I just recently had a patient ask me about magnesium for her muscle cramps and another family mention that magnesium made their child hyperactive instead of calming them down. Like many things, the consumer is bombarded with many different choices and how do you know which supplement or form of magnesium is right for you?
Let's first think about why we're supplementing:
I give a patient a supplement to either replenish a deficiency, support a physiological process, or actually try and achieve a specific therapeutic action. Based on the two examples above, one person is struggling with muscle cramps and another person is struggling from hyperactivity and anxiety. Two very different complaints but both talking about magnesium.
What is magnesium busy doing in our bodies?
The contraction of muscles and an overexcited brain have everything to do with the nervous system so it's safe to guess that magnesium is working with the nerves to achieve something. That something is basically calming down the nerve to nerve or nerve to cell communication is a way that puts you back into homeostasis, or a place of balance. Of course, this isn't all magnesium is doing. It's busy being a co-enzyme that basically provides building blocks or 'rocket fuel' for chemical processes in the body, helping the cells replicate and repair themselves, make cell energy, and many many more things. The point is, magnesium is important and really can be indicated for most health conditions.
But what form?
Magnesium will always be bound to something for enhanced absorption, stabilization, or to enhance a specific action in the body that magnesium can do.
Muscle cramps, spasms: Magnesium Citrate or Magnesium Glycinate *As always think about the whole picture because magnesium isn't the only mineral involved in muscle contractions.
AD(H)D, Anxiety, Focus issues: Mg+ Glycinate, Threonate, or Taurate