RSSWhich form of magnesium is best?

Posted on Sun, 5 Aug 18

Which form of magnesium is best?

Magnesium is a widely used dietary supplement, but research examining which form of magnesium is best is scarce. A new experimental study indicates that magnesium malate and taurate may have unique benefits. 

Several different types of magnesium compounds are available as supplements, with unique absorption and biological effects often attributed to them. However, differences in absorption are not well studied nor is it clear that any difference is clinically relevant. It is also not clear if one form of magnesium is better than another in terms of health benefits because head to head studies comparing different types of magnesium are rare or do not exist. 

A new experimental study compared the absorption, organ-specific delivery and behavioural effects of magnesium in rats. Of the five different magnesium compounds studied - magnesium sulfate, magnesium oxide, magnesium taurate, magnesium citrate, and magnesium malate – some important differences were noted. 

Magnesium taurate was absorbed faster, passed into the brain more effectively, had the highest concentration level in the brain, and was found to decrease anxiety indicators. 

Magnesium malate levels remained higher in blood for longer. 

Magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate had the lowest bioavailability.

It is important to note that this is an experimental study, and unique differences in absorption, metabolism and clinical effects would need to be confirmed in human clinical studies. Hopefully these intriguing findings stimulate further research. 


Uysal N, Kizildag S, Yuce Z, et al. Timeline (Bioavailability) of Magnesium Compounds in Hours: Which Magnesium Compound Works Best? Biol Trace Elem Res. 2018 Apr 21. doi: 10.1007/s12011-018-1351-9. [Epub ahead of print]

Tags: Magnesium

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