Revisiting Magnesium

I wrote about Magnesium and Malate acid back in 2012. There are sites that takes you thru the pros and cons of different magnesiums such as MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENTS: DIFFERENT TYPES & DIFFERENT BENEFITS. I wish to do a short revisit by looking only at the pH of each because a hypothesis suggests that those having a higher pH (more alkaline) would likely have additional impact beyond just the magnesium.

  • Magnesium Gylcinate  9 – 11 [source] – $1.50/gram
  • Magnesium Oxide – 11.2   $ 0.02 /gram
  • Magnesium Citrate –  4.0 [source] [source]  $0.85/gram
  • Magnesium Malate – 7 – 11 [source]  $0.05/gram
  • Magnesium Taurate – 9-10 [source]  $1.00 /gram
  • Magnesium Threonate  -5.8 – 7 [source]  $ 0.50 /gram
  • Magnesium Carbonate – 10.41   $0.02 /gram
  • Magnesium Hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia) –  10.5  [source] $0.03/gram

There are three dimensions to consider:

  • Ability for magnesium to get absorbed (instead of just passing thru) — see link at top
  • pH of the product (more pH is usually better)
  • cost of the product.

Importance of Magnesium

Microbiome Dimension

pH factor

Optimal pH for Bifidobacterium bifidum is 7.0 [source] with other sources saying 6.5 – 7.0. Stomach acid is around 1.0-3.0.  This raise the question whether it may be good to take you bifidobacteria with magnesium instead of at a separate time..

From National Institute of Health site:

  • “Diets with higher amounts of magnesium are associated with a significantly lower risk of diabetes,”
  • “People who experience migraine headaches have lower levels of serum and tissue magnesium than those who do not.”
  • ” taking 300 mg magnesium twice a day, either alone or in combination with medication, can prevent migraines”
  • “Forms of magnesium most commonly reported to cause diarrhea include magnesium carbonate, chloride, gluconate, and oxide [11].”

Bottom Line

Magnesium impact on CFS etc may be because it encourages the growth of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria

Magnesium oxide/Magnesium Hydroxide are cited as less bioavailable. My conclusions today are still the same as in 2012, Magnesium Malate is the best bang for the buck (and bucks are always sparse for CFS patients!). Dosage should be determined by your MD, the literature indicated that 5000 mg/day can create problems with the young and the elderly, I would question more than 1000 mg/day and suggest that 600 mg/day (used to treat another condition successfully) may be warranted.

Note: Magnesium Malate tablets cited as 1250 mg is not 1250 mg of magnesium, just 425mg for three 1250mg tablets. That is  140 mg or magnesium per tablet, so 7 tablets of 1250mg per day would be needed to reach 1000 mg/day.


A very common mistake that CFS patients make in their brain fog is thinking that their dosage are sufficient. “Yes, I am taking Magnesium — it is in my multivitamin!” (Looking at Centrum multivitamins, I see there is 64 mg, approximately 1/10 of what may be needed to do corrective action for low magnesium).

As always, start with a low dosage and slowly work up.


THIS IS NOT MEDICAL ADVICE — this post is an education summary of what has been reported on PubMed. Always consult with a knowledgeable medical professional before changing diet, supplements and prescription drugs.