7  Types of Magnesium and the Benefits

7 Types of Magnesium and the Benefits

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Your body absorbs certain magnesium supplements more easily. Some types may help support specific health issues.

Magnesium is involved in over 300 essential metabolic reactions, including energy production, blood pressure regulation, nerve signal transmission, and muscle contraction (1Trusted Source).

Low magnesium levels may be involved in various health conditions, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, osteoporosis, and migraine (2Trusted Source).

Although many whole foods like green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds contain magnesium, up to two-thirds of people in the Western world don’t meet their magnesium needs with diet alone. 



Magnesium citrate is a form of magnesium that’s bound with citric acid.

This acid is found naturally in citrus fruits, giving them their tart, sour flavor (3).

Magnesium citrate is one of the more common magnesium supplement formulations and can be purchased in stores worldwide.

A small study of 14 male participants suggests that this type is among the most bioavailable forms of magnesium, meaning it’s more easily absorbed in your digestive tract than other forms (4Trusted Source).

It’s typically taken orally to replenish low magnesium levels. Due to its natural laxative effect, it’s also sometimes used at higher doses to treat constipation.

It’s occasionally marketed as a calming agent to help relieve symptoms associated with depression and anxiety, but more research is needed on these uses (5Trusted Source).

Magnesium oxide is a salt that combines magnesium and oxygen.

It naturally forms a white, powdery substance and may be sold in powder or capsule form (6).

This type isn’t typically used to prevent or treat magnesium deficiencies, as some studies report that it’s poorly absorbed by your digestive tract (7Trusted Source).

Instead, people use it more frequently to relieve uncomfortable digestive symptoms, such as heartburn, indigestion, and constipation. Some may also use it to treat and prevent migraine episodes, but more research is needed to confirm that magnesium deficiency can contribute to migraine attacks. 



Magnesium chloride is a magnesium salt that includes chlorine — an unstable element that binds well with other elements, including sodium and magnesium, to form salts.

It’s well absorbed in your digestive tract, making it a great multi-purpose supplement. You can use it to treat low magnesium levels (2Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source, 10).

People take magnesium chloride most frequently in capsule or tablet form, but it may also be an ingredient in topical products like lotions and ointments.

Although people use these skin creams to soothe and relax sore muscles, little scientific evidence links them to improved magnesium levels 



Magnesium lactate is the salt formed when magnesium binds with lactic acid.

This acid is produced by your muscle and blood cells and is manufactured as a preservative and flavoring agent (12).

Indeed, magnesium lactate is utilized as a food additive to regulate acidity and fortify foods and beverages. It’s less popular as an over-the-counter dietary supplement.

Your digestive tract easily absorbs magnesium lactate, which may also be gentler on your digestive system than other types. This may benefit people who need to take large doses of magnesium regularly or don’t easily tolerate other forms.

In a study of 28 people with a rare condition that required high doses of magnesium daily, those who took a slow-release tablet of magnesium lactate reported fewer digestive side effects than the control group (13Trusted Source).

Other studies likewise reveal that this form may help treat stress and anxiety, but more research is needed. 



Magnesium malate includes malic acid, which occurs naturally in foods like fruit and wine. This acid has a sour taste and is often added to food to add flavor or acidity.

Research suggests that magnesium malate is very well absorbed in your digestive tract, making it a great option for replenishing your magnesium levels (15Trusted Source).

Some people report that it’s gentler on your system and may have a less laxative effect than other types. This may be beneficial, depending on your specific needs.

Magnesium malate is occasionally recommended to treat fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms. But while some studies have found there may be benefits, more high quality studies are needed 



Magnesium taurate contains the amino acid taurine.

Research suggests that adequate intakes of taurine and magnesium play a role in regulating blood sugar. Thus, this form may promote healthy blood sugar levels (17Trusted Source).  



Magnesium plays a vital role in human health. Low levels are linked to numerous adverse effects, including depression, heart disease, and diabetes.

You may want to consider supplements if you’re not getting enough of this mineral in your diet.

Many forms exist, some of which may help relieve heartburn, constipation, and other ailments. If you’re unsure which one is right for you, consult a healthcare professional.



Written By

Ansley Hill

Magnesium and taurine also support healthy blood pressure (1Trusted Source8, 19Trusted Source).

A 2018 animal study revealed that magnesium taurate significantly reduced blood pressure in rats with high levels, indicating that this form may bolster heart health (20Trusted Source).

Keep in mind that more human research is needed.

Magnesium L-threonate is the salt formed from mixing magnesium and threonic acid, a water-soluble substance derived from the metabolic breakdown of vitamin C (21).

This form is easily absorbed. Animal research notes it may be the most effective type for increasing magnesium concentrations in brain cells (22Trusted Source).

Magnesium L-threonate is often used for its potential brain benefits and may help manage certain brain disorders, such as depression, Alzheimer’s disease, and age-related memory loss. Nonetheless, more research is needed