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The Best Magnesium Supplement?

Question:
How do I choose the best magnesium supplement?
Magnesium Supplements Reviewed By ConsumerLab.com
Answer:
Choosing a magnesium supplement can be tricky due to the many different forms of magnesium (e.g., magnesium aspartate, bicarbonate, carbonate, chloride, citrate, gluconate, hydroxide, lactate, malate, orotate, oxide, taurate, threonate, and trisilicate) and wide range in suggested serving sizes (from less than 50 mg to over 1,000 mg). Making matters worse, in our tests and comparisons of magnesium supplements, we've found that you can spend nearly $2 to get the same amount of magnesium that you can get for just 5 cents. If you are a CL member, you can check out our latest Review and Top Picks. But here is some of the good general advice found in our Review:

First, choose a form of magnesium that matches the reason you're taking it. Some forms, such as magnesium citrate and magnesium chloride, are absorbed better than others -- and magnesium chloride is less likely to cause diarrhea and other side effects. Other forms may be best suited for use as laxatives, or for reducing the frequency and severity of migraines. Some forms, such as magnesium orotate, are much more expensive than others without added benefit. Also be aware that one popular form of magnesium has been shown, as a tablet, to absorb so much water from the air that it can ruin itself and other supplements around it (see Choosing the right form of magnesium and Storage for details).

Second, it's important to choose a magnesium supplement that provides the right dose of magnesium to suit your needs and does not exceed the upper tolerable intake level for magnesium and cause adverse side effects (see Dosing and how to take).

When looking at a label, be sure it lists the amount of actual magnesium (or "elemental" magnesium) per dosage unit. We've occasionally come across magnesium and other mineral supplements that are incorrectly labeled -- leading you to think you are getting more magnesium than you really are (see What to Consider When Buying for an example of such a label). Our tests have also revealed supplements that simply contain less magnesium than claimed, are contaminated with lead, or are tablets that fail to properly disintegrate -- suggesting that they may not fully deliver their ingredients.  

Although magnesium is often sold in combination with calcium, it may be best to take these minerals separately when taking high doses, as they can compete for absorption.

Also, keep in mind that magnesium supplements should be used with caution by people with certain medical conditions (see Concerns and Cautions).

See our most current Magnesium Supplements Review, and check out our Top Picks for highest quality and value.

Learn more about magnesium supplements:



What is the benefit of magnesium orotate compared to other forms of magnesium? >>

Are supplements with amino acid chelated minerals better than those with other forms of minerals? >>

Which is the best form of magnesium to take - one that contains the most magnesium and is best absorbed? >>

How can the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium be higher than the Upper Tolerable Intake Level (UL)? That is, how can an amount which is healthful also put you at risk for harm? >>

Is it important to take calcium and magnesium together? >>

Is it true that I should not keep magnesium supplements in a daily pill pack mixed with other supplements and medicines? >>

Help! How do I know how much magnesium I am actually getting from my supplement? The label says it contains 500 mg of magnesium "as magnesium citrate" -- but how much of that is magnesium and how much is citrate? >>

See other recent and popular questions >>
COMMENTS

NANCY17697   March 31, 2019
What is your take on ReMag? This is one of Dr. Carolyn Deans Total Body ReSet formulas. It is a liquid that I add to my water. I take it for A-Fib and have been using for years. My irregular heart beat has not changed and my magnesium blood levels have not changed

ConsumerLab.com   April 1, 2019
Hi Nancy - You can find information about ReMag in the "Choosing the right form of magnesium" section of the Magnesium Supplements Review: https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/magnesium-supplement-review/magnesium/#forms

Marianne16739   April 18, 2018
Do you know of any reliable studies showing correlation between magnesium supplementation and decreased symptoms of depression? Thank you!

ConsumerLab.com   April 26, 2018
Hi Marianne - Thank you for your question. We've now answered it here: https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/does-magnesium-help-with-depression/magnesium-depression/.

Kathleen18188   August 7, 2019
I find it really helps anxiety.


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This CL Answer initially posted on 4/17/2018. Last updated 10/28/2018.
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