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Is magnesium oxide that bad really?

magnesium oxide

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8 replies to this topic

#1 nameless

Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:01 PM

I was randomly looking over some clinical trials the other day, and ran across this one:

The Absorption of Magnesium Oxide Compared to Citrate in Healthy Subjects

with abstract results here:

The study was a little odd, as you'd think they'd use equivalent doses, but they didn't. Unless I read it wrong, the mag ox people got 520mg/day, while the mag citrate people got 295.8mg/day. Their final results indicate mag ox resulted in greater Mg concentrations and a better reduction in cholesterol numbers.

It could be as simple as citrate does absorb better, but not that much better. But since mag oxide is dirt cheap, it's not that difficult to simply take a little more if you want to.

I know some people have thrown out that 4% absorption number in the past, but that won't apply if you have acid in your belly, which everyone does (or should). So are there any negatives associated with magnesium oxide other than possibly less absorption? I have read that perhaps there could be more free radicals formed when using this form, but not sure if there is any science behind that... or if it even matters.

I'm primarily curious as I got a package of free mag ox samples, and was wondering why not simply take this form, seeing as it's super cheap? It agrees with my belly more than citrates/malates do, and is a lot cheaper than mag lactate, which is very stomach friendly, but also very expensive.
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#2 niner Re: Is magnesium oxide that bad really?

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:14 PM

I'm not aware of anything fundamentally wrong with mag oxide, other than the need for stomach acid. I think the bioavailability in normal humans is in the low 20's percent range. You just need to take more, but it's cheap, as you mentioned, and perhaps more importantly, it's small. MgO has more magnesium per gram than any other common form of magnesium, by a wide margin. You can use it in a multivitamin without having to use multiple capsules, which is very important to a lot of people who would rather be sick than swallow another pill.
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#3 synesthesia Re: Is magnesium oxide that bad really?

  • Location:kalifornia

Posted 10 May 2012 - 11:41 PM

I take mag-citrate because it's easier on my stomach... I tried mag oxide first, but it made me feel rather punky, even with food.

I don't sweat the absorption rates so much as I tend to be a "less is more" kind of guy and prefer lower doses.

My mag supplementation is just a bit of insurance I'm not getting sporadic deficiencies.
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#4 nameless Re: Is magnesium oxide that bad really?

Posted 11 May 2012 - 12:07 AM

Thanks for the replies so far.

I take mag as it's a little low in my diet, and I had a kidney stone a while ago. So it's sort of anti-excruciating pain insurance for me. I also notice that my BP seems to be a little lower, or at least I don't get white coat syndrome nearly as much, when I take at least 200mg/daily. I noticed the BP thing at the doctor's office, when to my surprise the nurse would rattle out numbers like 110/72, etc -- which is normal for me at home, but usually not at a doctor's office. Oddly mag lactate seemed to help more with BP, but that could have been a coincidence.

Over time, I've tried most types of magnesiums, citrate, malate, taurate, orotate, lactate, oxide, etc. -- mostly because I was curious if I'd notice any differences. Mag Orotate, lactate and oxide were the most stomach friendly to me. Orotate has that tumor promoter thing working against it though.

I think one problem I have is my stomach can be a bit overly acidic, resulting in minor reflux, if I'm not careful. I can take mag citrate, but it feels a little irritating to my stomach after a while. I recently decided to try mag malate, which was a mistake. Very, very tart (malic acid)... and I noticed my throat feeling a bit sore after taking it for several days.

Mag glycinate too results in some stomach issues after a while, which seems to be the opposite of what it should be doing. I am guessing it may relax my lower sphincter too much, resulting in reflux, but am just guessing there. When I tried straight glycine before bedtime I noticed a sore throat, poor night's sleep, the next day.

But that may be why mag oxide and mag lactate feel better to my stomach. Mag oxide should lower stomach acid some. I'm not sure what mag lactate does acid-wise, but it seems to make my stomach feel better too. If prices were equal, I'd just take mag lactate, but I know of only two manufacturers, and the one I have tried (mag-tab) runs about $25/bottle. Mag oxide is considerably less. I'm just unsure if there are negatives associated with it that I am unaware of, besides the absorption thing.

Edited by nameless, 11 May 2012 - 12:09 AM.

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#5 yrnkrn Re: Is magnesium oxide that bad really?

  • Location:Israel

Posted 11 May 2012 - 06:42 PM

Here is the full research paper http://www.navehphar...um-research.pdf

The magnesium oxide product used in the research is aggressively marketed in Israel (double-full page ads on weekend paper) and they are using this research to claim that magnesium oxide is superior to magnesium citrate commonly used here.

Edited by yrnkrn, 11 May 2012 - 06:44 PM.

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#6 nameless Re: Is magnesium oxide that bad really?

Posted 11 May 2012 - 11:56 PM

Thanks for the paper. I just skimmed over it now, but will look it over in more detail later.

If the study was used to market a mag oxide supplement, that may explain the odd dosing used. If you are comparing two compounds and want one to show superior results, just give one group more of said compound. I've seen drug companies do that too.
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#7 yrnkrn Re: Is magnesium oxide that bad really?

  • Location:Israel

Posted 12 May 2012 - 12:38 AM

Both treatements essentially came out with same absolute end results so the difference in relative imporvement is only due to different baselines. So what would happen if the groups were switched? would the end results stay the same so the other magnesium was better?

Why are the baselines so different than of the average baselines of both groups?
For instance, the Triglycerides of both groups (n=41) was 133.5 but for magnox (n=40) it was 185. That's a big difference for the average of 40 people (in fact only 20 people for two months)
The LDL for both groups (n=41) was 120 but for magnox (n=40) it was 128.

Either the wash out peroid wasn't long enough, or something else went wrong here.

Attached Files

Edited by yrnkrn, 12 May 2012 - 01:31 AM.

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#8 niner Re: Is magnesium oxide that bad really?

  • Location:Philadelphia

Posted 12 May 2012 - 04:51 AM

If I had to hazard a guess, I'd say that the Magnox guys were thieves.

nameless, the mag malate should act as an antacid, because the malate ion is actually a base.
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#9 nameless Re: Is magnesium oxide that bad really?

Posted 12 May 2012 - 05:38 AM

For whatever reason, the mag malate does seem to be bothering my stomach. It's been more acidic and I noticed a sore throat the past two days. It could be a coincidence, so i'll stop for a while, then restart. Maybe it has nothing to do with the malate... but it certainly doesn't feel like an antacid to my belly.
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