Different Types of Magnesium - Different Types of Magnesium Deficiencies

A lot of people do not realize that there are differences between the types of magnesium, their effects and their absorption rates.

Magnesium is a daily requirement for our body, and it comes in many forms, the most obvious one being good nutrition with an emphasis on foods high in magnesium, or, alternatively, in the form of pills, powder, topical gels or a body lotion.

If you are not sure about your body’s magnesium requirement and, especially if you have symptoms of magnesium deficiency, take a few minutes to fill out the magnesium calculator, which is available by clicking here. 




Many people do not know that magnesium always needs to form a bond with another

molecule in order to stay stable. Therefore, the biggest difference between certain products

containing magnesium does not come from the magnesium itself, but the type of molecule it

forms a bond with.

The most common molecules to form a bond with – and consequently the most common

types of magnesium – are citrate, glycinate, sulfate, oxide and amino acid chelate.

The magnesium molecule forms a bond within the human body depending on its size and

function. Below you will find some of the most important magnesium compounds and the

effects on the human body.


  • Magnesium citrate
    • Magnesium citrate derived from the magnesium salt of the citric acid is a type of magnesium that has moderate levels of biological expedience in small concentrates. Given that its absorption rate is high, it is commonly used as the basis for food supplements with magnesium content. Magnesium citrate is used for intensifying bowel movement, it is ideal for replenishing magnesium levels during pregnancy, constipation and for the prevention of the formation of kidney stones. Still, magnesium citrate may not be the best choice under every circumstance to supplement your dietary intake with, because it can decrease the amount of ceruloplasmin, which helps with the regulation of iron and copper in the body. Some health experts say that this can be responsible for several diseases and disorders.
  • Lactate, glycine, arginate
    • We can get magnesium in the form of the mineral chelate that contains magnesium oxide and forms a bond with another compound of amino acid. This can be magnesium lactate, glycine, magnesium aspartate or aignate. Glycine is a large molecule and it contains magnesium in little amounts, but at the same time it is also a neurotransmitter relaxant that enhances the natural relaxant features of magnesium. This may be the best choice if the goal is achieving peace of mind and a relaxed state. The best chelate amino acidic form of magnesium is magnesium aspartate or magnesium arginate, which too have great absorptive capacities.
  • Magnesium lactate
    • This form of magnesium has mild concentration levels but a higher biological absorption rate compared to magnesium oxide. Magnesium lactate is a mineral supplement that is most commonly used in the treatment of digestive issues. Avoid using magnesium lactate if you have kidney disease or renal failure.
  • Magnesium sulfate (MGSO4)
    • Magnesium sulfate, or Epsom Salt (saline), as it is more commonly known, is the inorganic form of magnesium. It has an elemental concentration of 20%, but it also has a rather good biological accessibility. Magnesium sulfate contains magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. It is recommended to consume magnesium sulfate during pregnancy if magnesium deficiency occurs, while at the same time it is important to pay attention to not exceeding the recommended dosage.
    • Magnesium sulfate is frequently used as a laxative when you take too much. Given that it is the key ingredient in bath salts, it is traditionally recommended that you add it to your bath water as this way it can get absorbed in the body very efficiently.  A nice bath with Epsom Salt can help ease the stress and anxiety, overcome insomnia while at the same time it also has detoxifying effects. Magnesium sulfate can also be administered orally, in the form of a pill. The use of magnesium sulfate is recommended for muscle pains and arthritis. It is also good in case of having hair or skin problems. A teaspoon full of magnesium sulfate mixed with shampoo, or its skin scrub version can help rejuvenate hair follicles and the skin. Magnesium sulfate also has an important role in ensuring that the nutrients get absorbed properly in the intestines.
    • Magnesium sulfate is also recommended for children with ADHD and autism. It is a proven fact that most of the children struggling with behavioral disorders have magnesium deficiency.  The sulfate being released from the gastrointestinal system hinders the absorption of the minerals in the body, which may lead to hyperactivity (which is very apparent in children that have insulin resistance).
  • Magnesium oxide
    • Magnesium oxide is the most widespread and least expensive type of magnesium available in pharmacies, but its absorption rate is the worst compared to other magnesium concentrates. Magnesium oxide is commonly used as a therapeutic laxative and it also alleviates acidic reflux. On top of that, its price is also rather low. This magnesium type has high concentrates but low biological accessibility.
  • Magnesium taurate
    • Magnesium taurate is an ideal supplement in the treatment of magnesium deficiency. It appears that magnesium deficiency can intensify conditions such as headaches, diabetes and cardiac problems. Taurate is a compound that appears naturally in the bile and so it helps with the decomposition of the substance used. The combination of magnesium and taurate may contribute to the rapid absorption of magnesium, and it makes it possible to administer a more stable form of magnesium without additional impurities.
    • Magnesium tauate, just like in the case of all the other types of magnesium, should only be supplemented with after consulting your doctor, and after you have been informed about possible complications when supplementing with it. Although magnesium taurate may improve insulin resistance, people with diabetes taking insulin have a difficulty regulating their blood sugar levels while supplementing with magnesium taurate.
    • The report published in the Medical Hypothesis shows that patients treated with magnesium taurate react better to insulin. In case of diabetes, it is recommended to have a medical doctor supervise the dosages administered because ad hoc administration may cause huge fluctuations in the blood sugar level. These fluctuations may even be dangerous and can even produce symptoms similar to stroke. It is therefore always necessary to consult your doctor about administering magnesium taurate. If you have an undiagnosed case of blood sugar condition, you may experience an unpleasant sensation or confusion. If this occurs, see your doctor immediately.
      • Diarrhea
        • As shown the information above, one side effect of administering increased amounts of magnesium can be diarrhea – according to www.drugs.com. However, a very large amount of daily magnesium taurate intake is needed to experience such symptoms. One of the complications of chronic diarrhea is dehydration. If you experience chronic diarrhea – in particular during pregnancy – be mindful of your adequate levels of hydration, and consult your doctor immediately. Diarrhea can also be indicative of other conditions such as gluten or lactose intolerance. This may cause a problem if you consume supplements that contain impurities. As not all supplements are controlled, the manufacturers do not mention the possibility of the product containing such impurities.
      • Muscle paralysis 
        • One of the rare side effects of excessive administration of magnesium is muscle paralysis and heavy breathing, as mentioned in the 2003 May issue of The Clinical Biochemist Review. Magnesium may gather up in the nerve tissues where it is capable of hindering the communication between the nerves and the muscles. If you experience any form of numbness or tingling sensation, seek help from a medical professional.
  • Magnesium ororate
    • Although magnesium ororate is often advertised as and used for improving athletic performance and stamina but there is no real evidence that would show its positive effects for such. It is most commonly recommended for cases of cardiac failure, and it also plays a role in the creation of DNA and RNA. The absorption rate of magnesium ororate is very slow compared to other types of magnesium, and so it is not recommended during pregnancy. Long-term supplementation with magnesium ororate may cause uric acid to gather in the body. Magnesium ororate is not the best possible choice of magnesium supplement, and it may cause problems when administering large doses of it, even in spite of having positive effects in conditions of cardiac disease. It is recommended to choose another type of magnesium compound when intending to increase the magnesium levels in the body until science can find out more about the possible advantages and risks of magnesium ororate.
  • Magnesium carbonate (MGCO3)
    • Magnesium carbonate is also a popular form of magnesium, and it has a biological accessibility of 30%. It actually transforms into magnesium chloride when it mixes with hydrochloric acid in the stomach. It is a great choice for those suffering from acidic reflux, because it has antacid-like capabilities. However, magnesium carbonate can also have serious laxative effects when administered in greater doses.
  • Magnesium chloride (MGCL2)
    • The elemental magnesium concentration of magnesium chloride is 25% and it has great transdermal capabilities. It is an ideal choice for detoxifying the cells and tissues.
    • Magnesium chloride (not to be confused with chlorine, a toxic gas) also helps with kidney functions and can also speed up slow metabolism.
    • The molecular structure of magnesium chloride guarantees that it gets absorbed in the body with much greater efficiency than Epsom Salt. Magnesium chloride can also be used as an in-case-of-emergency type medicine in certain cases of heart attack.
    • If magnesium chloride is applied topically, it can promote the function of the joints and can also promote detoxification of the digestive system.
    • The health benefits of magnesium chloride can be utilized to their maximum when applied topically.  Consuming oral magnesium decreases the biological accessibility due to coming into contact with acids and digestive enzymes and they can also have a laxative effect.
    • Magnesium chloride can be utilized more efficiently when applied topically, because it is absorbed immediately without going through the digestive tract or having to get absorbed from the bloodstream through the stomach.
    • Transdermal magnesium oil is produced with the addition of magnesium chloride which is extracted from the depths of the Zechstein Sea in the Netherlands. It works quickly, efficiently and directly, without going through the stomach and the digestive tract. One teaspoon full of magnesium oil (5 ml) contains 500 mg of elemental magnesium, while a teaspoon full of body butter or body lotion with 35% magnesium oil concentrate has about 150 mg of elemental magnesium.
    • Magnesium chloride in the bath tub is another great way of getting magnesium in the body. Just add a cup of these salts to the warm (not hot) bath water, together with a cup of baking soda to achieve a higher rate of absorption. Take a 20 minute relaxing bath to achieve the best effect. This method is also safe for children. You may even add your favorite essential oil to your bath to make it even more pleasant.
    • For a quick pick me up, put a few tablespoons of magnesium flakes into a tub of warm water and soak your feet for 20 minutes.   Drop in some of your favorite essential oils and relax.  Afterwards, rub some magnesium and melatonin lotion on your feet and rest the night away.

Should you decide to use either type of magnesium, always be careful about the expected risks and results to make sure you find the one most ideal for either you or a family member’s condition.