With so much choice available both online and in shops, I often hear a question: which magnesium supplement is best? Shall I use salts or tablets? Which salt shall I use for baths and other skin applications? It is impossible to give the answer which suits everyone, for a simple reason that everyone’s situation is different. So we can take a look at various forms of magnesium, and a decision will have to be taken in each particular case based on your needs.
Oral magnesium supplements
There are a number of oral supplements and this list is not exhaustive. However, these are the main types which may help you to make the right product for yourself.
- Magnesium oxide is a poorly absorbed form of magnesium, since it needs to be broken down by the body, a function which falls on the stomach acid, adding a strain to the digestive system. It also can cause stool softening and diarrhoea, so use with care. To be honest, while it is cheaper than other forms of oral magnesium, I would not recommend it.
- Magnesium chloride and magnesium lactate have about 12% of magnesium but are more readily absorbed than other forms.
- Magnesium sulphate (Epsom salt) – some people take it internally, but I would not recommend it since intake needs to be monitored. I suggest using it as a bath salt. It can also be used internally in liver detox procedures, but use with care, especially if you have kidney problems.
- Magnesium hydroxide – used as a calming remedy for the stomach and a laxative. Take care to avoid overdosing.
- Magnesium carbonate has antacid properties, so is not suitable for everyone.
- Magnesium biglycinate (chelated form) – has a reputation as the most efficient supplement due to the highest absorption and bioavailability. Ideal for those who aim to correct magnesium deficiency.
- Magnesium taurate (chelated form) – a combination of magnesium and tauric acid. Has a calming effect on the body and mind.
- Magnesium L-threonate (chelated) – new supplement which has a higher ability to penetrate the mitochondrial membrane, so is seen as promising.
- Magnesium citrate (chelated) – a combination of magnesium and citric acid. Has laxative properties.
From this list, the ones I have tried as oral supplements and can recommend are magnesium biglycinate and magnesium citrate. I am still to try magnesium L-threonate and magnesium taurate but have read good reviews of both.
Transdermal supplementation – which salt is best?
Transdermal supplementation normally uses 2 salts – magnesium chloride and magnesium sulphate. Sometimes Dead Sea salt is used too. As to which magnesium salt is best, Dr Mark Sircus has the following answer:
“According to Daniel Reid, author of The Tao of Detox, magnesium sulfate, commonly known as Epsom salts, is rapidly excreted through the kidneys and therefore difficult to assimilate. This would explain in part why the effects of Epsom salt baths do not last long and why you need more magnesium sulfate in a bath than magnesium chloride to get similar results. Magnesium chloride is easily assimilated and metabolized in the human body. However, Epsom salts are used specifically by parents of children with autism because of the sulfate, which they are usually deficient in, sulfate is also crucial to the body and is wasted in the urine of autistic children.
For purposes of cellular detoxification and tissue purification, the most effective form of magnesium is magnesium chloride, which has a strong excretory effect on toxins and stagnant energies stuck in the tissues of the body, drawing them out through the pores of the skin. This is a powerful hydrotherapy that draws toxins from the tissues, replenishes the “vital fluid” of the cells and restores cellular magnesium to optimum levels. Magnesium Chloride is environmentally safe, and is used around vegetation and in agriculture. It is not irritating to the skin at lower concentrations, and is less toxic than common table salt.
Some benefits of transdermal supplementation
1. Magnesium from salts gets absorbed by the body fast, so beneficial effects are felt fast too, by the whole body.
2. There is no risk of overdosing since the skin simply won’t absorb more than the body can take.
3. The digestive system does not get involved in breaking down the salts – they get broken down by water and get into the body in an ionic form.
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