Magnesium gluconate is a mineral supplement you can use to prevent and treat low amounts of magnesium in your blood, also known as hypomagnesemia.
In this post, we’ll explore the benefits of taking magnesium supplements, discuss the special conditions you need to watch out for if you take magnesium gluconate, and talk about a potential alternative to this type of magnesium.
What Is Magnesium Gluconate?
Magnesium gluconate is commonly sold under the brand names Magtrate, Mag-G, Optimum Magnesium Gluconate, Almora, and Magonate Natal. It is available over the counter as an electrolyte replenishment.
Magnesium gluconate is a magnesium salt of gluconic acid. It has the formula MgC12H22O14. Gluconic acid is found abundantly in plants, honey and wine, and can be prepared commercially using a fermentation process.
Research on magnesium gluconate as an oral supplement dates back to the 1950s, when it was referenced as “a new magnesium preparation”.
Since the 1950s, there have been a number of studies, some of which suggest magnesium gluconate is similar in efficacy to other types, such as magnesium sulphate. Other studies suggest that magnesium gluconate is more effective, but there is no conclusive evidence either way, which is true of most supplements.
Magnesium gluconate appears to be well-absorbed, but contains only a small amount of elemental magnesium (5%). Elemental magnesium is what’s left when the gluconic acid is separated from the magnesium element, and elemental magnesium is what our body uses.
For context, magnesium citrate contains 16% elemental magnesium, which is over 3x the concentration of magnesium per dose relative to magnesium gluconate.
The low level of elemental magnesium could be why at least one animal study showed that the therapeutic dose of magnesium gluconate was 500 to 1000mg per kg of feed.
In a human study on “Oral low-dose magnesium gluconate preventing pregnancy induced hypertension”, 51 women were given either a placebo or “low-dose magnesium gluconate” of 3 grams per day (or 3,000 mg).
Remember that 3,000 mg of magnesium gluconate contains only about 150 mg of elemental magnesium, which is far less than other types such as magnesium citrate. Still, such large doses would be impractical for most people desiring to increase magnesium levels.
Why Supplement With Magnesium Gluconate or Any Other Magnesium?
More than 34% of Canadian adults don’t meet the estimated average requirement of daily magnesium of approximately 265 milligrams a day for women and 350 milligrams a day for men. Lifestyle factors like high stress, poor diet, or alcohol dependence can also increase your daily magnesium needs.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, and every cell in your body needs magnesium to function.
Many people take magnesium supplements to treat or prevent headaches, including severe migraine headaches.
Magnesium supplements can also be used to promote regular bowel movements by drawing water into your intestines and stimulating the movement of food through your digestive tract.
Magnesium can also help you:
Magnesium helps you regulate brain function and stabilize mood. In medical studies, low serum magnesium levels have been linked to increased rates of depression.
Maintain heart health
People with low serum magnesium levels have a significantly higher chance of dying from coronary heart disease. They also carry a higher risk of sudden cardiac death, compared to people who have mid to high magnesium levels.
Magnesium is a crucial part of maintaining a healthy heartbeat. Like all muscles in your body, your heart muscles rely on interactions between calcium and magnesium to contract and relax. Calcium stimulates the heart muscle fibres to shorten and contract, and magnesium blocks the flow of calcium, which allows the fibres to relax.
Build strong bones and teeth
Magnesium is the most abundant mineral in cartilage and bone tissue during the initial stages of osteogenesis. Higher magnesium levels increase activity levels of osteoblasts, which can increase bone tissue formation. You also use magnesium to create tool enamel.
Your body needs magnesium for the production and stability of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which provides energy for basic bodily processes. Magnesium also helps convert the glucose in your food into energy in your body, so getting enough magnesium can help keep up your energy levels and prevent fatigue.
Symptoms of Low Magnesium Levels
Early signs of magnesium deficiency include:
- Loss of appetite
- Numbness or tingling
- Muscle contractions and cramps
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Elevated heart rate
(Learn more about signs of low magnesium here.)
Talk to your doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. If you have low serum magnesium levels, talk to your healthcare provider about potentially supplementing your diet with magnesium citrate.
How to Take Magnesium Gluconate
Take your magnesium gluconate supplement as directed and follow all of your healthcare provider and pharmacist’s directions. Take magnesium gluconate with food and a full glass of water, unless otherwise directed by your doctor.
If you are taking an extended-release or delayed-release magnesium gluconate tablet or capsule, do not crush or chew the medication. Swallow the capsule or tablet whole to avoid releasing all the medication into your system at one time.
If your medication is in liquid form, use a measuring device or cup to ensure the correct dosage, and shake the bottle vigorously before taking your medication.
Precautions When Taking Magnesium Gluconate
If you are on prescription medications, talk to your doctor before taking taking magnesium gluconate or any other supplements.
You should also speak to your doctor before taking a supplement if:
- You have intestinal disease, or stomach problems
- You have or have ever had kidney disease
- You are pregnant or plan to become pregnant, or if you are breast-feeding (though magnesium is generally very safe)
Taking magnesium gluconate can make it harder for your body to absorb other medicines, which can make them less effective. Ask your doctor how long you should wait between doses of magnesium gluconate and any of the following medicines:
- Osteoporosis medication
- Medicines to treat Paget’s disease
- Thyroid medication
In addition, ask your doctor or pharmacist if it is safe to take magnesium gluconate if you take any of the following drugs:
- Other medications that include magnesium, like many antacids
- Tetracycline (Panmycin, Achromycin V, Sumycin)
- Cellulose sodium phosphate
- Digoxin (Lanoxin)
- Sodium polystyrene sulfonate
- Nitrofurantoin (Macrobid, Furadantin, Macrodantin),
- Penicillamine ( Depen Titratable, Cuprimine)
Other drugs may interact with magnesium gluconate, and not all interactions are listed in this article. Check with your healthcare provider about any potential drug interactions.
Our disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most current information possible, but medications affect each person differently. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Before you start taking any medications, discuss any possible side effects or interactions with your healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
Should You Take Magnesium Gluconate?
Magnesium gluconate supplements only provide a small amount of elemental magnesium, so you may not want to rely on this type of supplement to maintain a healthy serum level.
As an alternative, magnesium citrate is an excellent choice as an overall supplement to help:
- Support a calm mood
- Promote healthy sleep
- Relieve constipation
- Eliminate cramping
- Boost energy and metabolism
Your body easily absorbs magnesium citrate molecules in your intestines, so they can be carried to cells throughout your body.
Award-winning Natural Calm® is a delicious magnesium supplement that dissolves in liquid, creating a fizzy beverage you can drink hot or cold.
Just one teaspoon of Natural Calm delivers 205 milligrams of magnesium, which is about half the recommended daily allowance for men and about two-thirds of the daily allowance for women.
Explore our shop today to find a Natural Calm® supplement that tastes great and boosts your mental and physical health.