2

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Help me figure out magnesium? How to calculate elemental magnesium?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created July 06, 2012 at 6:32 PM

Thanks in advance for your help! I'm confused about elemental magnesium from various chelates.

http://www.longecity.org/forum/topic/22235-best-form-of-supplemental-magnesium/

http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/alter/20050510/msgs/503184.html

http://afibbers.org/magnesium.html

"Vitamin D is required for optimum absorption so it is important to get adequate unprotected sun exposure daily or to take a vitamin D-3 supplement when using oral replenishment of magnesium. Some magnesium supplements, when taken in excess, cause a looser stool and even diarrhea. Taking too much magnesium is not a good idea since diarrhea is likely to cause the loss of most, if not all, of the supplemented amount.

The most common magnesium supplements are magnesium oxide, magnesium carbonate, chelated magnesium (magnesium glycinate), magnesium orotate, magnesium citrate, magnesium maleate and magnesium gluconate. These supplements provide different amounts of elemental magnesium (the constituent that matters) and also vary significantly in their bioavailability (absorption).

Magnesium oxide is the most dense magnesium compound and the one most often used in mineral supplements and multivitamins. It contains 300 mg of elemental magnesium per 500 mg tablet, but is extremely poorly absorbed. Only about 4% of its elemental magnesium is absorbed or about 12 mg out of a 500 mg tablet.

Magnesium carbonate contains 125 mg of elemental magnesium per 500 mg tablet, but is poorly absorbed.

Chelated magnesium (magnesium glycinate) is magnesium bound in a complex of glycine and lysine. It is easily absorbed and highly bioavailable. The magnesium (elemental) content per tablet or capsule is usually 100 mg.

Magnesium orotate contains only 31 mg of elemental magnesium per 500 mg tablet. However, it is well absorbed and has been found highly effective in daily intakes of 3000 mg (186 mg elemental).

Magnesium citrate contains 80 mg of elemental magnesium per 500 mg tablet. It is far better absorbed than is magnesium oxide. The water soluble form (Natural Calm) contains 205 mg of elemental magnesium per teaspoon, is totally soluble in hot water and is highly bioavailable.

Magnesium maleate contains 56 mg of elemental magnesium per 500 mg tablet.

Magnesium gluconate contains 27 mg of elemental magnesium per 500 mg tablet. It is easily absorbed and quick acting.

All forms of oral magnesium supplements are better absorbed when taken with a meal."

I'm kind of debating among these various products:

1) Magnesium Orotate 360 mg (per capsule) http://www.pureformulas.com/magnesium-orotate-360mg-100-capsules-by-priority-one.html

(yielding 50mg of Elemental Magnesium) Contains: Rice Powder This product is encapsulated in a vegetarian capsule. Contains no preservatives.

2) Source Naturals Ultra-Mag

http://www.swansonvitamins.com/SN270/ItemDetail

Serving Size 2 Tablets Vitamin B-6 (as pyridoxine HCl) 50 mg
Magnesium (as magnesium citrate, taurinate, malate, glycinate, and succinate) 400 mg

Other Ingredients: Stearic acid, acacia gum, modified cellulose gum, magnesium stearate, and colloidal silicon dioxide.

Suitable for vegetarians. Contains no yeast, dairy, egg, gluten, soy or wheat. Contains no sugar, starch, preservatives, or artificial color, flavor or fragrance.

3) KAL Magnesium Orotate 2 tablets = 200 mg

They are sneaky and don't tell how much Elemental Magnesium is in it.

http://www.vitacost.com/kal-magnesium-orotate-200-mg-60-tablets-1

Does anyone know how much elemental magnesium is in this or the formula to calculate it or in other magnesium products - is it an algebraic formula? What is the most cost-effective and best absorbed?

0e84c3d1553e77af594676e971e2aa4a

on November 14, 2012
at 02:47 AM

I apologize, multitasking and got some wires crossed when I was thinking about one idea and writing another. Mg and organic acids like malate and citrate are also salts. Mg + fatty acid is a soap. Some Mg in the diet is lost to soaps formed with fats eaten in the same meal. Some Mg is also reclaimed or absorbed because in the gut it reacts with the short chain fatty acids to form butyrate, acetic etc. MgCl can also be applied in the saturated solution to the skin (Mg oil) and some will be absorbed.

0e84c3d1553e77af594676e971e2aa4a

on November 14, 2012
at 12:19 AM

I used to have a collection of empty mineral water bottles purchased in Canada though including German, French, and Italian brands. Yay for Canada, they put more detailed analysis on their imported bottles than USA... also they have been labeling for Omega 3 many years... some truth to their national anthem "we stand on guard for thee." There are trade-offs between cost and good or bad contents. K and Mg are good, bicarbonate is good, some Iodine; Na, Cl, sulfate are not so good; after the good and not so good you may find the ugly which they give in max concentrations, like fluorine, arsenic.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 06, 2012
at 11:55 PM

I know the bottle says one capsule is a serving, but I think there's an error. The nutrition info is for 2 capsules.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:20 PM

I'm confused by the product label - zoom in to read for 360 mg magnesium orotate. Using the formula above 360 mg * 7% = 25.2 mg elemental magnesium yet the label says 50 mg. http://www.pureformulas.com/magnesium-orotate-360mg-100-capsules-by-priority-one.html

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:18 PM

I'm confused by the product label - zoom in to read for 360 mg magnesium orotate. Using the formula above 360 mg * 7% = 25.2 mg elemental magnesium yet the label says 50 mg. http://www.pureformulas.com/magnesium-orotate-360mg-100-capsules-by-priority-one.html

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:17 PM

I'm confused by the product label - zoom in to read for 360 mg magnesium orotate. Using the formula above 360 mg * 7% = 25.2 mg elemental magnesium yet the label says 50 mg. pureformulas.com/

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:16 PM

I'm confused by the product label - zoom in to read for 360 mg magnesium orotate. Using the formula above 360 mg * 7% = 25.2 mg elemental magnesium yet the label says 50 mg. pureformulas.com/…

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:16 PM

I'm confused by the product label - zoom in to read for 360 mg magnesium orotate. Using the formula above 360 mg * 7% = 25.2 mg elemental magnesium yet the lavel says 50 mg. http://www.pureformulas.com/magnesium-orotate-360mg-100-capsules-by-priority-one.html

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:16 PM

I'm confused by the product label - zoom in to read for 360 mg magnesium orotate. Using the formula above 360 mg * 7% = 25.2 mg elemental magnesium yet the lavel says 50 mg. http://www.pureformulas.com/magnesium-orotate-360mg-100-capsules-by-priority-one.html

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:13 PM

I'm confused Magnesium Orotate 360 mg (per capsule) the first product mentioned abobe * 7% by this calculation = 25 mg of elemental magnesium yet the label for that product says 50 mg.

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5 Answers

3
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 06, 2012
at 07:19 PM

Mineral supplements are mostly salts - consisting of the cation (usually what you're interested in) and an anion partner. Cations are positively charged; anions are negatively charged. You only care about the cation, and not the anion, so the anion essentially becomes a filler. Consider Magnesium Orotate. It has a molecular weight of 334.482. Magnesium has a molecular weight of 24.31. So the % Mg in Magnesium orotate is just 7%. So every 100 mg of magnesium orotate has just 7 mg of useful Mg!

Consider Magnesium oxide now. Molecular weight of 40.30, so 60% Mg by mass. 100 mg of magnesium oxide has 60 mg magnesium.

I would guess that if you took Mg oxide with a meal, you'd get closer to 10% absorption (30 mg out of a 500 mg tablet). Essentially the same you get from 500 mg of Mg orotate. Orotate helps you absorb nearly all the Mg prsent, but it's takes a lot of bulk to do so. I'd venture a guess that the other forms of magnesium are in line with these two. Essentially out of 500 mg of Mg salt, you get about 30 mg of Mg taking into account counterions and pharmacokinetic absorption profiles.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:16 PM

I'm confused by the product label - zoom in to read for 360 mg magnesium orotate. Using the formula above 360 mg * 7% = 25.2 mg elemental magnesium yet the label says 50 mg. pureformulas.com/…

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:18 PM

I'm confused by the product label - zoom in to read for 360 mg magnesium orotate. Using the formula above 360 mg * 7% = 25.2 mg elemental magnesium yet the label says 50 mg. http://www.pureformulas.com/magnesium-orotate-360mg-100-capsules-by-priority-one.html

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:16 PM

I'm confused by the product label - zoom in to read for 360 mg magnesium orotate. Using the formula above 360 mg * 7% = 25.2 mg elemental magnesium yet the lavel says 50 mg. http://www.pureformulas.com/magnesium-orotate-360mg-100-capsules-by-priority-one.html

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on July 06, 2012
at 11:55 PM

I know the bottle says one capsule is a serving, but I think there's an error. The nutrition info is for 2 capsules.

1
510bdda8988ed0d4b0ec0b738b4edb73

(20888)

on July 06, 2012
at 08:42 PM

Dang, Matt beat me to it. He even included the Wikipedia link I would have. But just to reiterate. Look up the chemical formula of the complex you care about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_orotate

It's weight is about 334 daltons. Mg weighs 24 daltons, so Mg is 24/334ths or 7% Mg by weight. 200g of MgOrotate delivers 200*7% or 14g of Mg.

Matt covered the other important point, you actually need to absorb the Mg for it to be useful. It's possible that MgOrotate is more readily absorbed than other complexes. The only way to know is to take the supplement then measure your serum levels. But that's too complicated and expensive. So as always, go by how you look, feel, and perform.

I do a tablespoon of Natural Calm, I don't even know how much I'm taking as far as how much Mg I get, but I do know that it helps me sleep, it helps me perform because of the vasodialation, so I don't worry about it beyond that.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:17 PM

I'm confused by the product label - zoom in to read for 360 mg magnesium orotate. Using the formula above 360 mg * 7% = 25.2 mg elemental magnesium yet the label says 50 mg. pureformulas.com/

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:13 PM

I'm confused Magnesium Orotate 360 mg (per capsule) the first product mentioned abobe * 7% by this calculation = 25 mg of elemental magnesium yet the label for that product says 50 mg.

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:16 PM

I'm confused by the product label - zoom in to read for 360 mg magnesium orotate. Using the formula above 360 mg * 7% = 25.2 mg elemental magnesium yet the lavel says 50 mg. http://www.pureformulas.com/magnesium-orotate-360mg-100-capsules-by-priority-one.html

8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

(6259)

on July 06, 2012
at 10:20 PM

I'm confused by the product label - zoom in to read for 360 mg magnesium orotate. Using the formula above 360 mg * 7% = 25.2 mg elemental magnesium yet the label says 50 mg. http://www.pureformulas.com/magnesium-orotate-360mg-100-capsules-by-priority-one.html

0
89896799c295f913c1c3224df9d717f4

on May 30, 2013
at 08:24 AM

You can read more on bioavailability of magnesium salts here: http://www.jle.com/e-docs/00/04/15/FE/article.phtml

0
0e84c3d1553e77af594676e971e2aa4a

on November 13, 2012
at 11:57 PM

Chelates are the mineral bound to amino acids. The specific amino acid does matter. The ones I know about and have used are:

Mg Taurate is bound to Taurine, which has beneficial effects independent of the Mg.

Mg Aspartate is bound to Aspartic acid which is recommended for some conditions or panned because of its association with glutamate as an excitotoxin (and in Aspartame) though certainly milder and perhaps the net effect with the calming of Mg is mild stimulation which could be desirable. Depends on your baseline. Aspartate has been shown to have a mild anabolic androgenic effect. It is found in some sports/mineral supplements or capsules.

BTW, I have often pointed out to people that glutamate and glutamine are different aminos. That is true, but recently I ran across an explanation that glutamine too could contribute to excitotoxin effect and glutamate toxicity, along with NAC and a few other what could be called glutamate agonists. That may explain why glutamine, so often touted as a safe and useful supplement does not sit well with me.

Citrate and Malate are two simple organic acids, not amino acids, the first named for lemon, the second for apples. They play roles in the energy cycle. Malic acid or malate is often recommended (with Mg or separately) for chronic fatigue or similar conditions.

Mg bound to organic acids like citrate and malate or to inorganic acid/anion is called a salt. In solution the anions and cations are floating around mixed/distributed among other electrolyte species. Mg reacts to fatty acids to form soaps. See comment below.

Although very high in the Mg per unit weight category I personally think that slow Mag type Mg Cl is not a good source compared to those which depend partly on your body's own regulation of absorption. It is an unnatural way to take large quantities of Mg which you may not need. Mineral waters and even tap water in some places can have significant Mg in a mix of other minerals like Na and K. Studies have shown that in places with Mg rich water the rate of CHD is lower. Taurine is thought to be good for heart so the combination is frequently promoted for heart health.

Much more could be said but leaving it to what is most essential in choosing the supplement form. There are good Mg food sources too.

Too much Mg in the wrong form will be laxative... think Milk of Magnesia.

About the precipitate, I recall an explanation in fizzy mineral supplements that it's harmless, perhaps depends partly on your water hardness.

0e84c3d1553e77af594676e971e2aa4a

on November 14, 2012
at 02:47 AM

I apologize, multitasking and got some wires crossed when I was thinking about one idea and writing another. Mg and organic acids like malate and citrate are also salts. Mg + fatty acid is a soap. Some Mg in the diet is lost to soaps formed with fats eaten in the same meal. Some Mg is also reclaimed or absorbed because in the gut it reacts with the short chain fatty acids to form butyrate, acetic etc. MgCl can also be applied in the saturated solution to the skin (Mg oil) and some will be absorbed.

0e84c3d1553e77af594676e971e2aa4a

on November 14, 2012
at 12:19 AM

I used to have a collection of empty mineral water bottles purchased in Canada though including German, French, and Italian brands. Yay for Canada, they put more detailed analysis on their imported bottles than USA... also they have been labeling for Omega 3 many years... some truth to their national anthem "we stand on guard for thee." There are trade-offs between cost and good or bad contents. K and Mg are good, bicarbonate is good, some Iodine; Na, Cl, sulfate are not so good; after the good and not so good you may find the ugly which they give in max concentrations, like fluorine, arsenic.

0
D8612a7c536e74f9855b70d8e97919b5

(1042)

on November 13, 2012
at 12:32 PM

I have a followup question for someone with chemistry knowledge. Can anyone write out the formula for the reaction that occurs when I mix my magnesium citrate powder with hot water? A precipitate forms and sinks to the bottom of the cup. Does this percipitates contain magnesium, or is it a useless byproduct?

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