Because our diet contains less and less magnesium, and magnesium is incredibly important for our body, magnesium supplementation is becoming increasingly popular. There are many types of magnesium supplements available, and the difference lies in the compound to which the magnesium is bound.
Magnesium needs to be bound to another substance to be absorbed by the body. Your body absorbs magnesium at the end of the small intestine. Organically bound magnesium is better absorbed than inorganic forms because it is more natural. For example, common (inorganic) magnesium oxide is insoluble and therefore hardly absorbed.
An adult body contains about 25 grams of magnesium. Approximately half of this is stored in bones and teeth, one-third in muscles, and the rest in organs and nerve tissue. Only 1% of the total magnesium in your body is found in the blood. Blood tests are therefore not an accurate method to detect magnesium deficiency.
Organic vs. inorganic
Here is an overview of different magnesium forms:
Organic magnesium forms:
- Magnesium malate
- Magnesium taurate
- Magnesium citrate
- Magnesium bisglycinate
- Magnesium glycerophosphate
- Magnesium gluconate
- Magnesium lactate
- Magnesium aspartate
- Magnesium acetyltaurate
Inorganic magnesium forms:
- Magnesium chloride
- Magnesium hydroxide
- Magnesium sulfate
- Magnesium oxide
Ideally, you should choose an organic magnesium compound instead of an inorganic one. Let’s look at some of the organic magnesium forms.
The most well-known form is magnesium citrate, an organically bound form that is well-absorbed in muscles and the brain. Magnesium citrate is particularly beneficial for maintaining flexible muscles.
Magnesium glycerophosphate is also well-absorbed and does not require stomach acid, making it convenient to use with antacids. This form contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system and supports memory.
Magnesium taurate is quickly absorbed and can easily cross the blood-brain barrier, resulting in increased magnesium levels in brain tissues. Magnesium taurate is associated with reduced anxiety indicators (1).
Another organic magnesium form is Magnesium Acetyltaurate (ATA Mg®). This is a patented, highly bioavailable active ingredient with unique, scientifically proven properties, invented by French professor Jean Durlach, a renowned magnesium specialist. Jean Durlach (1925-2017) was one of the first scientists to study the importance of magnesium at the physiological level (his work has been the subject of +300 publications) and wrote a book about it.
ATA Mg® has a unique and proven efficacy on brain and cognitive functions and the quality of life for women. The high bioavailability of magnesium acetyltaurate relieves PMS symptoms, such as mood swings/irritability, fatigue/insomnia, headache, sensitive breasts, and swollen abdomen (2).
It is best to take magnesium in the evening because it helps calm the nervous system and promotes relaxation. However, it is important to note that the body needs time to break down magnesium, so it is recommended to take magnesium supplements approximately two hours before bedtime.