The Different Types of Magnesium & Why We Need Them

The Different Types of Magnesium & Why We Need Them

Explore the various types of magnesium supplements and their benefits for holistic wellness. Start your journey towards better health today!

By Dr. Alejandro Junger, Founder of Clean Program

Ancient medicine modalities knew it thousands of years ago, and modern science is catching up to it: everything is connected. This is especially true inside our bodies. No organ is isolated, no cell is completely unaffected by other cells that could be on the opposite end of the body. The body’s interconnectedness takes on many shapes and forms. Red blood cells circulate and deliver oxygen to all other cells in the body.

We can even argue that minerals connect all the systems, playing a crucial role in the proper functioning of many physiological processes. A prime illustration of this is magnesium.

The Importance of Magnesium for Overall Health

Magnesium participates in more than 300 chemical-molecular-biological, essential, reactions for biologically sustaining life. It is involved in every system. Without magnesium the nerves cannot conduct electricity, the mitochondria cannot produce energy (ATP), the liver cannot detox what’s needed, hormones cannot be manufactured, and bone cannot be built or repaired. In summary, life as we know it would be impossible without magnesium.

In today’s modern environments, a considerable portion of the population faces a significant challenge with magnesium depletion. This affects hundreds of millions of people around the world. This deficiency stems from the consumption of processed food-like products, which do not provide bioavailable magnesium to the body. And “real” foods, even if organic, are more often deficient in magnesium due to widespread soil depletion. 

Supplementing one or more types of magnesium is trending right, whether it is for sleep and relaxation, elimination, supporting gut health, energy–you name it. At Clean, we know that magnesium is a cornerstone for gut-health and whole body function, not just a wellness trend. This is why we include magnesium in our signature Clean 21 detox and health reset program.

Understanding Magnesium's Benefits and Role in Gut Health 

Magnesium can have a large impact on gut health, and this is why. It is intimately involved in various aspects of digestive function, including muscle contraction, enzyme activity, microbiome balance, inflammation modulation, and stress reduction. 

Elimination: Because magnesium is essential for muscle contraction and relaxation throughout the body–including the muscles of the digestive tract–it is crucial for the processing and elimination of food, from swallowing to peristalsis. This is why adequate magnesium levels help prevent issues like constipation or spasms.

Digestive enzymes: Magnesium is a cofactor for many enzymes involved in digestion, including those that break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. These enzymes require magnesium to function properly, ensuring efficient digestion and absorption of nutrients from food.

Microbiome regulation: Magnesium can positively influence the composition and activity of the gut microbiome, the trillions of microorganisms living in the digestive tract. Studies have shown that magnesium deficiency, on the other hand, can alter the balance of gut bacteria, potentially leading to dysbiosis or leaky gut and associated with a variety of health conditions. Maintaining adequate magnesium levels helps regulate a healthy gut microbiota.

Anti-inflammatory effects: Chronic inflammation in the gut is linked to various digestive disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Magnesium exhibits anti-inflammatory properties, which can help reduce inflammation in the gut and alleviate symptoms associated with inflammatory digestive conditions.

Stress Reduction: Stress can negatively impact gut health by altering gut motility, increasing intestinal permeability, and affecting the composition of the gut microbiome. Magnesium has been shown to help modulate the body's stress response by regulating the release of stress hormones like cortisol. By promoting relaxation and reducing stress, magnesium may indirectly support overall gut health.

Understanding Magnesium's Role in Detoxification

Magnesium is crucial for helping our bodies get rid of toxins and waste products from our metabolism. It does this in a few ways. First, it helps liver enzymes break down toxins in phase I and phase II of detoxification so our bodies can effectively eliminate them. It also helps our liver make bile, which carries toxins out of our bodies through feces. Magnesium also acts as a shield, protecting our cells from damage caused by toxins and harmful molecules. Finally, it keeps our gut motility working optimally, so we can excrete toxins out instead of absorbing them back into our bodies. Basically, having enough magnesium helps our bodies clean out the bad stuff and stay healthy. 

Overall, adequate magnesium levels are essential for optimal detoxification processes, supporting the body's ability to eliminate harmful substances and maintain overall health.

A Magnesium Blend: The Power of Biodiversity

The latest research supports the idea that biodiversity—in our diets, our microbiomes, and even in our supplements—can lead to better health outcomes. Drawing on decades of medical practice, I've observed that a biodiverse approach to magnesium supplementation can be particularly effective. Instead of relying solely on one type of magnesium, combining several forms—like magnesium carbonate, citrate, bis-glycinate , malate, and taurate—is best to mimic natural diversity and enhance the benefits of each, much like how the nutrients work together in nature.

In nature, magnesium doesn't exist in isolation or float around freely. It's chemically unstable on its own, so it tends to bond with other molecules—with some tightly and with others more loosely.

Plants and animals consume different types of magnesium associations in nature and they help in different chemical reactions in the body. Some magnesium associations are well absorbed, while some mostly stay in the gut lumen. Or once absorbed, some magnesium associations cross the blood brain barrier easier and become more readily available to those neurons that may need them for focusing. Other associations that magnesium enters into are easier for the bones to use that magnesium for its generating processes, supporting muscle strength, performance and recovery.

This concept, known as the "Entourage Effect," suggests that components in a group can enhance each other's effects. That’s why I developed Total Magnesium, a blend of five different magnesium designed to work together to support your whole body, not just parts of it. Whether it’s improving sleep, boosting energy, or aiding muscle recovery, this blend is designed to meet your diverse needs.

Exploring Various Types of Magnesium 

Different types of magnesium exist because each form offers unique characteristics and benefits tailored to specific health needs and preferences. The reformulated 5-blend Magnesium supplement contains the following five types of magnesium:

Magnesium Citrate: Magnesium citrate is commonly used for its natural laxative effect, making it effective for relieving constipation. It works by drawing water into the intestines, softening stools, and promoting bowel movements. Additionally, magnesium citrate is absorbed relatively well by the body, although its absorption rate may vary depending on individual factors.

Magnesium Carbonate: Magnesium carbonate is widely used to alleviate gastrointestinal symptoms such as dyspepsia, heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), and constipation. It acts as both an antacid and a laxative, helping to neutralize stomach acid and promote bowel movements.

Magnesium Glycinate: Magnesium glycinate is well-tolerated and absorbed by the body, making it ideal for individuals with sensitive stomachs. It may help promote relaxation, support sleep, alleviate tense muscles, and reduce anxiety due to its calming effects.

Magnesium Malate: Magnesium malate is well absorbed by the body and has less of a laxative effect compared to magnesium citrate. It is often used to treat conditions such as chronic fatigue syndrome and muscle pain, as malic acid (found in apples and other fruits) may help support energy production in the body.

Magnesium Taurate: Magnesium taurate is a combination of magnesium and the amino acid taurine. It may play a role in regulating blood sugar levels and blood pressure, making it potentially beneficial for individuals with conditions like diabetes or hypertension. 

Magnesium is more than just a supplement; it is fundamental to our body’s functional health. By selecting a magnesium supplement that mirrors the diverse and synergistic nature of magnesium found in the natural world, we can effectively promote our overall health and holistic well-being. For more insights and expert advice, be sure to read Dr. Junger's articles like 4 Ways To Enhance Detoxification and enrich your journey to optimal health.