Magnesium Carbonate, Citrate, Glycinate: What’s The Difference?

Magnesium Carbonate vs Citrate

Magnesium Carbonate Vs Citrate

I think it’s fair to say that magnesium has gone from the shadows to the centre stage.

Nine years ago, Linda and Dale were educating people on the basics: what is magnesium; why we’re almost universally deficient; how deficiency translates to symptoms and disease.

Today, we get a lot more nodding heads and knowing smiles.

Of course, those in the know are not a random sample of the population. I’m talking about the types who come to wellness shows and shop at health stores; the types who can debate the merits of magnesium citrate versus magnesium glycinate.

Magnesium Citrate Versus Other Compounds

Whether you’re in on this debate or completely baffled, let me make it clear.

Magnesium supplements come in the form of compounds. The magnesium ion (Mg2+) is combined with a ‘salt’, an ‘acid’ or an amino acid chelate to maintain the mineral ion in a stable form suitable for consumption.

Natural Calm is magnesium citrate, in its final state. And here comes a bit of chemistry – bear with us.

In the bottle, Natural Calm is magnesium carbonate and citric acid. When combined with water, it becomes magnesium citrate via a natural, chemical reaction that binds the two molecules together in a highly absorbable form.

If you use hot water, the reaction will occur immediately and you will know the product is fully converted into magnesium citrate when the fizzing has settled. If you add cold water, the reaction can take up to 15 minutes.

The final product, once dissolved, is ready to be rapidly absorbed, used up in the hundreds of reactions for which your body requires magnesium.

“Dissolved” is the key word here. When it comes to choosing a magnesium supplement, you most definitely need to look for a liquid. Capsules and pills must be broken down and dissolved by our bodies – an extra, wasteful step.

Dr. Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, and author of The Magnesium Miracle explains, “Natural Calm has it over any pill or even capsule because you dissolve it in water. It’s that dissolution that ionizes magnesium and makes it much better absorbed.“

But why citrate over other compounds?

As the chart below illustrates, not all magnesium compounds are created equal. Some are simply more ‘bio-available’ – that is, more readily absorbed. Magnesium citrate, as you can see, gets the top score here.

Magnesium glycinate is a close second, and we’re sometimes asked why we prefer citrate over glycinate.

Well-known author and magnesium expert, Dr. Daniel Crisafi NDA, MH, Ph.D., puts it this way:

“The difference between citrate and glycinate absorption in favor of magnesium citrate is due to the fact that many individuals lack sufficient hydrochloric acid (HCI) to absorb magnesium efficiently and magnesium citrate does not require HCl.”

Relative Bio-availability of Different Magnesium Compounds

Magnesium Carbonate vs Citrate
Table by Dr. Crisafi Comparing Bioavailability of Magnesium Forms

Source: Daniel J Crisafi, NDA, MH, PhD

If you zoom in on this table, you’ll see that Dr. Crisafi ranks magnesium citrate as the most bioavailable form of magnesium, above the next form, magnesium glycinate, with magnesium malate coming in third.

2017 Update:

To confirm what we know about Natural Calm’s absorbability, we commissioned research by Dr. John Power, Ph.D., Microbiology and a Partner and Scientific Advisor at Gowling in Ottawa. He conducted an arm’s length review of all available peer-reviewed scientific research comparing forms of magnesium.

The results show what we’ve always said: our magnesium citrate is one of the most absorbable, if not the most absorbable form of magnesium. Check out the white paper here.

So there you have it!

What matters, ultimately, is whether a supplement increases cellular levels of magnesium. A supplement that gets the magnesium to the cells, where it’s needed, is a bio-available supplement. Dr. Powers’ research paper shows that magnesium citrate is not only well-absorbed, it’s highly bioavailable, as demonstrated by blood serum measures.

Now that you’re an expert on magnesium, pay it forward! Think of one person you know who wouldn’t typically read up on health and give them the Coles notes.

Are they stressed out, sleeping poorly, suffering from headaches, muscle pain and cramps? If they have these symptoms – or even more serious issues, like heart issues and diabetes – magnesium can help.

Tell them to check out Natural Calm. You may just save a life – magnesium is, after all, ‘the spark of life’.

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