Magnesium, a major element in human biology, is naturally present in all the body’s cells. Essential for cell life, it is involved in more than 300 metabolic reactions, notably as an enzymatic co-factor.

Just like vitamins, magnesium is used daily by many consumers as an extent that has become the essential macro-element in the fight against fatigue, stress and nervousness.

Magnesium is generally provided by the diet in sufficient quantities. However, this does not take into account the harmful role of our bad eating habits and the daily stress we are dealing with. Supplementation is becoming more and more indispensable.

Magnesium content and bioavailability

Magnesium exists in the form of magnesium “salt”, i.e. a combination of magnesium and another mineral, such as chloride, or an “organic” element, such as citrate.

There are traditionally four forms of salt, insoluble inorganic salts (oxide, carbonate, hydroxide), soluble inorganic salts (chloride, sulphate), soluble organic salts (citrate, lactate, gluconate, pidolate or pyroglutamate…) and soluble organic complexes (glycinate and bisglycinate).

Different forms of magnesium do not all contain the same amount of magnesium element. It is also necessary to have a look at the bioavailability of this magnesium-element, i.e. the quantity actually absorbed. Insoluble inorganic salts have very low bioavailability, whereas organic forms are bioavailable.

When choosing a magnesium supplement, one must also take into account its laxative character or not, the tolerance of the product by the organism, the presence of substances that improve its use, and additives that may be useless or dangerous.

Some forms of magnesium: advantages and disadvantages

Magnesium chloride

Magnesium chloride is found in many specialties (Nigari salt, for example). Its bioavailability is high. Many consumers use it to prevent or treat infectious disorders and are satisfied with it. However, the real effectiveness of magnesium chloride against infections remains unknown due to a lack of reliable studies, and it also has a laxative effect.

Moreover, chloride is an acidifying element. We already tend to consume too much acidifying food, to the detriment of the basifying elements (which reduce the acidity of the body) and high doses of magnesium chloride can theoretically be problematic, especially for the elderly, in whom the buffer systems (acid-base balance) function less well.

Marine Magnesium

It is a mixture of inorganic salts, with variable contents of oxide, hydroxide, chloride and sulphate, therefore rather good contents of magnesium, but modest to low bioavailability, added to the disadvantages of inorganic salts.

Magnesium Pyroglutamate

To be useful, magnesium must be supplied in a form that is perfectly assimilable by the body and its physiological activity will depend above all on the efficiency of its delivery to the target cells. This is why pidolic acid – a physiological molecule found in most of the body’s tissues and in many plants – is an excellent candidate for transporting magnesium to its site of action. Assimilated at more than 90%, it optimizes the bioavailability of the mineral it transports, while ensuring perfect tolerance.

As a matter of principle, it is best to avoid products that contain too many additives.

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