• Anna Johnson

All About Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the most important minerals in the body. It is involved in over 300 functions within the human body, and is essential for life. Magnesium is termed a "macro mineral" because it is required in larger amounts than other minerals, termed which is "micro minerals," of which are just as essential, but needed in smaller amounts. Magnesium can be found in various whole food sources, however, a large percentage of the population is still deficient. Here'e what you need to know about magnesium, and how you can best ensure you're getting the AMOUNT you need, in the FORM that will be most beneficial for your specific body.


Magnesium is used for many different things in the body, including keeping bones healthy, managing blood sugar levels, protecting your heart, muscle recovery, warding off anxiety, and keeping PMS symptoms at bay. Magnesium is also considered an electrolyte, and much of the magnesium in our bodies is stored in our muscle tissues (which is why blood tests of magnesium are rarely a good indicator of actual need for the mineral. By the time a magnesium deficiency is reflected in the blood, the tissues are severely depleted, and the blood's supply is dwindling quickly. Mineral deficiencies are reflected via lab work are in many cases a medical emergency, as minerals regulate blood pH), and is depleted through exercise, physical and emotional stress, and during a woman's cycle.


As noted above, many people are deficient in magnesium, despite eating a healthy diet. There are many reasons as to why this is the case, but it is largely thought to be multi-factorial, and due to increased pollution in water and air, high stress lifestyles, weaker mineral content in soil (and thus food), among others.

The RDA for magnesium is as follows:

Pregnant women should increase their magnesium intake by about 40 mg per day during the entirety of their pregnancy to ensure baby's magnesium n needs are met, too.


Magnesium is present in a wide variety of foods, including almonds, spinach, bananas, cashews, peanuts, soy foods (including soy milk and tofu), black beans, Celtic sea salt, and nut butters, among others. However, it is important to keep in mind that, although your diet may be rich in all of these foods, your magnesium level is strongly dependent on your individual body's needs, any underlying health conditions, lifestyle, exercise habits, and stress levels.


Many people struggle getting adequate magnesium through diet alone, which is where supplementation comes in. But magnesium comes in many different forms, and not all magnesium is equal in benefit, absorption, and needed dosage. Here's how you can make sure you are taking the BEST type of magnesium for YOUR BODY.

Magnesium Glycinate

  • Excellent absorption

  • Bound to GLYCINE, making it one of the best kinds of magnesium for muscle problems, inflammation, and tissue soreness (including migraines/headaches)

  • Helpful for sleep and anxiety

  • Take orally

Magnesium Citrate

  • Fair absorption

  • Bound to citric acid, giving it slight laxative effects (especially in large doses)

  • Fair absorption

  • Take orally (most powdered magnesium supplements are magnesium citrate, and it mixes well with liquids)

Magnesium Oxide

  • Poor absorption

  • Cheapest type of magnesium

  • Powerful laxative

  • Historically used for constipation, heartburn, or SIBO natural treatment (in combination with other therapies)

  • Take orally

Magnesium Sulfate

  • For external use only

  • Excellent in baths (commonly known as epsom salt) as it absorbs well through skin

  • Can be mixed with other forms of magnesium (such as chloride) and coconut/jojoba oil for a topical muscle relaxant

Magnesium L-Threonate

  • Best for cognitive function, anxiety, brain fog, fatigue, and neurological health

  • No laxative effects

  • Can be combined with other forms of magnesium

  • Take orally in the morning, as it can be energizing

Magnesium Malate

  • Excellent absorption

  • Good for pain conditions, including fibromyalgia, complex regional pain syndrome, and chronic fatigue syndrome

  • No laxative effects

  • Take orally in the morning, as it can be energizing

Magnesium Taurate

  • Best form of magnesium for heart conditions, migraine headaches, and blood sugar problems

  • Shown to reduce chance of heart attack and promote blood sugar regulation (1, 2)

  • Most difficult and expensive to find, and is generally mixed with other forms of magnesium

  • Take orally

Need help discerning whether or not you may need to take a magnesium supplement? Still not sure which type (or types) of mg are best for you? Shoot me an email to set up an appointment.

Until next time~

Stay healthy, happy, and hopeful.

Dr. Anna Johnson, ND






  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6435948/

  2. 2. https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/143/3/345/4571571

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