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Clean label options: Magnesium mini-series blog 4

Thursday March 14, 2019
Clean label options: Magnesium mini-series blog 4

In this small series of blogs we discuss the important role of magnesium in the body, the different types of magnesium available, common misunderstandings, 'clean label' magnesium and the different types of delivery method available.


In blog 1 we explored the different ways that magnesium is used in the body. Blog 2 went on to discuss magnesium chelates and different absorption methods. Blog 3 highlighted 'Magnesium Myths' and magnesium stearate. But what is 'Clean Label' magnesium?


Look on your supplement labels for magnesium citrate, as the consensus in the research world is that magnesium citrate is the most effective presentation.  


This is evidenced by a study that assessed the bioavailability of magnesium preparations and reported that magnesium citrate and amino acid chelated magnesium (such as magnesium bisglycinate) produced the greatest absorption[7].  Furthermore, magnesium citrate has superior solubility than the other forms and so suits a powder formulation to be mixed with water.

Other forms that are also highly regarded are oxide, amino acid chelated magnesium and magnesium taurate[8].  A noteworthy study assessed the absorption of magnesium citrate compared to magnesium oxide and concluded comparable activity[9].  The magnesium oxide administration in the study improved a range of markers suggesting good bioavailability and assimilation within human subjects.  

A further study confirmed the absorption and utilisation of magnesium oxide through investigation of bone remineralisation in adolescent girls.  The study reported that magnesium oxide was well tolerated and resulted in an improvement in bone density in the group[10].

As with all things in life, you get what you pay for and blends of magnesium can make supplements more affordable, especially for those who do not suffer with malabsorption issues. In our fifth and final blog of this series we will go on to examine various alternate forms that magnesium can take.

Author: Jenny Carson is a Nutritional Practitioner and Technical Advisor at Viridian Nutrition. She holds a BSc honours degree in Nutritional Science and is currently studying for MRES in Public Health.


[7] Walker, A.F., et al, 2003, Mg citrate found more bioavailable than other Mg preparations in a randomised, double-blind study. Magnes Res.16(3):183-91.

[8] Coudray, C., et al, 2005, Study of magnesium bioavailability from ten organic and inorganic Mg salts in Mg-depleted rats using a stable isotope approach. Magnes Res.18(4):215-23.

[9] Lindberg, J.S., et al, 1990, Magnesium bioavailability from magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide. J Am Coll Nutr. 9(1):48-55.

[10] Carpenter, T.O., et al, 2006, A Randomized Controlled Study of Effects of Dietary Magnesium Oxide Supplementation on Bone Mineral Content in Healthy Girls, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 91(12):4866–72.


The information contained in this article is not intended to treat, diagnose or replace the advice of a health practitioner. Please consult a qualified health practitioner if you have a pre-existing health condition or are currently taking medication. Food supplements should not be used as a substitute for a varied and balanced diet.


TAGS: Nutrition News and ViewsEnergy, Fatigue


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