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How Do I Choose the Best Magnesium Chloride?

Supplemental magnesium is beneficial for the body because it is difficult to meet requirements of this vital nutrient through food sources alone.
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  • Written By: Jennifer Voight
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2014
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Magnesium chloride dietary supplements are available in many different forms, including tablets, flakes, and magnesium chloride oil. When choosing a magnesium chloride supplement, it important to consider the amount of magnesium in the supplement and the form, because non-oral supplements can prevent the laxative effect present when taking magnesium orally. Tablets may also have an enteric coating to help prevent stomach upset. Hydrated magnesium chloride flakes or magnesium oil is thought to increase bioavailability of magnesium in the supplement and may be taken either orally or transdermally.

Supplemental magnesium is beneficial for the body because it is difficult to meet requirements of this vital nutrient through food sources alone. An average-sized adult needs roughly 400 mg of magnesium daily. When choosing a magnesium supplement, it’s important to consider both the amount present in the supplement and how bioavailable it is. Magnesium chloride is a form of magnesium that is extracted from sea water and is one of the most bioavailable forms of inorganic magnesium, next to magnesium lactate, an organic form of magnesium.

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Magnesium supplements are available in several different forms. The body best utilizes magnesium chloride when it is in ionic form, meaning it must be dissolved in water to be available for use by the body. For this reason, magnesium supplements are often available as magnesium oil. The name is a bit of a misnomer, because magnesium is dissolved in water, not oil. It has an oily feel that gives it its name. Magnesium chloride oil can be rubbed onto the skin or sprayed on, which allows it to be absorbed quickly and bypass possible digestive upset.

Another consideration when choosing a magnesium chloride supplement is the presence of calcium in the supplement. Magnesium can improve the absorption of calcium, but calcium can negatively affect the absorption of magnesium. This may or may not be a concern, based on personal goals, especially in light of the fact that magnesium chloride absorbs well in the body.

The presence of an enteric coating on an oral magnesium supplement can be a benefit or a drawback. An enteric coating prevents stomach upset by slowing the rate at which magnesium dissolves in the digestive tract, but it can decrease the rate of absorption. As magnesium chloride supplements cause less stomach upset than other, less absorbable forms of magnesium, like the poorly absorbed magnesium oxide, an enteric coating may not be needed.

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