Magnesium l-threonate, also known as magnesium threonate, is a synthesized form of magnesium that forms when threonic acid combines with magnesium. Threonic acid is a byproduct that occurs when vitamin C breaks down metabolically.
This form of magnesium may have potential brain-related benefits and could be useful for managing certain brain disorders like age-related memory loss and depression.
Magnesium threonate is in a group of “magnesium amino acids” that do not rely on the absorption of elemental magnesium in the digestive system. Instead, magnesium amino acids depend on the biochemical processes that break down proteins.
This group of magnesium amino acids includes magnesium lysinate, magnesium taurate, magnesium orotate, and magnesium glycinate, as well as magnesium threonate.
In this post, we’ll look at what magnesium threonate is and examine the latest research on the potential benefits of taking it.
The Potential Benefits of Magnesium Threonate
Evidence suggests that maintaining normal levels of magnesium may reduce the risk of dementia and other age-related disorders.
There is a challenge, however: Some forms of oral magnesium do not easily pass through the blood-brain barrier (the brain’s protective filter), so increasing the level of magnesium ions in the brain can be difficult.
However, some animal studies have shown that taking magnesium threonate is a more effective way to increase magnesium concentrations in the brain than taking magnesium sulphate.
Magnesium l-threonate has been around only since 2010, so it does not have a long history of use – but there have been numerous studies on it. Research suggests that it may improve short and long-term memory performance and enhance learning abilities in older rats. Some preclinical studies also show that treatment with a magnesium threonate (MgT) compound could:
- Suppress the formation of amyloid-beta plaque, decrease inflammation, and improve cognition in Alzheimer’s disease mice models
- Increase synaptic density
- Increase and enhance the production of new neurons in young and aged mice
- Lessen the psychological and cognitive effects of traumatic brain injury
Research has shown that magnesium deficiency may be associated with a higher incidence of Parkinson’s disease, but giving patients magnesium sulphate doesn’t elevate magnesium concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) enough to offset the deficiencies.
A 2019 study in the medical journal Neuropsychology Disease and Treatment concluded that administration of magnesium threonate could elevate magnesium concentration in the CSF, when compared with magnesium sulphate, thereby protecting against the dopamine neuron loss and motor deficits associated with Parkinson’s.
A biopharmaceutical company called Neurocentria, Inc. is also developing a magnesium threonate oral compound under the brand name MMFS-01. Neurocentria has published clinical trial results indicating that MMFS-01 can substantially improve cognitive function in older adults. Neurocentria says:
“The double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial demonstrated with high statistical significance (p <0.01) that MMFS-01 improved subjects’ overall cognitive ability, as determined by a composite score of tests in four major cognitive domains: executive function, working memory, attention and episodic memory…In addition, it achieved statistical significance in just six weeks of treatment. For comparable drugs, statistical significance has been seen after a much longer timeframe, ranging from 12 to 72 weeks.”
The clinical study measured executive function performance to measure the “brain age” of participants, and the brain age of the patients taking MMFS-01 improved by nine years after just six weeks of treatment. Researchers reported little change in the brain age of patients who received a placebo in the trial.
Magnesium Threonate Dosage
Very few magnesium supplements contain magnesium l-threonate, so read product labels carefully if you are looking for this particular type for brain benefits. Magnesium l-threonate is available in a generic form, but Neurocentria is still working on developing and launching their brand name oral compound, MMFS-01.
Currently, there is no recommended daily allowance for magnesium threonate, but some companies sell supplements of up to 1500-2000 milligrams (mg) per dose.
The recommended dietary allowance for elemental magnesium is approximately 400 to 420 mg for men and 310 to 360 mg for women – however, a dose of 2000 mg of magnesium L-threonate only contains 144 mg of elemental magnesium.
Elemental magnesium is the amount of actual magnesium in a supplement. Since magnesium can only be taken as a compound (combined with other molecules), a magnesium supplement is never pure magnesium. Different types of magnesium compounds have different amounts of elemental magnesium. Magnesium threonate happens to have a lower percent of elemental magnesium, so the doses appear to be much higher.
Potential Side Effects of Magnesium Threonate
Taking a magnesium threonate supplement — or any other form of magnesium — could cause side effects, including:
- Abdominal cramping
Ingesting more than 5,000 milligrams (mg) of magnesium can cause magnesium toxicity. The symptoms of magnesium toxicity include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Urine retention
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle weakness
- Heart problems
- Severe nausea and vomiting
If you experience any of these symptoms, stop using magnesium threonate and call 911 or your doctor immediately.
Our disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most current information possible, but medications affect each person differently. We cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects of magnesium threonate, and 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.
Possible Interactions with Magnesium Threonate
Magnesium supplements may interact with or reduce the efficacy of other medications. We recommend that you give your healthcare provider a list of all the herbs, supplements, over-the-counter drugs, and prescription medications you are currently taking. They can help you determine whether there are interactions between your medications and supplements.
Why You Should Consider More Than Just Magnesium Threonate to Meet Your Magnesium Needs
While magnesium l-threonate may be useful as a brain supplement, it may not be ideal as your main magnesium supplement.
Because magnesium l-threonate supplements only provide a small amount of elemental magnesium, you may not want to rely on this type of supplement to maintain healthy magnesium levels. You would have to take a significant dose of magnesium l-threonate to meet your daily magnesium needs.
Magnesium is important not just for brain health but to support healthy sleep, a calm mood, relaxed muscles, and nerves. There are many benefits of magnesium citrate beyond these primary reasons that people take the supplement. Relief from constipation, PMS, migraines, headaches, and cramping are a handful of common reasons people use magnesium. Heart health and improved metabolism are also longer-term benefits, and healthy magnesium levels are associated with lower rates of disease, including diabetes, kidney disease, and more.
However, most people don’t get enough from diet. To keep your magnesium levels high every day, you may wish to consider another magnesium supplement that contains more elemental magnesium.
Using Magnesium Citrate to Boost Your Magnesium Levels
Magnesium citrate contains over 2x the elemental magnesium per gram as magnesium l-threonate. Magnesium citrate molecules are easily absorbed in the intestines, so they can be carried to cells throughout the body. Many people notice a rapid calming effect on the mind.
Award-winning Natural Calm® magnesium citrate powder 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: about half of what men need every day and about 2/3 of what women need.
Explore our shop today to find a Natural Calm® supplement that not only tastes great but will also help you feel better mentally and physically.