Getting your magnesium through food and supplementation Now that we have established why magnesium is so important for essential cell function and how it impacts so many health conditions, we need to explore how to optimize magnesium intake. The first place to start is with food sources. Despite a decrease in the amount of magnesium found in soil, some foods still provide a valuable amount of the mineral. See the table below for the foods that have the highest levels of magnesium. Food Serving Size Mg (in mg) Pumpkin or squash seeds, no shell. 60 mL (¼ cup) 317 Brazil
We have established that to some extent, most people are deficient in magnesium, and that food sources usually do not have a high enough magnesium content to exert a rapid change of levels in the body. This means there is a pivotal need for high quality and effective magnesium supplementation. Unlike other natural substances, magnesium supplements come in many different forms, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s explore the differences in forms so that you can identify which one is best for you.
Both in nature and in supplements, minerals such as magnesium, zinc, and calcium must be combined with another molecule to form a compound. This occurs because of the basic laws of chemistry. A mineral like magnesium has a positive charge and will attract another molecule with a negative charge, forming a combination called a compound. Supplementing with just elemental magnesium (Mg2+) is not possible.
Each magnesium compound has a different level of absorption, bioavailability, and therapeutic value. These additional molecules often impact the medicinal value of the magnesium, and also have some benefits on their own (eg. the amino acid glycine).
Useful as a laxative
Poor oral bioavailability
Poor bowel tolerance
Not bound to an amino acid
Least optimal as a suppement
Moderate magnesium yield
Good bowel tolerance
Table 4: Magnesium Types