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What is Chelated Magnesium?

Posted by Dr. Adam Killpartrick, DC CNS on Sep 2, 2020 2:15:46 PM

what-is-chelated-magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral used in hundreds of biochemical processes and is critical for the human body to function optimally.* Unfortunately, inadequate levels of this vital nutrient is common due to multiple factors of modern-day living.

It’s needed for cellular energy production, proper bone formation, insulin metabolism, glucose control, cardiovascular health, etc.* Magnesium should not be overlooked both in your diet and as a supplement. Increased stress, poor diet, and insufficient stomach acid are reasons many people can benefit from a high-quality magnesium supplement.*

When deciding on a magnesium supplement, there are many options to choose from. However, not all are created equal. Chelated magnesium is a unique preparation method that offers increased stability, better bioavailability, and less chance of impacting the digestive tract. In short, the body better absorbs and utilizes this form of magnesium, and it’s well-tolerated.

 

What is Chelation?

Chelate comes from the Greek word for “claw,” which refers to how organic compounds are attached to inorganic compounds to improve the body’s nutrient uptake.

When it comes to supplement formulation, chelation is a binding process that combines minerals like magnesium with organic compounds to improve stability and bioavailability of nutrients, allowing for better utilization of the nutrients, and more efficient transport of minerals across the intestinal wall.

While the body does undergo natural chelation during digestion, the gut’s harsh environment makes it difficult for some nutrients to reach their desired destination. Chelated magnesium dramatically improves nutrient uptake and assimilation.

What’s the Difference Between Chelated and Other Forms of Magnesium?

Magnesium is a highly chemically active metallic element; therefore, it’s almost always combined with other supplement-form substances. These may be sodium, citric acid, vitamin C, and other compounds. In the case of chelated magnesium, the mineral is bonded to another molecule, typically an amino acid.

As with any supplement, it’s essential to discuss the right form with your practitioner, as each will have varying benefits and roles depending on what symptoms you are looking to support. In the case of chelated magnesium, the presence of an amino acid (often glycine), provides a buffering effect, which improves better bioavailability, more calming effects, and other benefits.*

For comparison:

  • Magnesium citrate (bound to citric acid) is often used to support hard stools as it increases water in the colon.*
  • Magnesium chloride is sometimes preferred for those with low stomach acid.
  • Magnesium glycinate (also called magnesium bisglycinate, the chelated form) is frequently used to improve feelings of calm, trouble sleeping, and healthy circadian rhythm.*

Wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the day. Our Sleep Protocol  will help.*

What are the Benefits of Taking Chelated Magnesium?

Amongst its hundreds of roles in the body, magnesium is needed to absorb calcium, proper functioning of the heart and cardiovascular functions, neuromuscular contractions, regulation of the acid-alkaline balance in the body, and supports healthy sleeping patterns.*[1] Along with these many functions, chelated magnesium can also offer several unique benefits compared to other magnesium forms.

Superior Bioavailability

Nutrients exposed to the digestive system often fail to be adequately absorbed. Many mineral supplements are taken with inorganic sources or mineral salts, which tend to be poorly assimilated and have low bioavailability (how easily a substance is absorbed by the body and the amount of the substance that the body is capable of absorbing and utilizing).

On the contrary, chelated minerals use organic compounds like amino acids to improve nutrient absorption and utilization. Chelated forms of magnesium include magnesium glycinate, taurate, and malate.

RELATED CONTENT: WHY KIDS NEED MAGNESIUM

Increased Stability

The complete ring structure of chelated magnesium helps to increase the stability of the mineral complex. Improved stability reduces the chance of adverse reactions with fat-soluble vitamins and other minerals within the body.

Easier on the Gastrointestinal Tract

Although supplementation is generally well-tolerated, loose stools can occur with higher doses of Magnesium. Unabsorbed magnesium attracts water from surrounding tissues to the intestine or colon, thus overstimulating the bowel. Since chelated magnesium is more bioavailable than standard forms, it is less likely to provoke loose stools than other forms.*

Calming Effects

Studies show that due to the presence of glycine in many chelated forms of magnesium, this supplement has a calming effect on the brain and can help you get a better night’s sleep.*[2] In general, magnesium helps the body produce the calming neurotransmitter, GABA, which helps to support a relaxed mood. Magnesium supports brain health by acting as a gatekeeper for the N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors.*[3]

How Much Chelated Magnesium Should I Take?

Dosing of any supplement should always be discussed with your integrative doctor, but a standard adult dose of chelated magnesium begins with 200-250 mg once per day (usually in the evening), and slowly increases as needed to no more than 1,000 mg per day in divided doses.

Processed foods, high stress, soil degradation, and low stomach acid are all reasons that magnesium deficiency is rampant, and magnesium-rich foods along with high-quality chelated magnesium supplements can help you get levels to where they need to be.* Focus on eating nutritious dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, and choose a chelated magnesium supplement for maximum absorption and benefits.

brain health nutrition


[1] Al Alawi, A. M., Majoni, S. W., & Falhammar, H. (2018). Magnesium and Human Health: Perspectives and Research Directions. International journal of endocrinology, 2018, 9041694. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/9041694

[2] Makoto Bannai, Nobuhiro Kawai. Frontier Research Laboratories, Institute for Innovation, Ajinomoto Co., Inc., Kawasaki, Kanagawa 210-8681, Japan. Received July 24, 2011; Accepted September 24, 2011

[3] Möykkynen T, Uusi-Oukari M, Heikkilä J, Lovinger DM, Lüddens H, Korpi ER. Magnesium potentiation of the function of native and recombinant GABA(A) receptors. Neuroreport. 2001;12(10):2175-2179. doi:10.1097/00001756-200107200-00026

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