is happening

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Taffy,

      Those are not effects that are usually associated with magnesium use. They may be unrelated. I would get your family doctor to assess the shortness of breath since this is a serious issue. You can try discontinuing the magnesium and see if they changes anything.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  139. ben Reply

    My holistic doctor mention I may be in need of magnesium for plantar facilitates but did not mention which form that I should be taking, what is your recommendations?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Ben,

      Check out magnesium malate. It has added benefit of also supporting muscle cellular energy. Also consider a good quality multi and vitamin C for collagen repair. http://www.aor.ca/en/product/ortho-core

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  140. Catherine Reply

    Doc, I stumbled onto your while looking for looking for information on magnesium malate and glycinate, I recently started taking it at the recommendation of my chiropractor when I mentioned my muscle cramps. I take a liquid tangerine flavored supplement and I have noticed some great effects. Your site has given me answers to my questions on the benefits that I am having. Thanks so much! Very informative!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Great to hear. Thanks!

  141. Yolz Reply

    Hi, I want magnesium to help with fibromyalgia,nerve pain,muscle weakness, fatigue and for it to have stool softening effect. Which is best? Thanks

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Mag Malate and glycinate are the best for this

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  142. star stern Reply

    am i right to say that although magnesium glycinate being best absorbed ,but magnesium malate will have better wisdom to direct the masnesium to all areas in body where it all belongs ,here is why ;
    Malic acid is a rate-limiting intermediate in the TCA (Kreb’s) cycle, so it appears that the cell actively uptakes the malate (with the magnesium in tow), then the mitochondria uptakes the malate from the cytosol and drags magnesium into the interior of the mitochondria, where it is most needed as a cofactor for various enzymes that result in ATP production.
    and still its almost as well absorbed as glycinate
    or would it be wise to take malate/glycinate magnesium

    ???

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      You are correct to say that mag glycinate and malate the best forms for absorption. Unfortunately magnesium and the amino acid malate are broken apart in the gut and absorbed separately. Both make their way into the mitochondria to stimulate ATP production. B6 on the other hand helps drive Magnesium into cells.

      I still think mag glycinate and malate together are the 2 best forms especially for energy, pain and muscle health.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  143. Rose Reply

    Dear Dr Hrkal Thank you for this helpful article I wondered if you could help? I have just this week started taking 5000ui Vit D3 (includes K2 in it) I plan on lowering to 2000 after a few months. Also 400mg of chelated magnesium glycine and lysine, also 50mg of b6 and a vitamin b complex- this is per day. I am taking this in hope to improve my anxiety and low mood and pmt. I have been splitting the magnesium dose and the Vit d dose morning and night and taking a b complex and a b6 before bed. I have not been sleeping properly since starting this regime and don’t feel rested on waking also feel tired and lacking in energy during the day, I had loose bowels this morning and after dinner had stomach cramps.. I saw that you have advised that glycine can have an activating effect in some people, and was wondering if you think this and the other symptoms are the magnesium, should I lower my dose do you think or switch to another type? I want to keep it in balance with the 5000 vitd3 so not sure how low I can go. Thank you for taking your time to read this and for your valuable advice to so many people! Many thanks.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Rose,

      The one thing that stands out it take the b-complex in the morning rather than before bed. B-vitamins can keep you up. Try adding a probiotic to address the gut issues and reduce the dose of the magnesium (try dividing it, 1 in the am and 1 before bed) to see if that helps with the loose stools. Don’t take 400mg all at once.

      Hope that helps,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  144. Rose Reply

    Sorry I should add after reading more comments that it states on the label of magnesium that it’s fully reacted 100 % chelated. Thanks.

  145. Rose Reply

    Sorry also forgot to mention that I have been a lot more forgetful and ‘not with it’ than usual and also my anxiety seems worse. Thanks again.

  146. sky Reply

    hello

    thank you for your detailed article. i do not see Pharmaceutical Grade Magnesium Chloride Hexahydrate on your list and i was wondering if you could comment on what your views are regarding this type of magnesium? also if you could comment on how taking it as a spray absorbed through the skin may be beneficial.

    many thanks
    sky

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Sky,

      Unfortunately I am unfamiliar with using Magnesium Chloride Hexahydrate in my practice. The one suspicion I always have is even thought it’s “Pharmaceutical Grade” it may be contaminated by heavy metals. The actual metal toxicity standards are pretty lax for even this type of magnesium. Magnesium Chloride Hexahydrate can be bought from a standard chemical retailer so purity is an issue for me and it’s usually sourced from contaminated areas in the earth. That being said, I think using topical magnesium from a reputable company that shows its chem and toxicity data can be very therapeutic (ancient minerals is good one). I don’t know how much is absorbed so I would contact the company for that information.
      Here is some decent info
      http://drsircus.com/medicine/magnesium/magnesium-chloride-product-analysis
      Here is the only published clinical trial I know of – it doesn’t tell us much about absorption levels.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26343101

      good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  147. Linda Reply

    Hi Dr. Hrkal,
    Great posts and answers on this page!
    I am wondering if liquid angstrom sized Magnesium Chloride is hard on digestion? (Wanting to switch to a product by a Canadian company named Quench which recommends 60mg daily) Are there any contraindications with immuran or immune suppressant drugs which I use for autoimmune hepatitis? I found while taking AOR Mag Malate Renew for 1 1/2 months that I had two muscle spasms in my lower and upper back. Need to switch. May also try your recommendation of AOR advanced Magnesium Complex or return to New Roots Magnesium Bisglycinate which seemed fine before Mag Malate experiment. Just want to continue to try better products for this body.
    Really appreciate your feedback on my several Q’s.
    Much appreciation,
    Linda

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Linda,

      I am unfamiliar with mag chloride you mention so I can’t really comment. Based on your comments I think switching back to the mag glycinate would be a good idea. I don’t know of any interactions with the meds you mentioned. Just don’t take them at the same time to limit interactions with absorption.

      good luck

      Paul Hrkal ND

  148. Justina Guenther Reply

    Hi, I was told by a message therapist that i needed magnesium so I went to buy some. i was not aware of the different types of magnesium and so I ended up with magnesium citrate. Is there more benefits to magnesium citrate then only as a laxative? Or if I don”t need it as a laxative should I still use it? Any help in understanding this would be much appreciated

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Justina,

      Mag citrate is fairly well absorbed but it still has laxative properties. It’s not harmful and is useful but I think you can do better with a form like mag glycinate or malate for the added benefit to muscle function.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  149. Robyn Reply

    Thank you for a most informative site. I’m currently taking 1000mg magnesium oxide powder every night before bed to relieve constipation. I’m noticing some dizziness – should I be concerned? Thank you.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Robyn,

      This is a large amount of magnesium. I would lower the dose and find a better for of magnesium (even citrate will also loosen stools and is absorbed much better.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  150. Tanja Reply

    Dear Dr. Paul,
    My 6 year old daughter got diagnose 7 months ago-Ulcerative colitis. Since then 1 month she got muscle cramps on her face, and eye blinking. I gave her Magnesium-calcium liquid pill, once daily and crams vanished one week later. She is taking since then. But she has loose stools because of colitis. For 7 weeks she is taking prednisone, and I find out that magnesium oxide is causing diarrhea, so I worried after stopping prednizone, what form of magnesium or magnesium plus calcium is best for her condition? I read some of previous post that maybe Magnesium Glycinate is suitable.
    Thank you.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Tanja,

      I would avoid mag oxide and switch to mag citrate since this is a common form use with calcium. If you can find glycinate then that would be even better.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  151. Kari Reply

    My daughter has the MTHFR defect, anxiety, depression and mood disorder. I make pill boxes for her supplements and meds and she was taking magnesium L-threonate but I was only giving her 1 pill because she is resistant to too many pills. Would glycerinate be a good alternative as it can be a 1 pill dose?

    1. Kari Reply

      And she was also just diagnosed with epilepsy.

    2. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Kari,

      I think either l-threonate or glycinate would be good options. I would experiment with the other form to see how she reacts. There really isn’t a wrong or right answer in this case as long as she is tolerating it well and she is stable.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  152. Linda Reply

    Thanks so much Dr. Paul!
    I will take the mag away from Azathioprine meds. So far mag chloride seems to be fine. I will finish the Quench liquid bottle and then move back to tablets.
    Happy Easter!
    Linda

  153. Alicia Reply

    Thank you for the great information. I started taking Magnesium (not sure what type) in Jan. Whe I ran out of that brand I ordered a different brand and it is Magnesium glycinate. Around the time I started the new type, I started feeling extremely tired and sleepy. I would go to sleep every time I sat down. I stopped taking iit when I read that it could make you sleepy. I am not as tired and sleepy anymore but I also do not feel as good as I did when I first started it. As a note, I know that the first form of Magnesium I took wasn’t the glycinate. I no longer have my thyroid, suffer from unexplained neuropathy, leg and foot cramps, fibromyalgia and fatty liver. I just wonder why it made me sleepy? Was it the type of Magnesium or will they all make me feel that way?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi alicia,

      It’s possible that you are very sensitive to the glycinate form (which has a very calming effect on the brain). I try to switch back to the original form and see how you feel. Other types of magneisums should not make you feel that way.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  154. Cher Reply

    Dear Dr. Hrkal,

    What are your thoughts on Magnesium-L-Threonate in regards to
    migraines and sleep?

    Thank you,
    Cher

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Cher,

      It’s a very new form of magnesium with some interesting clinical effects for the brain. It supposedly penetrates into the brain better then other forms. I think the mechanism of action suggests you can try it for both sleep and migraines but ultimately different forms work for different people.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  155. Angela Reply

    Hello, I am 6 months pregnant and have trouble sleeping at night. My mom suggested to take some magniesium soft gel pills. I purchased the maximum strength 500 mg yesterday and took one 1 hour before bed. I still didn’t feel sleepy and started to feel really thirsty and drank more water than usual. I woke feeling a little icky and thirsty. Is this normal? I don’t feel like taking any more of these.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Angela,

      That reaction doesn’t sound normal. I don’t know the type/brand you took so it’s tough to comment further but either way I would stop. Also, please note that magnesium won’t make you feel “sleepy” but rather more calm and relaxed. It’s a very subtle effect but many people find it very helpful.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  156. Lindsay Reply

    Hi Dr. Hrkal,
    Thank you for the informative article.
    I have two questions I am hoping you can help me with. First off, I am a 32 year old woman and have been having nerve pain in my teeth/face/neck/ear on and off for a long time, but has gotten significantly increasing in the past few months (also since a root canal). The pain wasn’t fun to deal with but I was able to function, however this past week I have been having painful attacks lasting 5 minutes or more on and off all day and it has been completely debilitating. I have been to three different doctors and he ER though all of this, hopting to get into a neurologist next week, and finally have a diagnosis of Trigeminal Neuraliga. Between prednisone to stop the inflamation in my sinuses which we think may have set off my attacks, and Oxteller (an anticonvulsant) today I am finally able to function almost pain free, but I’m horrified it will come back once my Predisone dosage is up or that the Oxteller will stop in its effectiveness.
    I’m sorry for the long explanation but I wanted you to have an idea of where I’m coming from (a desperate place, really!). I have four children and recently had my first novel published, so this is completely throwing my life off and has been debilitating. Anyway, after doing research I am seeing how beneficial magnesium can be and that it can help pain and nerve function. I’m wondering what the best form would be for me. I already ordered some magnesium malate from raving reviews I read online of it helping people with different pain issues, but now that I have this diagnosis I’m worried that might not be the best form. I came across another article a neurosurgeon wrote where he said he had been treating patients with TN with a long list of natural supplements to help build back up the myline sheath around the nerves (I am going to show my Dr this article) but he also said “most importantly, the added supplement of magnesium”. He said he tells his patients to take it in the form of Magnesium Malate and Magneium Citrate, 500 mg of each per day. I was going to go off his suggestion and order some citrate to take along with the malate until I can get into the neuro. But then I read this article and saw how some of the other forms have been shown to help with nerve function, and wondered if I should be trying a different combination. I want to do everything and anything I can be doing to help these nerves and prevent getting to the place where I was this past week.
    Secondary, a less pressing matter but something we have been dealing with for years, all of my children suffer from constipation from time to time, but my boys are the worst. My eight year old son has to be on miralax just about daily and has been since he was a baby. The same thing is now happening with my son who is a year and a half. We eat healthy for the most part. Not a lot of sugar, whole wheat grains, lots of fruits and vegetables (when I can get the to eat them), I have all my children on probiotics daily, but the chronic constipation keeps persisting. Would you suggest using magnesium supplement for a child in this situation? If so, what dose? I would love to start with my eight year old and also introduce it to my younger boy if it works for the older one. They seem to have very similar digestive systems.
    Thank you for your patience, and I’m sorry this got so long!
    Take care,
    Lindsay

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Lindsey,

      Congrats on your first novel. It really sounds like you have been struggling lately. Your situation is really complex and as much as I would love to help it’s inappropriate to do so over the internet. I think you really would benefit from working with an experienced Naturopathic doctor or chiropractor with nutrition expertise.

      I can say that magnesium can be very helpful for both nerve pain and constipation. The form is of lesser importance then increasing the dose to bowel tolerance. Increase the dose by a cap day until your stools become loose and then decrease by 25%. Again, a healthcare practitioner should help you with this.

      I would also look into high dose B1, B12, B6 and folic acid for any nerve issues/pain.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  157. Charles Reply

    Dear Dr. Paul

    Which magnesium will be the best for moving disorders like tics?

    Thank You for any advices
    Charles

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi charles,

      Magnesium glycinate or mag taurate would be the ideal form since both glyicine and taurine have nerve calming effects.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  158. Ramon Reply

    I feel that I have a lack of magnesium since many years, because of my muscle spasm in my calves.

    In the beginning I have been taking Mg oxide which helped me just a little bit. But after six month, it has started to affect my digestive system. I thought that I have been overdosing and stopped taking magnesium oxide.

    After a year I still felt that there must be a lack of magnesium in my body, as the symptomes referred to magnesium deficiency. Thats why I started taking magnesium chelate (600 mg daily) after doing research for several days in the internet. One or two weeks later I felt like reborn, my symptomes disappeared and my mood was very good.
    But as well after about six month, there was this laxative effect again. So I had to reduce to 300 mg per day which is not enough for me. The symptomes came back again…

    After a while I started taking magnesium citrate (600 mg daily) and felt it works very good on me. But after about six month the problems with my digestion occured again and I had to reduce the daily dose.

    It seems that I can take certain magnesium supplements for only 6 month until my body starts to build an intolerance.

    I have just ordered following products:

    Magnesium Aspartate
    Magnesium Glycinate
    Magnesium Malate
    Magnesium Orotat
    Magnesium-L-Threonate

    and hope I can take at least one of them for longer than 6 month.

    Ramon

  159. Maggie Reply

    I’ve had palpitations and BP spikes, but the cardiologist has given me a clean bill of health.

    As a result of blood tests, I have recently discovered that I am substantially Vit D deficient (13 ng/mL) and my magnesium level is 4.5 mg/mL. Do you concur with Dr. Carolyn Dean that 1) magnesium is optimally around 6.0 mg/mL, and 2) that one should address the magnesium deficiency before tackling the Vit D issue (since, according to Dr. Dean, the calcium associated w/Vit D will burn through insufficient magnesium stores)?

    Separately, I’ve tried the L-threonate and the malate and they both seem to cause me to feel pressure and ‘sizzling’ sensations in my head. Have you heard of this before? I seem to respond best to the glycinate. I’m currently taking 120mg 3x/day.

    Thank you very much for your informative site.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Maggie,

      I tend to agree with Dr Dean on both points. You need to supplement mag and vit D together. Ideally with vitamin K2 as well.
      I have not heard of a sizzling sensation before. Stick with the forms that you tolerate best.

      Good luck.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  160. Eleonore Mende Reply

    Hello Dr,

    Did some reading on natural minerals to help with asthma. In particular I found two papers from other Drs that tell of nebulizing magnesium sulphate. So Iam naturally curious if you have come across this. I have done the nebulizer with mag sulphate, and found the results astonishing to be truthfull. I still am on my antihistamines, which I will cut down on as I feel further improvement in my asthma, but no puffers, or preventers or steriods now. I did have a look at the packaging but there is no list on there as to amounts of magnesium or other ingredients eg Lead. Your insight is appreciated.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Elenore,

      I have not use magnesium sulfate nebulized before in my practice but I looked into the research and some very recent studies are showing impressive effects. It has been used in mod-severe asthma cases and lung inflammation even in young children. I would strongly suggest that anyone thinking about trying this therapy to consult a qualified healthcare practitioner to get started. I think I will start to add to my protocols.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26964827
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25652104

      thanks,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  161. Tove Reply

    I’m taking magnesium at night in order to better sleep at night and I’ve noticed that if I use a supplement containing oxide and pitolathe I sleep very well but if I instead use a supplement containing oxide and citrate my sleep is not as good and deep and I wake up more easily.
    Reading your article I think I could get even more effect by using one of the other types of magnesium.
    I’ve fatigue and pain from ME/CFS

  162. Cindy Reply

    Sir,

    I take magnesium citrate a couple of times a week as needed to prevent constipation caused by chemotherapy. My oncologist’s NO said I should take Milk of Magnesia (magnesium hydroxide) instead. I like the magnesium citrate better. Why would one suggest a less unavailable form?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Cindy,

      I don’t know exactly but if I had to guess its because they are use recommending the form of magnesium that is used to treat constipation (mag oxide), which it is good for. You will just get more benefit from mag citrate and the same laxative effect of you dose high enough.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  163. Michaela Reply

    Hi there I’m doing a research assignment for my nutrition subject at school, I’m trying to find a place that has the specific bioavailabitly percentage and other information in regards to absorption of as many vitamins and minerals as possible. Do you think you could point in the right direction of a website or paper that has as much of this information in one place? Any information you could provide would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Micheala,

      There really isn’t a paper that has summarized all the absorptions of each forms but here are a few good places to start. Unfortunately, it’s all animal studies where they compared absorption.

      Coudray C, Rambeau M, Feillet-Coudray C, Gueux E, Tressol JC, Mazur A, Rayssiguier Y: Study of magnesium bioavailability from ten organic and inorganic Mg salts in Mg- depleted rats using a stable isotope approach. Magnes Res 2005;18:215–223.

      Fawcett, W. J., Haxby, E. J. & Male, D. A. Magnesium: physiology and pharmacology. Br. J. Anaesth. 83, 302–320 (1999).

      Spasov, A. A. et al. [Comparative study of magnesium salts bioavailability in rats fed a magnesium-deficient diet]. Vestn. Akad. Med. Nauk SSSR 29–37 (2010).

      hope that helps,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  164. Shirley Reply

    I had been taking magnesium oxide for a long period of of time with no ill effects. At the urging of my sister, who convinced me I was taking garbage, I switched to magnesium glycinate. I began having excruciating Charlie horses in my feet and calves at night. After a few months I switched back to magnesium oxide and the Charlie horses disappeared. Maybe it’s just be but I have no plans to switch to anything else again. I just wish it’d help with my sacroiliac joint pain (neither formula helped that).

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Shirley,

      Sometimes people have paradoxical reactions to even “well absorbed” forms of magnesium. I would stick to form that you tolerate but the research is clear that magnesium oxide is not a well absorbed form so are you most likely not getting and therapeutic benefit from it. If you were unable to handle an amino acid form like mag glycinate then mag citrate is usually very well tolerated and has much better absorption then mag oxide.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  165. HeartSong Reply

    Dr. Hrkal, can people have overly sensitive reactions to magnesium supplements? I believe I have. First, a couple of years ago, I tried some transdermal magnesium because I was having a lot of night time cramps. The directions mentioned that if you put it on the bottom of your feet, it would be absorbed quickly. So, I put about a teaspoon on the bottom of each foot. Over the next hour, I got progressively more and more relaxed, and then that turned into extreme weakness. It really scared me. At one point I was preparing to go to the emergency room. (After about an hour, the weakness began to taper off, so I didn’t go.) (Subsequently, I started rubbing the transdermal magnesium on my legs, and that did not have the weakening effect.) Second, for the last several years, I’ve been taking a multi-mineral that has 125 mg magnesium oxide in each capsule (I take only one each day and it does not create any weakness). Recently, I decided to add magnesium malate to that, taking one capsule with about 72 mg magnesium malate. (The bottle says to take up to 6 capsules a day, but I just took 1.) Again, within an hour, I felt extreme weakness. Have you heard of other people having such reactions to magnesium supplements, and do you know why it would happen?

    I am a 63 years old female. I have Parkinson’s Disease, for which I take carbidopa/levopa. I take no other medications. The reason I wanted to add additional magnesium was that I read so many things about people with Parkinson’s being deficient in magnesium and that it really helps these people, especially with things like muscle cramps.

    Than you.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Ellen,

      I have not heard of this extreme reaction before from one topical or oral use. You may be a very hypersensitive person. Was the weakness just in the your legs? Difficultly breathing?
      Weakness is usually associated with high doses of magnesium IV not oral or topical.

      One thought I have is that try taking a equal dose of potassium with the mag to counterbalance it’s effect. The 2 minerals are closely related in function and are complementary.

      If it happens again I would see you doctor about it to get a complete blood test work up,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  166. Bobbi Reply

    Hello
    I am wondering if I need to take more magnesium. I have pretty advanced osteoporosis. I take a bone supplement with only 58 mg magnesium from algae. I have a healthy diet with lots of leafy greens, nuts, seeds, etc. If I take additional magnesium supplements, might that cause my calcium-magnesium balance to get unbalanced?
    how can I know if I need more magnesium? Is there a test?
    thank you
    Bobbi

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Bobbi,

      Good question. You need calcium, magnesium and other key minerals for bone formation. It sounds like you need more magnesium since 58mg is low. I would suggest you look at extra to get around 400mg daily. A good ratio for calcium to magnesium is 2:1 with a total of 800mg of absorbable calcium (not a from like coral or cal carbonate). MCHC (micro crystalline hydroxapatite) or calcium citrate-malate are good forms. Also look at the following product as a excellent example of a very comprehensive bone building formula with good clinical results for osteoporosis. http://www.aor.ca/en/product/bone-basics
      Also consider extra vitamin D and K2.

      There really isn’t a good test to address calcium/magnesium status. The standard blood tests only measure blood/serum levels which don’t reflect what’s inside your cells (i.e. in the bone). A naturopathic doctor can help you assess your minerals levels with a hair mineral analysis or intracellular nutrient test.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  167. Debby Reply

    I have found 2000mg of magnesium Malate to be particularly good at helping overcome sleep problems.

  168. ERIN KIRBY Reply

    What would you advise for a 4y/o non-verbal ASD/ SPD child

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Erin,

      I would direct you to see and board certified ND to get some more specific direction.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  169. Levi Howard Reply

    Hello! Very cool article. I was wondering if you could help me figure out which ones I could take. I just started doing to keto diet aka the Atkins diet, but I’m not doing it to lose weight, I’ve heard it can help with anxiety, and energy. The diet recommends I take 400mg of Magnesium citrate before bed. I was curious if there would be any side effects of also taking Magnesium Aspartate, Magnesium Glycinate, Magnesium Malate, Magnesium Taurate, Magnesium-L-Threonate. I am a young, healthy male, that is 170 pounds. I’m wondering how much you would recommend me take of each, which ones I can take together, and if I should take certain ones in the morning vs taking others before bed. Thank you so much in advance!
    Levi Howard.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Levy.

      Thanks for your question. It sounds like you would be fine with any form of magnesium except oxide. Mag citrate, glycinate, or malate are good options. You can take before bed and as well as in the morning. The same form for both is fine.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  170. Linda Reply

    I loved reading your artical and your comments. I was on a weight loss program and the doctor suggested taking Topamax. I started having unilateral parethesia of my face. He told me to stop it. It resolved after stopping. Later on he suggested taking magnesium for chocolate cravings. I again had the unilateral parethesia. He then told me that Topamax was Magnesium. Magnesium Oxidate is the type I take, is there any other type that may not cause that? I would really like to take it for the memory. Thanks.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Linda,

      Magnesium oxide is not the best form to increase magnesium levels. I would consider a better absorbed form like citrate, taurate, theronate or glycinate.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  171. Jenna Reply

    Hi Dr Hrkal,

    I am 18 weeks pregnant and experiencing frequent Braxton hicks contraction. I have heard a mag-cal supplement can help with that. What type of magnesium would you recommend for Braxton hicks?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Jenna,

      In any pregnancy cases I always defer to your healthcare practitioner. Insist on a highest absorbable form like Mg-glycinate

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  172. Sharna Reply

    My son has had hypomagnesemia since birth (malabsorbtion of magnesium). He is now 22. Until the age of 21 he was taking magnesium glycerophosphate tablets, which worked well for him. Although his blood serum levels have always been on the low side, anything between 0.5 and 0.69.

    At the age of 21, we are not sure why, but he started to have to go to the toilet between 6 and 10 times a day. He collapsed in January, as his magnesium serum levels had dropped to 0.2.

    He has had an endoscopy and tested negative for celiac and crohns. Therefore, apart from some inflammation of the intestine and low magnesium levels nothing else was found.

    He has tried magnesium aspartate which did little in raising his levels, then magnesium citrate which caused terrible upset stomach. He was then given magnesium oxide which still caused an upset stomach, but not quite as badly as the citrate. He is now taking magnesium lactate, (time released) but feels very drowsy in the afternoon. These have all been in high doses of 1,500mg per day.
    I am very concerned because the consultant is suggesting putting him on diuretics and reducing his magnesium lactate.

    I would really appreciate your help and suggestions regarding the best type of magnesium. Also,have you heard of using diuretics in this way? It seems a strange idea to me. It has been extremely difficult finding someone with a thorough knowledge in magnesium.

    Thank you.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      HI Sharna,

      I understand your frustration. There really isn’t much awareness or education about magnesium. The situation you outlined is complex and I am not really able to suggest anything in this forum. My suggestion would be to connect with a knowledgable Naturopathic doctor in your area (do an internet search to start) to get some counseling on son’s case. You can continue try various magnesium’s but it sounds like the amino acid forms (aspartate, glycine, malate etc.) are better absorbed for your son.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  173. Sharna Reply

    Dear Dr Hrkal,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to respond.

    Would you know of anyone in the UK you could recommend, or would you consider doing consultations via skype?

    Thank you again,

    Sharna

  174. Sharna Reply

    Dr Hrkal,

    Would you recommend magnesium malate for during the day and magnesium glycinate at night for someone who needs to take large doses and gets extreme tiredness during the day on high dose of magnesium lactate?

    If changing to amino acid magnesium is it possible to have a reduced dose due to better absorbtion?

    Thank you

    Sharna

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Sharna,

      What you suggested makes sense. Mag glycinate in the evening and malate in the morning. It really is trial and error in finding the right form and dose that a person tolerates best so I would suggest you try various combos.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  175. Sharna Reply

    Dear Dr Hrkal,

    Thank you so much, I really appreciate your advice.

    Do you have any recommendations of supplements to take alongside to help with absorbtion of magnesium? Is there a really good multi vitamin/mineral supplement you can suggest?

    Thank you again.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Sharna,

      A multi vitamin or high potency b-complex is a good idea. Look for active forms of B6 like pyridoxine 5 phosphate and B12 (methylcobalamin). Thats a good mark of a high quality multi vitamin. Ask your local healthfood store for more info on this.

      Here is favourite of mine.
      http://eu.natprod.cic.su/Advanced-Orthomolecular-Research-AOR-Ortho-Core-Advanced-Multivitamin-Mineral-Formula-180-Capsules

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  176. Annastasia Jean-Marie Reply

    hello, two months ago I was hospitalized with severe chest pains, I did not have a heart attack , my echocardiogram was excellent, still have pain at night. They said that I had unstable angina and pulmonary hypertension . I am on procoralan 5 mg. and vastarel. For my heart I started using magnesium oxide/citrate, this was ok, just had extra bowel movement. Two weeks ago I started using 100mg. of Magnesium elemental from 1000 mg of glycinate and lysinate chelate. I itch terribly it feels as though I’m lying down on pins and needles. I stopped taking it and the itching lessened after 3 days.What type of magnesium should I take for my heart ?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Anna,

      Go back to the blog post and check out the info on magnesium orotate. It has the best research on cardiovascular conditions.
      http://www.aor.ca/en/product/cardio-mag-2.0

      Here are some references
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9794089
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26281202

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  177. Alora Reply

    I’m a 22 year old female with very bad anxiety. I’m also having a lot of fatigue, memory loss, light sensitivity, lack of focus and mental clarity, minor visual disturbances, and occasional tingling. I plan to see a neurologist but I heard that a magnesium deficiency can cause neurological symptoms. I know that anxiety can also cause symptoms that seem neurological. Which magnesium is best for neuro?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Alora,

      Glad to hear that you are seeing a neurologist because those symptoms are most likely NOT from just a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium glycinate, theronate or malate are good options for neuro conditions.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  178. Andrew Reply

    Hi,
    I have suffered from PVCs and heart palpitations for almost tow years. I have anxiety, which I take meds for but other than that, there are no known reasons for my heart palpitations. I was suggested to take supplements, particularly magnesium. I got regular magnesium pills that I got at a grocery store but I saw no improvements. Would magnesium taurate work?
    Thank you and looking forward towards your response
    Andrew

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Andrew,

      I would look into magnesium orotate. It has the best evidence in all cardio issues including conduction issues.
      A great review linked here
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26281202

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  179. Leslie Reply

    Hello,

    I’m having difficulty deciding which magnesium supplement to choose. I didn’t know it was so complicated. My main complaints are leg and foot cramps, which can be excruciating. But I also have trouble sleeping and to a much lesser degree, heart palipatations. Should I take the taurate form or glycinate or malate? I really am struggling with this decision because I want to take the right one. Also, is it okay to take it all at bedtime? I would appreciate any help you could give.

    Thank you!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Leslie,

      To be honest with you I think you are overthinking the choice. I think all the types you mentioned would be helpful with the cramps. Mg glycinate does have the added advantage of being relaxing so it may help you sleep but ultimately you will have to do a little trial and error to find the right form if the first one doesn’t work.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  180. Lori Reply

    I would like to know if there is a certain mag. for diarrhea? Thank you and God bless

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Lori,

      Nothing for diarrhea, since Mag can cause it. I would just suggest an electrolyte to take during and after to replete the lost minerals.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  181. Zoey Reply

    Hi-hopefully I don’t mix up the mag types. I started taking magnesium malate bc of chronic constipation. A dr we went to who uses nutrition and lots of supplements for chronic illnes recommended it. I was looking to see if this was the best mag when I realized how many there are and how I could benefit from various forms. About three years after the birth of my daughter I developed prolonged chronic fatigue, my back injury worsened and I started having higher blood pressure. I had lost my appetite for awhile yet continued to breast feed on what I understand now was a ridiculously low amount of food. I’m also a life long picky vegatarian. I’ve gone gluten free and even did the introductory GAPS diet. I’m still gluten free and avoid some other grains as well. I’ve learned to tolerate chx stock and my fatigue symptoms have improved-some. I used to be able to sleep like the dead for days on end if I had the opportunity. My blood pressure has gotten crazy high and even though I eat less then my six yr old niece I’ve gained a lot of weight. I eat one meal and a few snacks most days. If I don’t take something I won’t poop for at least 5 days. I take a double dose of magnesium malate every day with organic Triphala and supplement with slippery elm. Right now I’m really worried about by blood pressure. I was thinking of switching to citrate for my constipation when I started seeing so many other helpful things mag could do. I was reading the magnesium oxide had poor available but loosened stools so I wondered if I could take it with the mag taurate for my blood pressure. But then I’m wondering if one of the reasons my pain is better is bc I’ve been on malate. Although I’ve also been taking organic sulfur MSM crystals and tumeric which I grind black pepper into. Along with diet-reducing grains, refined sugar & adding homemade yogurts and sour kraut + homemade organic chx stock slow cooked with vinager to access the marrow. Plus I drink a tea to also help with inflammation throughout the day. My ankles and feet have also been selling but I wonder if that’s all this weight I’ve gained along with not getting enough exercise to raise my heart rate. Im running around the house all day but it’s not raising and keeping my heart rate up enough to be exercise. I am trying for twenty mins of heart rate raising exercise each day. I’m so tired of being tired, it makes exercising something I have to literally force myself to do. I home school a kid who would probably be labeled with ADHD & or a high functioning autistic spectrum disorder if I sent her to school. I suffered through labeling as a child and the drugs-after 20 some years I’m finally almost off the antidepressants I was prescribed-so I usually put all of my tiny bit of energy towards my little girl. I want the energy help, I need the constipation dealt with and I need the high blood pressure dealt with. I’m taking a good fish oil now I encapsulate myself, I’m also ordering a whole food co-q10 supplement. I’ve read these are helpful for no. I’m wondering which magnesium I should go with and feel quite flustered with the choices. Should I take a taurine supplement for blood pressure or the aspartate to see if it could help my chronic fatigue adding the oxide for constipation. I really, really appreciate any help you can give and I appreciate the article that provided more info in one place then several other websites put together. Thanx-Zoey

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Zoey,

      Thanks for sharing but your case is way to complex for me to comment on it. I suspect you have a number of major deficiencies which need to address ASAP. I also suspect a hormonal/thyroid condition. I have to recommend you see a qualified ND/MD/DC ASAP.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  182. raj Reply

    hi.

    I recently tried supplementing with 100mg of magnesium citrate. before sleep i took one tablet. and it made me feel so tired, groggy and with less energy the next day. can you please advice what i should do as magnesium is supposed to help not cause these symptoms.

    shall i stop taking it altogether?

    Please advice thanks.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Raj,

      You should not feel groggy after magnesium. This is more common with melatonin. It’s not common effect. Maybe try a different form like glycinate or a lower dose.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  183. Hannah Reply

    Hello,
    I am looking for a good magnesium supplement since my doctor said that I am at risk of developing osteoporosis and I know that calcium and magnesium need to be in proper ratio. I have moderate constipation/diarrhea and am looking into the possibility that I may have Irritable Bowel Syndrome. In addition to needing a good form of magnesium that will be good for both of these things, I am also wondering if there is a specific kind that will help regulate hormones? What kind do you suggest?
    Thanks!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Hannah,

      Thanks for the question. No specific magnesium for bone or hormones. I would just use a well absorbed form that I discuss in the article above (Mg glycinate, malate, taurate etc.). In terms of the IBS I would suggest you will have to adjust the dose that works best for you. It’s a little trial and error.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  184. Michelle Reply

    I have a 7 yo son w/migraines; finally saw pediatric neurologist and recommended 100 mg magnesium gluconate in evening. Please explain gluconate vs glycinate? They aren’t the same, are they?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Michelle,

      Magnesium gluconate not the same as mag glycinate. Gluconate is a salt form, glycinate is an amino acid form. The amino acid form is absorbed differently then salt forms and is less susceptible to causing loose stools. Mg gluconate contains the gluconic acid which is a well absorbed form of Mg but the health benefits are not as clear as amino acid forms. Some evidence suggests that it may be a precursor to mitochondrial (energy) formation inside the cell but I have not seen much evidence to suggest this. See the link below. Overall, I don’t think it’s a bad from but you probably could do better with glyinate or theornate forms. I would note that it’s always my official recommendation to follow your doctors advice.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15466961

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  185. Rebekah Reply

    Your article was the first one I found that clearly distinguishes between the different forms of magnesium, so thank you.
    Is magnesium citrate ok for children to take? And if yes, how much? I have an 11 yr. old daughter who really struggles with constipation. She is taking miralax daily, along with lots of water, and making sure she gets adequate fiber each day. I am wondering if mag. citrate would be ok for her to take to try to wean her off of the miralax? I am worried about the effects of the miralax on her system long term.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Rebekah,

      Thanks for your question. Mag citrate is a very safe natural health product so I would feel confident giving it to children, teens and adults. Of course I would consult with a qualified health care practitioner to help with the weaning of miralax and also to get dosing instructions.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  186. S Reply

    Hi Dr. Hrkal,

    For maintaining the health of Cardio Vascular aspect, I have been suggested with the supplement – Magnesium Malate. However, as I have read that there are the side effects from Mg malate like Diarrhea, Headaches, Loose stools, Nauseous, etc., may I know if this is the best one for the health of cardiovascular system? Or, there’s other that you would suggest with less to no side effect as possible?

    Which herbal form or natural remedy for cadio vascular health as well?

    Thanks,
    Stella

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Stella,

      I have not heard of the side effects you listed for mag malate. I am not aware of these side effect with any specific form of magnesium. Mag malate is more indicated for muscle pain then cardiovascular issues so I would consider switching to mag orotate or taurate for the best cardio effect. From a herbal perspective consider a herb called arjuna or hawthorne for cardio support. http://www.aor.ca/en/health-category/heart-health

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  187. Jenni Reply

    What type would you recommend for headaches? Also do you have a favorite supplement or brand? Thanks!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Jenni,

      Really any type of mag can be helpful for headaches. Citrate or glycinate are fast acting and I use them ofter with my patients. Check out http://www.AOR.ca for high quality products.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  188. Teresa Reply

    Hello i have bad constipation, and sleeping problems. Which magnesium would be better for me?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Teresa,

      Mag glycinate has a calming effect due to the glycine amino acid and if you dose high enough it can loosed your stools.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  189. Peggy Reply

    I have restless leg syndrome, and severe leg cramps, fainted from the pain once. I also have very tight muscles in my hips, that I believe causes my low back pain. I also have A-fib, caused by too much caffeine so, over a year ago I got off caffeine and have very few episodes. Should I take magnesium citrate AND magnesium orotate, or just one kind? Thank you so much. I’m so glad I found this site.
    Peggy

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Peggy,

      Thanks for he question. There is no problem combining types of magnesium. If fact, that can be a good way to get the benefits of multiple types of mag. The 2 types you mentioned are very good options from the concerns you mentioned.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  190. Renata Reply

    Hello Doctor.
    I’m writing on my mother’s behalf.
    She was diagnosed with Burning Mouth Syndrome 4 years ago.
    Sadly, there’s no cure and I’ve seen her life quality diminish greatly in the past 6 months.
    Do you think that taking a magnesium supplement could help?
    Thank you very much and God bless.
    Cheers from Mexico.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Renata,

      Thanks for the question. There really is not evidence based natural solution for burning mouth syndrome. Due to magnesium’s effect on nerves I think it would be something that is worth trying.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  191. Nicky Reply

    I have been using large amounts of magnesium citrate and malware supplements to get my gi tract in order. I take a total of 1800mg a day, is that too high? Can you overdose on magnesium? It hasn’t given me diarrhea.

    1. Nicky Reply

      How long does it take for magnesium supplements to leave the body?

      1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

        Nicky,

        Magnesium is absorbed within a few hours and then it is used over the next 24hrs. It doesn’t have to be detoxified or “leave” the body like a herb or medication.

        Dr Paul Hrkal ND

    2. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Nicky,

      You can overdose on magnesium but it’s hard to do and usually the diarrhea is the signal that you have reached the upper tolerable limit. I would go get my electrolytes (sodium, potassium and mag) tested by your doctor to make sure your levels are safe. If they are and you don’t have any palpitations or heart issues, you can continue but I would get your doctor to monitor you regularly.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  192. Kim Reply

    Hello,
    I recently had bilateral knee replacement. I have since had very tight leg muscles and difficulty falling asleep. I have not been a good sleeper prior to surgery either but never had difficulty falling asleep just staying asleep. I would usually asked 2 to 3 times per night. Now that is added with difficulty falling asleep as well. Would magnesium powder be a good supplant for me. The pills have not seemed very helpful. Thank you,
    Kim

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Kim,

      If mag pills didn’t help then in my experience the powder won’t solve it either. I suggest you consider a melatonin spray. It works really well for trouble falling asleep but you need to slowly increase the dose by 1 spray a night until you get a good sleep. I would do this in conjunction with magnesium glycinate or malate.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  193. Emily Reply

    Hi Dr. Hrkal,

    I’m 31 overall healthy female 5 ft, 100 lbs. However, I do have chronic constipation, frequent migraines and headaches, and difficulty sleeping. A friend suggested taking a magnesium citrate supplement that she has been taking. It’s been about 2 weeks since I started it. I’ve been taking 325 mg/day in one dose. The first week everything seemed well. No headaches and sleeping great. I would have one bout of loose stools each morning after taking it the night before and after drinking my coffee. I much prefer the loose stools over the constipation, so I wasn’t bothered. Into my second week though I started feeling pain in my kidneys when I would urinate. After a few days of that, I woke up to a distinct pain in my left hand, right forearm, and right knee. The pain did not get better throughout the day. The day before this pain started, I had done some sanding and staining on a wood project. I figured I over used those muscles, but thought it was strange that I have never had this problems with previous times of the same activity. Following morning (yesterday), I woke up to my whole body in pain. It seemed like almost every muscle was affected. I could barely move for the first couple hours. The pain never went away, but did get more tolerable as the day weren’t on. At bedtime, it got worse again, but not to the extent of the morning pain. I continued taking the magnesium. This morning, I woke up again still in pain (not quite as bad as the initial pain from yesterday morning). I’ve been trying to do some research but nothing seems real clear to me. I’m hoping maybe you can help me understand a little better.

    Here are some of my random thoughts of what could be going on:

    1) The rare chance of magnesium intoxication.

    2) Maybe taking too big of a dose too soon. I took aprox 165 mg the first day, and 325 mg since day 2. Maybe I should have slowly increased dosage.

    3) Possibly still not taking enough dosage. I read that some experts recommend taking 1 large dose daily and then one or two smaller doses, to help keep the magnesium throughout your body all day long. And that my body is taking time to adjust.

    4) No correlation to the magnesium at all. Maybe an underlying issue. Could taking a magnesium supplement help bring an underlying issue to the surface?

    I’m not really sure the best route to discover if the magnesium is the culprit or not. After researching all the positive effects of magnesium, I really want to continue taking it, but want to make sure I’m doing it safely and effectively without causing any negative side effects. Any help is greatly appreciated.

    Thanks, Emily

  194. Jarad Bryant Reply

    Hi my question is about Magnesium Chelate…
    Could you offer any advice on this form?
    Best Regards….

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Jarad,

      Mag chelate is not a type of magnesium but rather describes a type of magnesium compound. For example a mag chelate is magnesium malate. The chelate is combo of mag and the attached ion (amino acid or salt).

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  195. David D Reply

    Hi Dr Hrkal,
    Thanks for the article and for taking the time to advise so many people.
    I have severe chronic treatment resistant depression and comorbid anxiety issues – I have also been diagnosed with moderate Vit D3 deficiency and have many symptoms which make me concerned I may also have low magnesium levels … I was thinking of trying magnesium – L – threonate? or a glycine aa chelate as I also have severe insomnia issues …
    If you have any thoughts re this I would appreciate them.
    Kind regards
    David D.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi David,

      Magnesium glycinate sounds like a good form in your situation. The calming effect of glycine is very helpful in addition to magnesium. Also consider taurine to improve the absorption of magnesium and to regulate the nerve transmission.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  196. Jim Reply

    I am taking magnesium chelated two days now for heart palpitations and some anxiety as my cardiologist suggested. I tried magnesium citrate at first but even on low dosage it was very laxative for me. Chelate seems ok for my stomach, i don’t have any stomach pains but i noticed some loose tools when i take 200mg or more at once.

    I am on the 3rd day now, i feel some difference, more relaxed and calm, i feel like my muscles and my body get something that it was missing but i also feel a bit tired and sleepy when i get 200mg of magnesium at morning. I searched on google and i found out that other people have also this ‘side effect’ and some say that it may be because of the restoration of mag levels and at the beggining someone may experiene those feelings… What’s your opinion?

    Thank you very much in advance!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Jim,

      Some people can experience a “rebalancing effect” after taking magnesium. This should subside after levels come back to normal. If it doesn’t in a few weeks, decrease the dose to find one that works better for you.

      Good Luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  197. Eva Reply

    Is magnesium aspartate safe?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Eva,

      Mag aspartate does have research supporting its use in fatigue. It also is a very absorbable forms. I would consider it safe.

      Dr Hrkal

  198. Jean Reply

    I am taking magnesium citrate to help urinary urgency/incontinence. It seems to help quite a bit. It also gives the laxative effect which helps. Is there a possibility of magnesium citrate causing laxative dependency if used longterm?
    The doctors in my area seem very cautious about magnesium citrate.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Jean,

      Magneisum citrate won’t cause laxative dependancy like a herb (i.e. Senna) but I suggest using an amino acid form like glycinate which has a calming effect and won’t cause as much loose stools.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  199. joe Reply

    Hi Dr Hrkal,

    Thanks for the great information on your site.

    For the past 3 years I have suffered from muscle tension and muscle knots in my neck and shoulders. This i believe was caused by anxiety and stress.

    My chiropractor recommended Natural Calm to me and that caused heart fludders on both occasions i tried taking even after the last dose was a half teaspoon. When i started researching why that happened i found your site and discovered that there were many different types of Magnesium.

    My question is it possible the Magnesium Citrate caused my heart fludder and other types would not have the same result and if so which type, Magnesium malate or glycinate is best for tight muscles, knots and anxiety.

    Thank you
    Joe

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Joe,

      I think you are correct that the malate and glycinate seem like the best forms for you since they can address the muscle and anxiety issues. Mag should not cause the heart flutter issues but you there is a chance that there also is a potassium deficiency which can cause palpitations. I would suggest looking into a mag and potassium + taurine combo.

      Good luck,

      Dr Hrkal ND

  200. Lisa Peterson Reply

    My dad has been suffering terribly with leg cramps (calves), stomach cramps from an inoperable hernia & hand cramps from arthritis. Plus, he is allergic to DAPTomyecin (which he was put on after a terrible fall that resulted in osteomyelitis) and ended up with damage to his lungs, so he has to do a nebulizer treatment 4x daily. It turns out that the nebulizer treatment has a side affect for some for giving cramps. Since my dad gets unusual reactions all the time, I’m thinking he’s getting cramps from that nebulizer treatment. Since he needs to breathe… that takes priority over the cramps. So, he already takes Meloxicam for Arthritis. and I was thinking that a combination of magnesium, calcium, potassium and taurine might help with his intolerable cramps. I hope the Dr. here could give me thoughts on this to assist my 86 yr old gem of a father. Thank you!
    ~Lisa

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Lisa,

      Thanks for sharing but your dad’s situation is complex and needs personalized advise to implement natural remedies to address the cramps.

      Please seek on out in your area. A naturopathic doctor will help you in this case.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  201. Andrea Reply

    Have a few questions regarding magnesium supplements. I deal with constipation a lot but my husband noticed that when my stress levels are extremely low that I become regular, which we happened to notice when we were on vacation without our children for our anniversary. I watched that over the next several years and the pattern was the same, it didn’t matter what I ate or drank that would normally help combat constipation, as long as my stress was up, I was constipated. I’m not opposed to taking something like the magnesium oxide but is there a form that will help combat the stress as well?

    I would also like to know about the magnesium-L-threonate and how it affects teenagers with learning disabilities. My daughter was diagnosed with 2 learning disabilities when she was younger, both short term memory and long term retention and with her being a teenager, she also sleeps a lot. Will the L-theronate help with the memory and will the aspartate give her more energy?

    Thanks

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Andrea,

      It sounds like you have sympathetic overactivity which is suppressing the parasympathetic (PNS) that is responsible for the gut function and movement. Mag glycinate would be helpful for this along with calming herbs and amino acids such as theanine and passionflower.
      Also try to do things daily that increase PNS activity.
      https://selfhacked.com/2015/07/30/28-ways-to-stimulate-your-vagus-nerve-and-all-you-need-to-know-about-it/

      Mag L-theronate has be studied to increase cognition. I have never used it for ADHD or learning disorders but it is worth a try. The mechanism is makes sense to deliver magnesium into the brain.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  202. P Daruwalla Reply

    Should a solution of Magnesium Hydroxide and soda water which gives Magnesium Bi Carbonate; the magnesium be bio available well from the magnesium Bi Carbonate. Will appreciate your reply. Thank you.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      I don’t know exactly but mag carbonate is not a desirable form of magnesium.

  203. Brigitte Reply

    Good day Dr. Hrkal,

    After reading many comments on this page, I’m really excited to find the best magnesium for me. I’ve been looking at products on the aor.ca site, but I can’t seem to be able to decide between Advanced Magnesium Complex (which has many kinds of magnesium) and Magnesium Glycinate. I would like a supplement for muscle pain relief (overall back pain), fatigue (a night sleep is never enough!) and my husband is looking for something for neck muscle relaxation at night (his neck is always stressed).

    Thank you very much!
    Brigitte

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Brigitte,

      Both types you mentioned would be good. So start with one and give it a try for a few months and then you can switch to the other after that if you don’t have the results you want.

      Ps It also sounds you need a little adrenal support. Check out Gandha 600, advanced B-complex or Ortho Adapt for the low energy levels.Take those in the morning only.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  204. Carol Ann Reply

    Im wanting to try Magnesium Glycinate liquid or powder form but concerned about the additive effecting IBS such as Citric acid or potassium sorbates, I recently suffered a very long bout of C Diff , do to the fact it was not diagnosed quickly and took several rounds of Flagyl to get it under control Iv been left with scar tissue in the GI track resembling symptoms of IBS, I need the Magnesium to help with nervous tension, BP as well as insomnia Magnesium Bis Glycinate has been recommended as it is less likely to cause loose stools which i already suffer from but my concern is the additives to theses products that may cause a reaction.
    Thank you

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Carol,

      A good approach is to start very slowly with a low dose of mag glycinate (1 cap of 100mg daily) and see how your bowels feel after a few days. You can increase from there to bowel tolerance.

      good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  205. FERNANDA L LEPORACE Reply

    Doctor, I have been suggested to take “MSM Glucosamine Sulfate” 1000mg for joint care as I have damaged disk in the lower back. I was searching online to learn about Magnesium Stearate and here. The pill ingredients are: methylsulfonylmethane, glucosamine sulfate KCI, sodium, fiber, cellulose, stearic acid, silica and magnesium stearate.
    What type of magnesium is the stearate form, is it safe? Is there anything I should now and look for while I am taking it? I am currently taking Magnesium citrate as powder 1/2 tsp a day. Any suggestion or recommendation on these two?
    Thank you very much, Dr.
    ps> I am 42 female

    Fernanda-

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Fernanda,

      Mag sterate is used in the manufacturing of supplements to lubricate production machines. It does not have a therapeutic effect. Look for it in the non-medicinal ingredient list on your supplement. Take the mag citrate as directed on the bottle or by your doctor.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  206. Irmgard Reply

    I used several kinds of magnesium tablets but non of them works so well as magnesium pidolate in the fluid form. I have severe pain in my legs arms face shoulders and neck. Stiffness is like myotonia congenita. They ruled this out after good research.

    I tried the magnesium pidolate ampulles and after 9 days my horrible pain was gone, stiffness as wel and my all body react different. I felt so much better. I had to stop because I got tests for McCardles disease. This was ruled out after 2 hours of conversation with 3 doctors. They told me it looks like magnesium difficenty.
    There were no tests further than blood results.

    I ordered mag2 magnesium pidolate today and love to start in a few days. I have treatment for Periodic Paralysis and Congenital Myastenic Syndrome.

    I read about the results Magnesium can give on a good body level. Even in the synaps of nerves and muscles. I really wonder what the results are in time. In the 9 days when I took the ampulles I decrease mestinon and got less periodic paralysis attacks.

    Many regards,

    Irm

  207. Irmgard Reply

    If I may comment on Lisa Peterson. I hope one can send her my post. I have Periodic Paralysis and there are patients who use a nebulizer and get new symptoms like cramps. Often it is due to changing of PH in the body.
    Changing PH in the body can also give more breathing problems.
    Many regards

    Irm

  208. John Oppenheimer Reply

    What is the best magnesium for leg and foot muscle cramps, muscle tightness as well as sleep? Thank you

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi John,

      Mag malate or glycinate works well. A multi mineral including a little calcium is also helpful.

      Dr Hrkal

  209. John Oppenheimer Reply

    And to add to my previous question. Of all the info I have collected, magnesium malate seems to be the one I should try. Thanks for your feedback.

  210. Lala Reply

    I have been suffering from chronic constipation for almost 6 months now.
    I cant seem to go without some sort of laxative.
    Last night i took a magnesium citrate supplement(100mg and the bottle said for bone health) for the first time amd found it worked pretty quickly.
    I am wondering if maybe i have a deficiency though i have heard it is hard to tell even with blood testing.
    I do get migraines and frequent muscle cramping (mostly in my feet). I take birth control pills which i heard can deplete the magnesium intake. I also have anxoety which i suppose is why i am asking this. I fear taking anything i can overdose on.
    How much magnesium would i have to take to overdose on it (21 year old female, 198lb)?
    What are the symptoms and what can happen when an overdose occurs?
    Are there any vitamins or other medications that should not be taken with it?
    Is magnesium citrate 100mg safe to take every day as a laxative?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Lala,

      It sounds like your questions are best answered by an ND that knows your case. Magnesium is an excellent treatment of chronic constipation but the problem is that there is no accurate way of testing magnesium levels in the body with standard blood work. As I have mentioned on other posts you can overdose on mag but its rare so most people can just supplement with moderate doses with no risk of overdose. Always work with a healthcare practitioner to find the right dose for you.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  211. Denise Reply

    Hello,

    I have been experiencing symptoms similar to Cricopharyngeal Spasms (CS), tightness in the esophagus, and chest. My online research has introduced a casual link to a magnesium deficiency. I was wondering if you could please provide some insight if any on this matter?

    Regards,
    Denise

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Denise,

      Unfortunately, I can’t offer you advise on this issue since you are not my patient. It makes sense supplement to magnesium to relax the smooth muscles of throat and mouth. Look for a well absorbed form like mag glycinate that has an added relaxing effect of the glycine.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  212. David Reply

    Hi,

    I have high blood pressure and am looking into supplements to help bring them down. What types of magnesium would work best? Is there a combo that would work best? II see you have several recommendation and I was curious. Also wondering if you know of any other supplements that will help with lowering blood pressure?

    Thanks for your help

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi David,

      Please refer to my article for more about cardiovascular issues. Magnesium orotate has the best evidence for heart issues. I would suggest you look into that type of mag.
      http://www.aor.ca/en/product/cardio-mag-2.0

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  213. Ashley Mitchell Reply

    Good evening Doctor. I found your site a few years back when I was just beginning to work my way out of anxiety and anxiety induced insomnia (and the insomnia just created more anxiety of course) as well as a light bout of depression. I was determined to do this without prescription meds and it worked pretty well. I also stacked 5-htp and tyrosine during this time and it got me to where I am today which is about 90% better. My question is on the types of magnesium that play well together, specifically for sleep purposes. I started a few years back with glycinate, then tried taurate, malate, and threonate but always went back to glycinate as a main use before bed. Now I currently take glycinate and malate and it works well alongside a probiotic but I’m wondering if going to a glycinate & threonate tandem may be a better course for helping my memory as I get older. (The other day I couldn’t reca Marissa Tomei as the actress in My Cousin Vinnyband was sure I had early Alzheimer’s lol) I’m about to round into 42 next month and if I can still get the sleep benefits of the magnesium at night, would the threonate be a better option than the malate? Alternatively, I’m opwn to taking one of each for a three prong approach, as I take one each of the glycinate and malate now. What would you suggest?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hello Ashley,

      Thanks for sharing. I can understand your approach in stacking different type of magnesium. As long as you are using well absorbed types of magnesium (which you are) then it really comes down to what works best for you. Most people will use a glycinate before bed and either a malate or theronate during the day. This makes sense physiologically as glycinate is calming and the other 2 are more stimulating. Ultimately I suggest my patients stick to a form they feel best on and be consistent.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  214. Beth Reply

    I’m looking for a good Mag supplement for my 11 months old son who needs help passing his BM’s on a regular basis. He has just recently started eating solid foods in the last 2 months and his digestive track is not fully developed yet and he gets constipated.

    I tried Mag citrate and it bothered him and made him act irritable (I think it was the acid in the citrate). He did fine with Mag oxide, and that seemed to work well but I want a Mag supp that will be more absorbed. Any recommendations? I was going to try Mag L-Threonate next since it helps with cognitive function but I wasn’t sure if it would help with moving the bowels.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Beth,

      Try Mag glycinate – open the capsule or use powder. It is not irritating and works well for constipation. Probiotics are also very helpful

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  215. shelia Reply

    I know you are not in favor of magnesium carbonate, but I would like to know what it does? You describe benefits of other forms, but never that one. I am testing the Nutreince brand of liquid vitamins which bases their formulas on the ABCS, Absorption, Beneficial Quantities and Forms, and Micronutrient Competition and Synergy, but notice they are using the carbonate form. I have been taking the Bisglycinate form but was switching to the straight Malate form for the reasons you give in your article stating the other forms (oxide) that are added and the actual percentage absorbed, and also the area I wanted to target. Thanks for that breakdown. What are your thoughts. Thanks.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Sheila

      Mag carbonate is not a form that has the additional benefit of the amino acid group (like glycinate or malate) that the magnesium is attached too. Carbonate has no such benefit and is not well absorbed like these forms. I like to use forms that has a duel effect of mag plus the amino.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

      1. shelia Reply

        Got it! And thanks so much for your article on Scheduling Your Supplements. Exactly what I needed to know.

  216. Lucy Reply

    Thank you

  217. Ann Reply

    Hello,
    Would like to know the difference between Mag. MALATE Powder and Mag. CHLORIDE Liquid (Pico-Ionic)
    Thank you.
    Ann
    l

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Ann,

      Mag malate is form that has been studied for fibromyalgia. Since its an amino acid form it is well tolerated and actively absorbed in the gut. The malate also acts as substrate for the citric acid cycle which helps energy production.
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8587088
      The mag chloride (pico) has not been studied for a clinical indication/condition. I know some companies claim that the pico form is best absorbed. I have not seen this in the literature (it might be but we can’t confirm). I use mag chloride for my IV protocol and transdermally and it seems to work well. I can’t comment orally but I prefer amino acid forms.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  218. sharon Reply

    I have a Mitral Valve leakage and my heart flutters. I heard that Magnesium and Vit D. was good for it.
    I have had a triple by pass and it failed 3 months later. I now have 11 stents. I just finished wearing a monitor
    for a month. no results yet. what can you tell me that would help me.
    thanks

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Sharon,

      For this complex issue you need the direct guidance from a naturopathic doctor. They will guide you with specifics.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  219. Elizabeth Grant Reply

    Dr. Hrkal,
    I take mag orotate regularly (Dr. Nieper’s work was wonderful) but I wonder if I should try adding some glycinate. Why?

    1. Although I’ve chelated for years, I still am mercury poisoned. I wonder if this form might also help with chelation.
    2. My sleep.
    The worst part of mercury poisoning has been my sleep troubles…And now, with menopause, two of my problems are exacerbated – trying to stay asleep (enough hours) and bloating (digestion).

    I don’t know what is the main driver of both issues – still the mercury or estrogen dominance (I am in amazing shape, 5’4″, 118lbs, 51, workout most every day). I know both estrogen and progesterone are low first from mercury and now natural aging.

    So…do you recommend the glycinate to add to my mag O at night for sleep?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Mag glycinate could be a nice add on. Really the only way to know is to try it.
      Magnesium and glycine turns on numerous liver enzymatic pathways and they works together with other co-factors to achieve this detox effect. I like the addition of glycine and glutathione for mercury detox.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  220. Richard Rankin Reply

    Hello Dr. Hrkal. I recently had a parathyroidectomy, which surgery seemed to go really well. However, since the surgery I’ve developed extreme panic attack symptoms. They tested my thyroid, and it tested normal. However, I still believe there attacks are related to the manipulation of the thyroid during surgery. I know it should regulate eventually. In the meantime would magnesium assist in limiting the symptoms? What other supplements would you recommend?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Richard,

      For a complex situation like this I have to refer you to see a ND or other qualified practitioner.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  221. RDJ Reply

    Dear Dr. Hrkl,

    First, I wanted to thank you for writing such comprehensive article about the different types of Magnesium.
    I have battled with poor sleep and IBS for many years. Last year especially, when I started to have the symptoms of menopause. I am currently following a bio-identical hormone treatment which works for me and taking the following supplements: Reacted Magnesium (235 mg for 2 capsules), Omega 3 (1000mg), Vitamin D-3 5000 iu. When I started with Reacted Magnesium my nutritionist suggested 2 capsules a day: one after lunch, one before bedtime. I had to cut back to 1 capsule as two capsules were giving me diarrhea.

    I am currently taking the above supplements after my lunch. I have two questions:
    – Is there any interaction in taking the supplements together? ( I haven’t noticed anything…)
    – Is it ok to take Reacted Magnesium for a prolonged period of time?

    I lived in France for many years and recently visited. When asked my doctor there, the recommendation was to take Magnesium as a short term treatment for no more that 6 weeks and up to twice a year! I also noticed that most Magnesium brands sold in pharmacies in France have Vitamin B6 as well.

    Why the different schools of thoughts? And which one to follow?

    Thanks,
    DJ

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi DJ

      Good questions.

      1) B6 helps magnesium get into your cells better hence its inclusion in some European products.
      2) Magnesium is so common but very poorly understood. That results in such a wide range of options and recommendations.
      3) there are no interactions with the above supplements you mentioned that I know of.
      4) You can absolutely take mag for 3-6 months. It can sometimes take that long to rebuild your levels.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  222. HELEN JACKSON Reply

    I have a torn ligament off my Sacroiliac Joint, which I did 3 years ago. I have always taken a Magnesium supplement but I did not realize that more Mag was needed when my body was under stress. Last year the muscles around this area started to spasm badly, and I was almost having to give up work. I am a Bus Driver. After having several tests, I have been diagnosed as having major Magnesium deficiency… even though I have been on Magnesium Complex for many years. I have been in contact with my Naturopath and she has advised a Magnesium Oil for my feet, and a Magnesium Cream for my Pain area, and to continue the Mag Supplement. Will you please advise me of the Magnesium which will absorb the best for my situation, as I am really “over” all this pain and restrictive movement. Thankyou, Helen

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Helen,
      I think you are on the right track. It takes up to 6-12 months to replete magneisum levels. Also consider that you may be deficient in stomach acid so you are not absorbing the supplements. Mag malate or glyincate are good options. IV mag is also a very rapid way to restore levels so ask you ND about that therapy. Oil or gel are also good local options.

      Good luck,

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  223. Susan Reply

    Magnesium in any form that I am aware of has the opposite effect on me. I was interested in using it for constipation and aching muscles, but it makes me sooooo sleepy and my limbs feel so heavy that I literally cannot function for a couple of days after taking it in any form. I now avoid taking any supplement that has any form of Magnesium in it. I am 76 and the only medication that I take is 45 mg. of Armour Thyroid. I have just found out through Calcium Scoring that I do have a count of 75, but with my history and reaction to drugs, I do not think that Statins are advisable for me. Looking for alternatives and why Magnesium makes me excessively sleepy. Thanks.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Susan,

      There always will be variation in the metabolism of any natural substance or pharmaceutical drug depending on the person. Each person has a unique cellular environment and metabolic system which may alter what kind of effect a simple amino acid, herb, vitamin or mineral has. In the case of magnesium glycinate, the glycine (amino acid component) is often responsible for the undesirable effect since it can push liver detox pathways and neurological receptor systems in some more sensitive people. I haven’t been able to find a more detailed reason in the literature but my recommendation is if you were unable to handle an amino acid form like Mg glycinate then try another form like Mg citrate, malate, or taurate since they are also very well tolerated and have much better absorption then Mg oxide. One possible explanation is that magnesium (and glycine) turns on numerous enzymatic pathways in the body and it works together with other co-factors to achieve this. These co-factors include B-vitamins, taurine and other minerals. In clinical practice, I have found that if a person experiences an opposite to magnesium then co-administering a high-quality b-complex or multivitamin (not a one-a-day) can really improve the effectiveness and tolerability of any form of magnesium

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  224. Jane Ugolini Reply

    I have alot of muscle and joint pain along with serious depression. My therapist recommended using 125-300 mg of magnesium (as glycinate and taurinate) with each meal and at bedtime. Is there such a product that combines the two?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      No to our knowledge. You can always take 1 cap of each to get that dose.

      AOR techical team

  225. Ellie Reply

    I have SEVERE muscle spasms in my upper legs on occasion. They last for about 15 mins. What type of magnesium would help relieve this? This just started recently. Am in great health. Take IDLife supplements. Not on any meds.

    Ellie

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Ellie,

      Magnesium glycinate would be a good option since it also has calming effects as well.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  226. Kat Reply

    Over a month ago I stopped magnesium oxide & began taking 2 tsps (350 mg) of powdered Ionic magnesium citrate “citric acid and magnesium carbonate” because I began not being able to fall asleep. It helps but not always. I eat healthy foods. As of last week my right shin feels slightly numb & the bottom of my right foot has a numb, tingling, buzzing sensation. I read numbness & tingling in lower leg & foot is a magnesium deficiency. (For many years I’ve taken 500 mg of Magnesium Oxide, calcium, & D3 for osteopenia). Only on occasion have I had RLS but I’ve not had this sensation before. Which type magnesium should I use to stop it? And which type to fall asleep?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Kat,

      Try magnesium glycinate. The glycine has a calming effect on the brain. If you still have issues the next one I would try is magnesium theronate. It has the ability to cross into the brain to exert its effect.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  227. Sharon Welch-Blair Reply

    I believe I have a mslabsortion issue due to years of candida overgrowth in digestive tract. As I’ve aged, I’ve experienced serious leg cramps and after watching one of the PBS doctors starting taking magnesium gluconate. It seems to have fewer bowel related impact. It does seem to reduce the deep knife dagger cramps. However, my doctor after a blood test suggested my levels were too high and wanted me to stop altogether for at least a week. But after two days my leg cramps were worsening. I’m on nature thyroid at 130 mlg. And I’ve also been prescribed a topical biest with estrogen and progesterone to keep tissues supple to deal with issues related to urinary and uterine prolapse. I do occasionally experience water retention in my legs. I’m at a loss as to what to do here. Thoughts??

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Sharon,

      To address legs cramps I would suggest check if you are iron deficient. Also magnesium glycinate would be a good option along with a multi mineral formula. All the minerals work together to prevent leg cramps.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

  228. Cathy Reply

    Is magnesium oxide the same as magnesium hydroxide?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Cathy

      They are different. oxide is an oxygen vs hydoxide is a hydrogen + oxygen.

    2. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Cathy,

      they are not the same. Mg oxide is only a oxygen group while hydroxide is a oxygen and hydrogen group. They have different biological functions. Either way they both are poor forms of magnesium.

  229. Debra Reply

    Ok, I have multiple problems, have trouble sleeping through the night, when I do get to sleep. Muscle aches all the time shoulder, lower back, hip and get leg and feet cramps. Have been dealing with elevated blood pressure. brain fog, forgetfulness and feeling sleepy during the day even if I have slept at night. I take Melatonin 10mg and have been using SloMag, 5 HTP, and sometimes tart cherry juice and chamomile tea to get to sleep. Sometime it works – sometimes not. Not sure which Magnesium I need to take, it looks like a combination of them was referred to Magnesium Malate 1000mg. today for the constant soreness. I do also have indigestion most days. I usually take my Mag at night with something to eat. When I have cramps I do drinkg Coconut water or ACV in water, maybe pickle juice. I sweat profusely if I do any form of work inside or out. So staying hydrated is a problem.

  230. Maria Reply

    Hi and thank you for the excellent information on magnesium.

    I am 45 years old and I started taking mag citrate for severe leg cramps due to stage 5 renal failure. My renal doctor approved. After some time I noticed that my mild depression started to disappear. I became interested, involved and more enthusiastic, which I had not been for a long time due to my illness and the deficiencies it has created. Afterwards I read about a possible connection between magnesium and depression which I didn’t know when my symptoms started to decrease.

    This continued while I took the Magnesium. Recently I decided to change from citrate to aspartarte since it works well for tiredness, but I suffer from a lack of energy due to the renal failure.

    Since the switch, I have begun to feel the mild depression/sadness and lack of interest return. The leg cramps have also increased a little since I made the switch. I take 400 mg a day, did so with the citrate and do so with the aspartarte.

    I wanted to ask if you know if in your experience, this might be due to the change from citrate to aspartarte?

    I take no medications for my disease except Aranesp shots and am not on dialysis, only take vitamins and do everything in close cooperation with my renal doctor. Don’t know if it matters for your answer but I am low in red blood cells, calcium, vitamin b, iron and vitamin D but take them as supplements.

    Thank you in advance

    Maria

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Maria,

      I would go back to the form of magnesium the works best for you. Citrate seems to work well so stick with that. Its hard to know why aspartate doesn’t work for you but everyones physiology is unique.

      Good luck

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

    2. Dee Reply

      Maria, FYI: I recently read on another site regarding magnesium types this info about M. Aspartate: “Glutamic acid and aspartic acid are components of the dangerous artificial sweetener aspartame, and both of them become neurotoxic when unbound to other amino acids.”
      Sounds like there are better forms to take, such as malate or glycinate as Dr. Hrkal has mentioned in other posts.
      Dee

  231. Lilly Reply

    Thank you for such a terrific public service!
    I wanted to share that I’m a 60+ woman, and have taken Calcium, Mag citrate, vitamin K and D3 each morning for years, but recently experimented with L-threonate to address increased environmental/work stress.
    I took one to two 144 mg magnesium/2000mg magtein™ tablets while on vacation, and felt fabulous. Such a gift of calmness! On returning to work, though, even one tablet every other day left me a bit too lackadaisical to function at my best. Will try glycinate instead.

  232. April Reply

    Thank you for going into such detail on the different types of magnesium. I have been suffering from plantar fascitis for over five years now. Different remedies work for a period of time, and then are no longer effective. I have recently found KT Tape and that has been a lifesaver! Then a friend told me to look into taking magnesium. There are so many different kinds, I had no idea which one I needed. After researching online, I found many articles that supported magnesium for pain relief, but none that said specifically which type…until I found your blog. I’m going to try magnesium glycinate, along with calcium and Vitamin D.

    I am hoping I will find some relief with the magnesium glycinate.

    Again, thank you so very much for this information. It has been extremely helpful.

  233. Irene Reply

    Dr. Hrkal,

    Magnesium Oxide seems to make me very drowsy and drops my blood pressure very low. I want to take Mg because I am going to start supplementing with Thiamine and I know Mag is a co-factor for that.

    I’d like to still take Magnesium and am interested in Dimagnesium Malate, particularly this brand: Natrol® High Absorption Magnesium

    https://www.vitaminshoppe.com/p/high-absorption-magnesium-250-mg-cranberry-apple-60-chewable-tablets/no-1026

    Is this form of Mg known to affect blood pressure? I already have low BP and don’t need it any lower or to feel drowsy or wiped out.

    Thank you.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Irene,

      I am not familiar with this type of magnesium or “high absorption” system. I can’t find anything in the site to tell me more so I am suspicious of this “better absorbed form”. Also the price is really low and it sin tablets which again is not a positive sign of quality. Albion minerals is a reputable supplier of minerals but it may be a chelate which includes mg oxide.

      I can’t comment about its affect on blood pressure other then Mg in general will lower blood pressure.

      Dr Paul Hrkal.

  234. Irene Reply

    Dr. Hrkal,

    Magnesium Oxide seems to make me very drowsy and gives me hypotension.

    I’d like to try Dimagnesium Malate. Is this form of Mg known to cause similar negative effects?

    Thank you.

  235. Sabrina Napier Reply

    Is Magnesium Glycinate chelated? I understand that chelated has better absorption. Or is Glycinate the same as Chelated? Thanks.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Chelated is a very murky word. All it means is a combination of Mg + an amino acid (or similar compound) but now companies are using it describe a “patented” combination that actually contain mg oxide as well. http://www.albionminerals.com/human-nutrition/products-trade/traacs/85-magnesium-chelates-traacs

      Its a sneaky way of getting in an inferior form which is cheaper and also raises the amount of elemental magnesium.
      Mg glycinate is “chelated” since thats the name of process that combines it with 2 glycine molecules but you need to look for a pure, 100% chelate. Not all “chelates” as listed on the label are 100% pure. I know its confusing. A good way to know its 100% pure its that the elemental magnesium amount is less then 100mg. Anything more usually contains mg oxide as well.

      See my article https://drnibber.com/supplement-ethics-does-your-magnesium-glycinate-also-contain-magnesium-oxide/
      for more info.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  236. Victoria Reply

    Hello, Firstly thank you for all of the info – it’s the most comprehensive info on Mg I have found anywhere. I have a couple of questions. I am a 50 year old female, and in menopause and with fibromyalgia , which also affects my moods. I have a demanding senior role in a big organisation so I need to function. Legs have been incredibly sore and stiff, and I feel 100 rather than 50. I have read the threads above and Mg maleate seems to be the best option, but what would be the best dosage to get started with and then a maintence dosage – I did try taking a combine Mg and calcium supplement but the calcium element made me feel very queasy -also are there other support meets which may compliment/help. Thanks for your advice

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Victoria,

      I suggest following the dose on the bottle for mg malate. Usually 2 caps twice daily is a good place to start. It should be adequate to raise magnesium levels.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  237. Anonymous Reply

    Good day Dr.,

    What kind would you recommend for hypomagnesemia?

    Thank you for info!

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Any fully reacted form (AKA 100% pure – no oxide) will work. Mg Citrate or glycinate are good ones.

  238. Lynne Reply

    Hi Doc-
    Which form of magnesium is best for nerve repair?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Lynne,

      I would suggest magnesium L-theronate.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  239. Tim Reply

    Hi, I am a male in my forties and recently diagnosed with ADHD. I’ve known I had his for years, but with my son struggling in school, I decided to go see for myself in support of him. Doc prescribed stimulants for me and those work well, but an unfortunate side effect is bruxism. I’ve tried 3 different stimulants but my body reacts the same. It is only during the day when I’m on the meds and if I don’t take the stimulants on the weekend, my bruxism stops immediately. It is tied to the stimulants. With my bruxism also is something close to restless leg. My right toe moves up and down constantly. It feels like restless energy needing to be released.
    I’ve heard magnesium works to calm but so far, not for me. I’ve tried Natural Vitality Natural calm that has magnesium citrate and I’ve tried Drs Best high absorption magnesium which I have read is chelated with glycine and lysine. Both did not help. What would you recommend? How much? When should I take it in relation to my morning dose of the stimulants? How quickly should I expect to see a difference if it is helping? Thank you very much. I am pretty desperate to get rid of the teeth grinding.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hello,

      You really should get the recommendation from a qualified healthcare practitioner to determine the form and the dose since you are mediations. It will require some trial and error with various forms. There may be other nutrients that are required to remedy the grinding.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  240. Linda Reply

    I have Lupus. I took Magnesium citrate for pain for 160 days and felt no difference. Took Magnesium Taurate and my blood pressure went down 30 points the first week. I was shocked. Thanks for the information. Question, can it make your blood pressure go ‘too low’? Smiles. Should I switch to Magnesium L Theronate for the pain and leg cramps or take both?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Linda,

      You will have to modify the dose to find the best effect on you muscles and blood pressure. Mg usually doesn’t lower the blood pressure so much that it becomes too low but in sensitive people it can so be vigilant but don’t be afraid to take it.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  241. Catherine Reply

    Hi Dr. Hrkal,

    So glad I stumbled and bookmarked your site. Also pleased that you interact with your posters.

    I have always had heart palpitation, that have come and gone; however during this past year I have been plagued by them. During the past two years I have also had 4 episodes of Atrial Fibrilation; hospitalized during one incident. I also have fibromyalgia.

    I dose with the following nutritionals which help my palpitations and seem to reduce any incidence of fibrilation a great deal: Magnesium Taurate, CoQ-10′ L-Carnitine. I cannot take Taurine on its own due to Warfarin, but tolerate it well in combination with the magnesium.

    I have in my poswssion three different types of magnesiums: Magnesium Glycinate 100% chelated with TRAACS, magnesium Malate and Magnesium Taurate. Since I have different issues, can I combine the different doses of magnesium or can you revommend taking different ones at certain times. Is it harmful to combine them?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hello,

      No issues in combining them. I like all the forms you listed.
      I think its actually really smart.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  242. Catherine Reply

    Forgot to mention, I also take D-Ribose.

  243. Debbie Reply

    I take magnesium 250mg says its good for my heart, nerve and muscle function. My husband bought me some that says Magnesium citrate 200 mg. Are they the same?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      No idea, it should say in the bottle in the ingredient panel.

  244. Swati Reply

    Swati REPLY
    September 20, 2017
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    Hi, what form of magnesium would you recommend for a 3.5 year old child with HIE grade 2 brain injury. He has spastic quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy.

    Thank you

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hello,

      At this age you really should get the recommendation from a qualified healthcare practitioner to determine the form and the dose. A liquid or powder would be easier to consume. The form is secondary jus don’t use oxide.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  245. Melissa Reply

    I have osteoporosis and osteopenia, IBS/SIBO (?) which tends towards constipation, plus anxiety. I take hydrochlorothiazide to retain calcium, 515 mg. of supplemental calcium, and Evista/ralaxifene. I also take 2000-5000 i.u. vitamin D. I have recently convinced my gastroenterologist that I could have magnesium (citrate) (2-3 capsules) and it keeps bowel smooth. 3 capsules = 400mg., so I usually get 266 mg. I also have lower back pain (discs, sciatic). My total calcium intake is 1800 – 2000 mg from food and the vitamin and calcium supplement (515).

    I am interested in the calming and pain relief of magnesium glycinate. However, I like the effects of the citrate. Which form do you think I should take? Is 266 mg. enough?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Melissa,

      You can always take both at a lower dose. Also note that magnesium has strong positive effects on bone health but the form its in is secondary. the citrate or glycinate don’t have an effect on bones. The magnesium does so either Mg glycinate or citrate would be fine. Just have to find the dose that moves your stools.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  246. Pedro E Estopinan Reply

    Hello Dr. Hrkal.
    I don`t see the Magnesium Chloride in the list of the different magnesiums.
    Does it mean that it is not very recommended.
    I am doing my research trying to help a 88 years old lady who suffer constipations, depression, hearth problems, depression, etc, normal at her age, but I would like somehow to help.
    After a long research I ordered for her Magnesium Chloride, I’m in the US and she is in Paris, and the constipation problem has significantly improved, but now that I see your information, (which I don’t know why I did not find it before), I question if another form of magnesium is better for her.
    The Magnesium Chloride I found is DELBIASE, and she takes only one tablet diluted in a glass of water, when the recommended dosage is 2 or 3 a day. The lady lives alone and I was afraid to tell her to take even the recommended amount.

    I would really appreciate your answer.
    Very thankful

    Pedro
    Florida. US

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Pedro,

      I didn’t include Mg Chloride in my original article but it is a good form of magnesium with ample research supporting its benefit in asthma and mood. I would suggest you tell her to increase the dose slowly to move her stools. Also mg citrate might be a better option for constipation as the citrate will move the bowels but again you have to slowly increase the dose until the desired effect on stools.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  247. Kris Reply

    What form of Mag is best for exercise? I am 5-9 #160 But can’t run more than 4 miles without my muscles and joints tightening up to high heaven!
    I’m sure it could be a host of things but figure Mag is closely related to exercise. Any advise is appreciated.

    Thank you.

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hi Kris,

      Really any form of magnesium would be helpful. Mag Malate might be the one you should try first since it helps with muscle pain.

      Dr Paul Hrkal

  248. Tired mama Reply

    I am just starting to supplement with Magtein (Mg L-theronate), Now brand. It recommends 3 times a day. I started with 1, at night. I have been taking it 4 nights now. I sleep so hard and deeply, it feels like a sleeping pill. But I am tired and groggy during the day. I read somewhere that this grogginess will disappear. I don’t know if that is true. Wondering if I should stay with it or switch to glycinate or malate. Thoughts?

    1. Dr. Hrkal Reply

      Hello,

      I suggest stay with it for at least 2 weeks to see if you body adjusts. If you still feel really groggy then I would switch to another form of magnesium like glycinate.

      Dr Paul Hrkal ND

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