What Are the Benefits of Magnesium Chelate?

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A bottle of magnesium chelate spills out onto a white counter. (Image: milosducati/iStock/Getty Images)

Magnesium is an essential part of more than 300 metabolic reactions. You need magnesium to produce energy, synthesize DNA, maintain strong bones and keep your nerves, muscles and heart working normally. When you need to boost your magnesium intake, put chelated supplements at the top of your list because they’re absorbed better than other forms of magnesium.

Boost Magnesium Absorption

When it comes from a supplement, magnesium is poorly absorbed into your bloodstream. You'll get more of the mineral when it's connected to a substance that is easily absorbed, reports Thorne Research. This substance, called a chelate, is usually a type of acid. One chelated form used in supplements is magnesium citrate, but when the supplement is actually called magnesium chelate, it refers to magnesium united with amino acids. This type of magnesium and amino acid chelate produces a supplement that is absorbed better than any other form of magnesium, according to The AFIB Report.

Prevent or Treat Deficiency

Chelated supplements can help prevent or treat a deficiency. While it's best to get magnesium through foods, such as green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains, supplements can fill the gap when your diet falls short. Up to the age of 30, women should get 310 milligrams daily and men need 400 milligrams. After that, women need an additional 10 milligrams daily, while the amount for men increases by 20 milligrams. The average intake of magnesium is below the recommended dietary allowance, notes the Linus Pauling Institute, so talk to your health care provider if you have any questions about your intake.

Reduce Chronic Disease Risk

If your diet consistently falls short on magnesium, the resulting chronically low levels can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis and Type 2 diabetes, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. A significant association exists between the amount of magnesium you consume and your overall risk for cardiovascular disease, reported a review in PLoS One in March 2013. Getting enough magnesium in your diet also helps lower inflammation, which may fight health conditions accompanied by inflammation, such as diabetes and heart disease, according to a review in the February 2014 issue of the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Warnings and Interactions

Don’t take magnesium supplements if you have kidney disease. When your kidneys aren't working and you take large supplemental doses, your magnesium levels can get too high. You may experience diarrhea, nausea, vomiting or an upset stomach from taking too much chelated magnesium. When blood levels of magnesium get too high, it can lead to serious problems, such as a drop in blood pressure, difficulty breathing and cardiac arrest. Chelated magnesium can interfere with some medications. Consult your physician before using supplements if you also take blood thinners, digoxin for your heartbeat, muscle relaxants, antibiotics or medications for high blood pressure or diabetes.

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