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Oral vs Topical

April 28, 2022 3 min read

ORAL VS TOPICAL

The countless remarkable stories of healing and recovery are what spur us on to do what we do.


We want everyone to experience the benefits of optimal Magnesium, regardless of the form or delivery method you choose, and as you may have noticed, there are a few options out there, some more or less effective than others. Allow us to remove the confusion!

Oral Supplementation

Many people report amazing benefits from taking Magnesium orally, especially when done consistently over a period of weeks and months. If you're considering it, here's what you need to know.

Magnesium has a large molecular structure and our body requires a lot of it, however absorption rates vary, ranging between just 4% and 50%, gastro-intestinal tolerance is generally low and digestive discomfort and diarrhea are a common side effect.

So what to do?

Tips for maximizing absorption and reducing side effects.

  1. Opt for a powder to avoid having to swallow multiple large tablets in order to reach a therapeutic dose.
  2. Divide your doses and spread them throughout the day.
  3. Start with 100mg, slowly increasing until you reach GI tolerance and then back off a little to find your individual dose.
  4. Opt for a more bioavailable form.

Types of oral magnesium.

  1. Magnesium Glycinate - a chelated form of magnesium bound to the amino acid Glycine which allows for better absorption and higher GI tolerance than other forms. Glycine itself has a relaxing effect on the nervous system. We like this option, but it is significantly pricier.

  2. Magnesium Citrate - inexpensive and commonly used in oral supplements as a great all rounder. Absorption varies greatly between individuals and GI tolerance can be low, causing diarrhea at therapeutic doses.

  3. Magnesium Malate - Again absorption and bowel tolerance varies. When well tolerated, Magnesium Malate may be specifically beneficial for the neuromuscular system and symptoms of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.

  4. Magnesium Oxide - This is the form usually prescribed by a GP because it is inexpensive, however it's very poorly absorbed, often used as a laxative as it causes diarrhea, we don't recommend supplementing with this form.


Topical (transdermal) Magnesium

Applied Topically, Magnesium Chloride is quickly absorbed via the skin directly into the tissues, the extracellular fluid and the bloodstream where it is transported quickly throughout the body. Studies have shown that transdermal supplementation brings up cellular magnesium levels in a shorter space of time.

Types of Topical Magnesium.

  1. Magnesium Chloride - Highly bioavailable, quickly absorbed, inexpensive, and due to being naturally sourced from salt lakes, it also contains beneficial trace elements.

  2. Magnesium Sulfate- also known as Epsom salts, used in the bath for relaxation and detoxification. Epsom salts are now manufactured by combining Magnesium with Sulfur, as natural sources are depleted.

Benefits of Topical Magnesium

  1. It works quickly on specific areas of pain or tension such as cramps, sore joints, restless legs or tight neck and shoulders as it's possible to saturate the tissues with a higher dose of magnesium exactly where needed.

  2. By avoiding the gastrointestinal tract altogether, there are no unwelcome side effects and absorption is uninhibited by other minerals such as calcium, or phytates present in grains and legumes, both of which compete with magnesium for absorption.

  3. It's inexpensive and highly convenient and can be used to give relief any time, anywhere, without needing to swallow several large tablets or mix up a powder on the go.

  4. It can be safely used alongside oral supplements to give you an extra boost, target a particular area or increase overall intake without upsetting the digestive system.



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