Thursday, September 26, 2013

How Do I Choose the Best Magnesium Supplement?

How do I choose the best form of magnesium supplement to take? This is a question many are asking themselves.  There are always new descriptive words coming out to declare the new best… “ionic”, “pico”, “trace”, “nano”, “angstrom”, “liquid”, “powder”, “capsule”, “tablet”.  What do these terms mean? How can they help me to determine which is best for me?  Have these same questions crossed your mind?

I am the kind of person who wants things simplified so that my personal health and wellness goals don’t have to be so difficult to achieve, so I break things down.  I wanted to share what I came up with for others who may be struggling with the same confusing ideas around introducing dietary supplements into their worlds.

Supplement Form:
Let’s first talk about the SIZE factor with minerals. It seems logical to me that a liquid would absorb faster than a powder, capsule, or tablet.  The powder, capsules, and tablets would have to go through the digestive system to be broken down by our bodies to be able to absorb any of the mineral at all.  How much would actually be absorbed? According to Livestrong Magazine, the supplements in pill form are only 5-20% absorbed by the body.  Why is this? The liquid form doesn’t really make it to the digestive system. Instead, it is more readily absorbed into the bloodstream because of the size.  Now, all liquids are not necessarily created equal either.  There are a variety of magnesium supplements available in the market today. Which is the smallest and most effective? I looked on several conversion charts for this answer.  Angstrom sized is the smallest and most cell-ready available.  All liquid supplements are not necessarily angstrom sized.  Some liquids are boasting “nano” or “pico” sized.  According to the conversion charts that I looked at, those are larger still than the angstrom sized.  So when referring to the size, I believe in going with a supplement that is angstrom sized for the most affective absorption for my body.
“Ionic” is a word that is being used a lot today as well.  This is how the mineral is bonded.  It is considered to be an ionic bond or a covalent bond. 

Supplement Concentration:
In addition to the “size”, there are also many different concentrations.  It is important to know the concentration, parts per million (ppm), or milligrams (mg) per serving, etc.  People have said they were taking a teaspoon of a specific mineral and think that would be the measurement they would go with.  However, every mineral is packaged according to that brand’s concentration criteria.  Be sure to know the amount of the mineral you are actually getting per serving.  They can also be recognized as “regular strength” or “professional strength”.  It is very important to know the difference.

Know your Deficiency or Symptoms of Deficiency:
There are tests to help you determine your level of deficiency. Tests can show conflicting results for minerals if they are in the blood or in the cells.  Magnesium for example is cellular.  Many times, a blood test will show normal while the cellular test will indicate a deficiency.  So testing can be confusing.  Iron on the other hand, will show up accurately in the blood test.  In my opinion, it is critical to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of deficiencies, as well as the kind of testing that you need to better determine which minerals you need and their dosages.  Many times, if a person is slightly deficient, it may be adequate to just supplement with the regular maintenance level serving size.  If an individual is experiencing issues surrounding a specific deficiency, they may need to increase the amount according to their unique circumstances surrounding their symptoms.  This is certainly something that could be discussed with your healthcare provider, whether it is a doctor who is knowledgeable in nutrition or someone who specializes in nutritional healing.

Know your Ingredients:
I personally don’t like having fillers or other ingredients in the supplements I am taking!  I prefer to have just the mineral itself.  This does a couple of things to set my mind at ease.  It assures me that I am getting just what I need in the specific mineral I am taking AND there will be less of a risk of experiencing undesirable side effects from taking the supplement.  Be sure to read the ingredients list when considering which supplement you are going to choose.

As wonderful as it would be to be able to get all of the minerals through a healthy diet, it just doesn’t seem possible in today’s world.  Our lives are so busy, it is easy to get caught up in eating convenience foods, processed foods, and fast foods.  It takes time to prepare the right foods and even then, you may not be getting enough of the mineral according to what your specific health needs may require. 

I am not a doctor or healthcare provider, so I cannot advise, prescribe, or recommend products for issues a person may be experiencing.  However, I feel like taking responsibility for achieving our own health and wellness goals is important.  It is my personal determination that the angstrom liquid minerals are the best choice for me in taking dietary supplements.  For magnesium specifically, it means better absorption without the frustrating side effect of diarrhea!

I hope this article has been helpful in answering some of the questions you may have in regards to choosing the best magnesium supplement for you!

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