Types of Magnesium Supplements and Their Uses

I often get asked what are the differences between magnesium supplements and how bioavailable they are and so I decided to make a small reference chart to help you easily understand the differences in the types of magnesium supplements.

Most magnesium supplements must be taken orally and therefore need to be processed through the stomach, liver and kidneys before the supplement can be utilized by the body.  Inherently, when you take any supplement orally it needs to be processed by the stomach, liver and kidneys, you lose so much of the product and therefore the bioavailability (the body's ability to use/reap the benefit) becomes lower.

Factoring in the recommended dosage for each supplement along side the knowledge that the bioavailable amount you receive the cost becomes much higher for orally administered pills and capsules.

Topically applied herbs, supplements and minerals do NOT need to be processed by the stomach, liver or kidneys in order for your body to reap the rewards and benefits which make it a much better cost value and you reap 100% of the benefit.  

 Which is why I created our Zechstein Magnesium Oil Spray (find it here), so that I can reap the benefits of magnesium in a highly absorbable form at a lower cost than the others and it is PURE.

Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate
A magnesium amino acid chelate is magnesium connected to an amino acid. This could be a glycine, aspartic acid (aspartate) or arginine (arginate), or another amino acid. Magnesium aspartate and arginate are considered to better than the others
Magnesium Deficiency
Better Bioavailability as it is bound to an amino acid
Magnesium Oxide
Because this form of magnesium has poor bioavailability, magnesium oxide supplements may contain up to 60% more magnesium than other supplements so that enough can enter the bloodstream and provide the intended effect
Magnesium oxide is therapeutically used as a laxative and to provide relief for acid reflux. 
Has poor bioavailability 
Magnesium Citrate
Derived from the magnesium salt of citric acid, magnesium citrate is highly soluble.  
Magnesium citrate is commonly used to induce bowel movements but has also been studied for kidney stone prevention.
Has higher bioavailability than magnesium oxide.
Magnesium Orotate
Magnesium orotate is a complex of magnesium plus orotic acid and it can cost up to 9 times more than other magnesium products. 
Magnesium orotate probably isn't the best choice as a magnesium supplement for preventing or treating magnesium deficiency because it doesn't appear to offer an advantage over others 
Has higher bioavailability than magnesium oxide.
Magnesium Chloride
Magnesium chloride is a naturally occurring inorganic compound composed of one magnesium and two chloride ions. It’s usually extracted from places with high salt content, like the Great Salt Lake and the Dead Sea. Magnesium chloride supplement contains only 12 percent elemental magnesium, which may seem low compared to other forms, such as magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate. 
Aside from boosting magnesium levels in the body, magnesium chloride also aids in production of hydrochloric acid to improve the digestive process and absorption of vitamins & minerals and lower risk of diseases caused by bacteria and viruses.  Magnesium chloride is also believed to help fight free radicals & prevent a variety of illnesses, including tumors, arteriosclerosis, prostate problems, intestinal disorders and kidney stones.
High bioavailability
Magnesium Lactate
Magnesium lactate is the magnesium salt of lactic  The less serious side effects of magnesium lactate supplementation include diarrhea, bloating, gas and an upset stomach
Magnesium lactate is used as a supplement to treat magnesium deficiency, heartburn, indigestion and upset stomach
Poor bioavailability
Magnesium Sulfate
Magnesium sulfate is a form of magnesium with an elemental concentration of 10% and lower levels of bioavailability. It contains magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen.
Epsom Salt, which can be added to baths to relieve sore muscles. Magnesium sulfate has been found to have pain-killing properties during spinal anesthesia, but may cause headaches during the procedure.
Poor bioavailability
Magnesium Carbonate
It is also commonly used as chalk used as a drying agent by pitchers, gymnasts, rock climbers, and weightlifters
Also called magnesite, magnesium carbonate is used as a remedy for heartburn and upset stomach.Magnesium carbonate has a strong laxative effect when taken in high amounts.
Poor Bioavailability - is about 30% when taken internally. 
Magnesium Glycinate
Magnesium glycinate is made up of magnesium, an essential mineral, and glycine, a non-essential amino acid. People who have kidney issues should consult a doctor before taking magnesium glycinate. Kidney problems can cause difficulties in excreting the excess magnesium.
Easy on the bowels and stomach makes magnesium glycinate a good supplement for people recovering from bariatric surgery or anyone who might be at risk for magnesium levels.
Better Bioavailability as it is bound to an amino acid