Why take a magnesium supplement?
Magnesium already exists in our bones, muscles, and cells. This mineral can also be found in the earth’s crust and seawater. We need between 300 and 400 milligrams of magnesium a day, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. We can get some or all of this from magnesium-rich foods including green leafy vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts, but many people choose to take supplements to make sure they are getting enough of this essential mineral. Magnesium is actually the seventh most popular dietary supplement among supplement users, according to a recent survey by ConsumerLab.com, and with good reason. “Low levels of magnesium may play a part in hypertension and cardiovascular disease, Type 2 Diabetes, osteoporosis, and migraines,” says Stephanie Schiff, RDN at Northwell Health’s Huntington Hospital in Huntington, NY. Are you getting enough? These 10 signs will let you know if you have a magnesium deficiency.
What type of magnesium supplement should you take?
There is more than one type of magnesium supplement out there, and choosing the right one can make a big difference. “Forms such as magnesium citrate and magnesium chloride may be better absorbed and tolerated than magnesium oxide,” says Tod Cooperman, MD, president of ConsumerLab.com in White Plains, New York. Magnesium aspartate and magnesium lactate are also easily absorbed by the body, Schiff adds. Other magnesium supplements may double as laxatives or antacids, Another form of magnesium, Epsom salts, may be absorbed through the skin during a bath. (Spoiler alert: Don’t expect miracles from an Epsom salt bath.) “Magnesium from foods and supplements is absorbed fairly well, although the magnesium oxide form is absorbed less well than other forms such as magnesium citrate,” he says.