Magnesium is a particularly important mineral, which is difficult to supply in a sufficient amount through our diet. Stress, sports, foods high in phytic acid (seeds and nuts, whole-grain foods, bran, etc.) and the consumption of coffee or tea can all increase magnesium loss. Due to this, the lack of magnesium is generally common. Magnesium supplementation is important for almost everybody. Life Extension Foundation calls magnesium “the new vitamin D3” because it is similarly important and its insufficiency is as common as that of D3. The absorption of magnesium products is greatly variable, and they cause diarrhea, loose stool or other digestion problems for many, which may result from the fact that it neutralizes gastric acid, while low gastric acid production is already quite a common problem. (Reflux in fact is not the excess production of gastric acid, moreover, in many cases it is caused by low levels of gastric acid. A developed SIBO and/or an insufficient functioning of the pylorus causes gastric acid to regurgitate to the esophagus, and thus it seems like there is too much gastric acid even when this is not so.
Inorganic forms of magnesium, such as sulphate, oxide, carbonate or hydroxide are hardly absorbed at all, while they can cause loose stool or diarrhea in the most susceptible people, and they neutralize gastric acid. (Unabsorbed magnesium causes diarrhea for example, thus it is not surprising that consuming poorly absorbable types may result in diarrhea and other intestinal problems.) Magnesium chloride is the only inorganic form that has a fairly good absorption and it does not neutralize gastric acid but promotes its production.
Organic (chelate) forms of magnesium generally have good absorption rates, thus they are less likely to cause diarrhea/loose stool/intestinal problems. An exception is magnesium citrate, as this is the magnesium salt of citric acid, and large amounts of citric acid can cause loose stool. Magnesium citrate contains 15-16% elemental magnesium and over 80% of citric acid. Although it is well absorbed in small amounts, it will cause diarrhea or loose stool in most people when consumed in the required amount. In this case, it will not be absorbed any more (moreover, it will flush other useful substances from your body, as loose stool is caused by the insufficient absorption of minerals in the large intestines).
On the other hand, magnesium ascorbate is the magnesium salt of vitamin C (L-ascorbic acid). This causes loose stool very rarely, it has an excellent absorption rate, and it is also a great source of vitamin C. It is less acidic and sour than traditional vitamin C, making it ideal for children and people having difficulties to swallow capsules, as it can be dissolved in liquids without concerning ourselves about our dental enamel. It is a good source of vitamin C for those who have reflux or heartburn when taking high doses of traditional vitamin C. Thanks to all of the above, magnesium ascorbate is an ideal source of magnesium and vitamin C for everyone.
Although magnesium ascorbate is one of the most well tolerated forms of magnesium, for those who still experience loose stool with these products, we recommend magnesium bisglycinate, but only the fully reacted form. This is the most gentle type of magnesium with an excellent absorption rate.
Most magnesium products are a scam! Most organic (chelated) magnesium products in the market are actually not what is written on it. Many of them contain only partially reacted activated magnesium compounds, or not reacted at all. This means that for example it is written on the product that it contains magnesium malate, but actually it contains a mixture of magnesium oxide/carbonate and malic acid, or a mixture of magnesium oxide and citric acid instead of magnesium citrate, or the reaction partially took place, but still, most of the magnesium in the product is not in the form marked on the packaging! This is why even organic forms often cause diarrhea, as in fact only a part of them is in the form marked on them. The not fully reacted forms always contain more elementary magnesium, and thus they are cheaper and significantly more economic.
Many incompetent manufacturers do not even know that there can be any differences between magnesium compounds under the same name, and therefore they obviously choose the cheaper one that also has a higher magnesium content. How can we know that the selected product is good? It is difficult to be sure, but here is some help; I will list the elementary magnesium content in % of the most common fully reacted organic forms of
• Mg malate: 6-12% (monomagnesium malate is the actual
amount, dimagnesium malate is not fully reacted!)
• Mg bisglycinate 12-14%
• Mg citrate: 14-16%
• Mg ascorbate: 6-17%
The weight of 1 tablet/capsule cannot exceed 1,000 mg, including the capsule shell and excipients. That is, if we see on a product marked as magnesium malate that it contains 200 mg magnesium per capsule/tablet, we already know that this cannot be true, because the elementary magnesium content of Mg malate is a maximum of 12%, which means 1 capsule/tablet definitely cannot contain more than 120 mg, rather somewhat less. So measure one capsule/tablet for example on a jeweler’s scale, and take the % of that weight as listed above. If the product really contains the compound as marked, that is its maximum possible magnesium content. However, this does not guarantee anything in itself, as there are not fully reacted magnesium compounds with the same amount of magnesium as fully reacted ones. Another problem is that the magnesium content of many products is marked deceptively or wrongly, as the compound itself is marked as magnesium, while only a fraction of it amounts to elementary magnesium, as the above listed percentages also show.
Naturally, we only use the fully reacted type of each substances, thus magnesium also.
My readers are probably well aware of the beneficial effects of vitamin C and magnesium, thus I only provide a short list:
Increases collagen production, prevents muscle injuries, improves blood circulation, boosts the immune system. In high dosage: antiviral effects, invigorating effect, acidification of urine (due to this, it can be used to prevent certain types of kidney stones; however, when the goal is to alkalize urine, it is the opposite).
Improves muscle/sports performance, prevents muscle cramps, increases muscle regeneration, promotes immune functions, prevents cardiovascular problems, counteracts calcification (calcium deposition), supports cardiac muscles, significant effects against stress, better sleep, clearer thinking, days full of more energy.
3. The above referenced publication of Bence Gál Szabó, with the references therein