There are many forms of magnesium to choose from. If you’ve heard of ionic magnesium and wondered whether it’s different and better, you are in the right place.
In this post, we’ll explain how supplementing with ionic magnesium can help you achieve optimal health.
Specifically, we’ll talk about what ionic magnesium is, how it gets absorbed in your body and the biggest benefits of taking an easily-absorbable ionic magnesium supplement.
Ionic Magnesium 101
To explain what ionic magnesium is, let’s do a quick chemistry recap… going right back to the atom!
“Atoms are the basic units of matter. Everything in the universe apart from energy is made of matter therefore atoms make up everything in the universe… Atoms are made up of three particles known as subatomic particles: protons, neutrons and electrons”.(LiveScience, What is an atom?)
Naturally, all forms of magnesium are composed of atoms.
Each atom is made up of a specific combination of electrons, protons, and neutrons. Typically, the number of protons and electrons within an atom stays the same.
However, sometimes the number of electrons changes when the atom gains or loses an atom.When that happens, the electric charge (positive or negative) of the atom changes, because the number of electrons is no longer in balance with the number of protons.
These out-of-balance atoms—which we call “ions”—seek to attach to something, in order to level out their electron count. In ionic mineral supplements, this seeking behavior makes absorption easier on our bodies during digestion.
Ionic magnesium, for example, is a positively charged ion that is readily absorbed and used by the body. Other types of magnesium supplements are not ionic, and they simply pass through the gastrointestinal tract because they are not absorbed by the body.
In her book “The Magnesium Miracle,” Dr. Carolyn Dean says “…the amount of magnesium your tissues can use is based on how soluble the magnesium product is and the amount of elemental or ionic magnesium that is released.”
Ionic Magnesium is More Absorbable
Scientists have not yet determined the exact mechanism by which all magnesium absorption occurs, but we know that magnesium must be broken down into an ionic form to be absorbed in the small intestine and taken up into the bloodstream.
“The absorption of magnesium from oral supplementation occurs primarily in the small intestine with the majority of uptake occurring in the distal jejunum and the ileum. Once dissolved in the gastric fluid, magnesium salts dissociate, freeing the ionic magnesium.
The majority of the magnesium ions in the intestinal tract are taken up through passive processes mediated by electrochemical gradients and solvent drag, but some uptake occurs via an active transport system. Once absorbed by the intestine, magnesium ions enter the bloodstream for transport to other tissues and organs.”(Magnesium Absorption White Paper)
Ionic magnesium supplements deliver magnesium in a form that is more readily absorbed by our bodies.
In our small intestine, our intake of calcium and magnesium also impact absorption levels. Having a high calcium intake (common in North America) may decrease your absorption of magnesium.
Magnesium absorption may also be influenced by:
- Levels of parathyroid hormone (PTH)
- Vitamin D levels
- Taking glucocorticoids
If you suspect you’re not getting enough magnesium, it makes sense to choose an ionic magnesium supplement.
4 Key Benefits of Ionic Magnesium
There are many clinically-proven health benefits of magnesium. In fact, every cell in your body contains magnesium and needs it to function.
Approximately 60% of the magnesium in your body is found in your bones, and the rest is soft tissues, muscles, and fluids like blood. Magnesium is involved in more than 600 reactions in your body.
Here, we’ll share four key benefits of ionic magnesium… but there are countless reasons you should get enough!
1. Maintain Energy Levels
Fatigue is a common symptom of magnesium deficiency, because magnesium promotes the enzyme activity involved in energy production.
Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is an essential coenzyme involved in energy and metabolism, and ATP must bind with ionic magnesium to become biologically active.
Your body only stores a limited amount of ATP in your muscle tissue. As your level of physical activity increases, you deplete your stored ATP more quickly. This depletion means that ionic magnesium is particularly important for athletes or people who are just beginning a new fitness journey.
2. Build Strong Bones and Teeth
Repeated studies have shown that magnesium deficiency contributes directly to osteoporosis due to the way it acts on bone cells and crystal formation.
A 2016 study published in the Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research showed that ionic magnesium had a significant positive impact on the activity levels of osteoblasts, the cells responsible for new bone formation. More research is needed, but there is some evidence to support the conclusion that higher levels of magnesium can increase bone tissue formation.
In the study, researchers concluded:
“We argue that magnesium may enhance the [communication] between osteoblasts, and then promote the transfer of molecules between communicating cells. In this way, it would improve the response of osteoblasts to various stimulating signals.
These data provide further support for the hypothesis that stimulatory effects of magnesium ion on osteoblasts and osteogenesis activity are not only due to the direct binding and activation of their receptors, but also due to a direct action on the [communication] that coordinates bone remodeling.”
The scientists also spotlighted the potential of ionic magnesium in the development of future treatment of diseases like osteoporosis.
You also use magnesium in the production of the hard enamel in your teeth. Calcium only encourages the production of soft enamel in your teeth, which is more likely to decay – you need magnesium for strong, healthy enamel that lasts a lifetime.
3. Manage Mood
Magnesium plays a critical role in mood and brain function. Low levels of magnesium have been linked to an increased risk of depression.
One study published in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine analyzed over 8,800 people and found that people under the age of 65 with the lowest magnesium intake had a 22% higher risk of depression.
Supplementing with ionic magnesium may help reduce symptoms of depression.
4. Keep Your Cardiovascular System Healthy
Your nervous system is responsible for practically everything your body does – from respiration to circulation to senses like hearing and seeing.
The nervous system functions by sending messages in the form of electrical impulses. These impulses go from the brain to the muscles, and vice versa and that communication system relies on magnesium to operate properly.
When we are deficient in magnesium, we can experience symptoms like nervousness, irritability, heart palpitations, and muscle twitches.
Magnesium is also inversely related to coronary artery calcification. One study showed that patients with low serum magnesium levels had a 36% increase in the risk of dying from coronary heart disease and a 54% increase in sudden cardiac death, compared to those with mid to high levels.
Natural Calm® is Ionic Magnesium Citrate
The list of health benefits of magnesium is long, but studies show that 70% of people are deficient in this vital mineral. Most Canadians don’t get enough magnesium from their diets, and lifestyle factors like high stress can increase your daily magnesium needs.
If you are having trouble sourcing or absorbing the magnesium you need every day, a high-quality magnesium supplement that is easy for your small intestine to absorb may be the right choice for you.
Award-winning Natural Calm® magnesium citrate powder becomes ionic when dissolved in hot water. It works fast because the ionic magnesium in Natural Calm® gets absorbed quickly and easily at the cellular level.
Try Natural Calm® today and discover the difference!