Magnesium Supplements: What's the Difference Between Forms?

by Nelson Montelauro


Entire books have been written about the mineral magnesium, given its role in over 300 biochemical and enzymatic processes within the body. Magnesium is essential for protein and DNA synthesis, electrical function of nervous and cardiac tissues, blood glucose regulation, blood pressure, detoxification, and sleep. Unfortunately, we now know that the vast majority of people do not get enough of this mineral, due to its depletion in the food supply and soil. Some scientists are saying that magnesium deficiency is an unrecognized non-infectious pandemic going underdiagnosed (1).

Magneisum is Depleted by What?

Even worse, what little we do get from food, like leafy greens and nuts, is often inadeuqately absorbed, either by being bound to phytates (2), or being counteracted by another mineral that competes for absorption, like zinc or lithium. Some vitamins also contribute to magneisum deficiency, such as excess Vitamin D, and sugar, which exhaust magnesium stores. No food source can provide magnesium in adequate amounts. One of the highest sources are avocados, with about 16% of your daily value in one cup. 

Many conditions and foods also deplete magnesium, such as stress, diabetes, exercise, and hypercalcemia - a far too common condition of too much calcium accumulation, leading to heart disease and atherosclerosis. See our article on the dangers of calcium supplementation here.

Magnesium can completely reverse heart disease and hypertension (3) decalcify arteries and even the pineal gland, leading to not only improved sleep, but the improved production of melatonin, a major disease fighting antioxidant in the body. 

Depending on the condition you want to address, one or multiple forms of magnesium might be best. For example, if you are needing intestinal cleaning, magnesium oxide is one of the best and doubles as a deodorant. However, since only around 50% is absorbed, other forms might have a greater effect for different conditions and desire results.

The following list provides the best forms of magnesium and their optimal uses, from muscle and nerve function, to protein synthesis, ATP production and blood glucose control

1. Magnesium Citrate

  • Highly Bioavailable: Magnesium citrate is one of the most bioavailable forms, meaning it's easily absorbed by the body and helps with any general magnesium-related issue.
  • Digestive Health: It is often used as a laxative to treat constipation due to its ability to draw water into the intestines.
  • Energy Production: Supports the production of cellular energy (ATP).
  • Kidney function: Studies have found that a combination of magnesium and potassium citrate provide kidney stone relief (4).

         Dr. Clark's Magnesium Citrate   

2. Magnesium Sulfate

  • Muscle Relaxation: Commonly known as Epsom salts, magnesium sulfate is used in baths to relax muscles and relieve pain. One study found it helped children with asthma, acting as a bronchodilator (5).
  • Detoxification: Helps in flushing out toxins from the body and acts as a neuroprotective.
  • Skin Health: Can be used topically to treat minor wounds and skin irritation.

           Dr. Clark's Pure Magneisum Sulfate

3. Magnesium Malate

  • Energy Production: Magnesium malate directly aids in ATP production, making it beneficial for those with chronic fatigue syndrome. It
  • Muscle Health: Helps alleviate muscle pain and improve muscle function, and is particularly good for penetrating the heart and brain where calcification is most prevalent.
  • Fibromyalgia Relief: Often recommended for fibromyalgia patients due to its muscle-relaxing properties.

4. Magnesium Glycinate

  • High Absorption: Magnesium glycinate has high bioavailability and is less likely to cause gastrointestinal issues, making it ideal for long-term supplementation.
  • Calming Effect: The glycine component has calming properties, which can help improve sleep and reduce anxiety.
  • Muscle Health: Supports muscle relaxation and overall muscle health.

5. Magnesium Taurate

  • Heart Health: The taurine component supports cardiovascular health by stabilizing cell membranes and regulating calcium levels.
  • Blood Pressure: Helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
  • Calmness and Focus: Promotes a sense of calmness and mental focus, making it ideal for stress management.

6. Magnesium L-Threonate

  • Cognitive Function: Known for its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, magnesium L-threonate can improve brain function and cognitive abilities.
  • Memory Enhancement: Supports learning and memory, potentially beneficial for age-related cognitive decline.
  • Neuroprotection: May help protect against neurodegenerative diseases.

7. Magnesium Oxide

One of Dr. Hulda Clark's favorite forms for cleansing, magnesium oxide offers similar but slightly different benefits. 

  • Digestive Health: Often used to relieve heartburn and indigestion.
  • Laxative Effect: Can also be used as a laxative, while sterilizing and deodorizing the GI tract.
  • Cost-Effective: One of the most affordable forms of magnesium.

         Dr. Clark's Choice: Magneisum Oxide

8. Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride also functions as a crucial electrolyte, vital for maintaining proper hydration, nerve function, and muscle contractions. Electrolytes, including magnesium chloride, help balance fluids in the body, ensuring that cells function optimally. This balance is particularly important for athletes or individuals engaging in strenuous physical activities, as electrolytes are lost through sweat and need to be replenished.

  • Maintaining Fluid Balance: Magnesium chloride helps regulate the movement of fluids in and out of cells, preventing dehydration and maintaining optimal cell function.
  • Supporting Nerve Impulses: As an electrolyte, magnesium chloride facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses, which is essential for muscle coordination and response.
  • Preventing Muscle Fatigue: Adequate levels of magnesium chloride can prevent the onset of muscle fatigue and weakness by supporting efficient energy production and utilization.


Magnesium is a potent healer and most people will experience benefits from any form. However, some precautions should be considered. One is that magnesium intake also increases the utilization of other important co-factors, such as B6 and Iodine, which should be supplemented while taking magnesium.  




1). Arancibia-Hernández, Y. L., Hernández-Cruz, E. Y., & Pedraza-Chaverri, J. (2023). Magnesium (Mg2+) deficiency, not well-recognized non-infectious pandemic: Origin and consequence of chronic inflammatory and oxidative stress-associated diseases. Cell Physiol Biochem, 57(S1), 1-23.
2) Pallauf, J., Pietsch, M., & Rimbach, G. (1998). Dietary phytate reduces magnesium bioavailability in growing rats. Nutrition Research, 18(6), 1029-1037.
3). Dominguez, L. J., Veronese, N., & Barbagallo, M. (2020). Magnesium and hypertension in old age. Nutrients, 13(1), 139.
4). Zerwekh, J. E., Odvina, C. V., Wuermser, L. A., & Pak, C. Y. (2007). Reduction of renal stone risk by potassium-magnesium citrate during 5 weeks of bed rest. The Journal of urology, 177(6), 2179-2184.
5). Özdemir, A., & Doğruel, D. (2020). Efficacy of magnesium sulfate treatment in children with acute asthma. Medical Principles and Practice, 29(3), 292-298.

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