Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body, yet approximately 80% of Americans aren’t getting enough of this vital nutrient. Magnesium helps direct a large number of physiological processes and over 300 enzyme functions. Magnesium is needed for the synthesis of the master antioxidant glutathione and assists energy metabolism and protein synthesis. It’s absolutely essential, but we can’t always depend on adequate intake from our foods. Firstly, as our bodies age, nutrient absorption becomes less refined. Secondly, modern farming methods and the use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers deplete our soil and food of magnesium. Medications we are using may also inhibit magnesium absorption.
Supplementing with magnesium is a wise safeguard, but not all forms of magnesium are created equal. A newer form of magnesium called magnesium L-threonate is showing the most potential in both absorption capabilities and cell membrane and tissue penetration, making it a promising aid in boosting cognitive function.
The brain learns and stores information by creating new connections between neurons. When connections, or synapses, start to falter, then the brain begins to lose its pliability, and age-related memory decline kicks in. Magnesium is involved in the formation of neuron connections and synapses, and therefore an essential nutrient for learning and memory processes.
Unlike other forms of magnesium, magnesium L-threonate has the unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and fortify synapse formation. An animal study published in the journal Neuron showed that magnesium L-threonate enhanced learning skills, working memory, short- and long-term memory, and quality of sleep.
Supplementing with Magnesium L-Threonate
MIT researchers developed a patented form of magnesium L-threonate called Magtein®, the most extensively studied to date. Because it’s formulated in a water/glycerin mix, it’s highly absorbable and potentially able to raise magnesium levels in the brain, unlike conventional magnesium supplements. It’s also free of magnesium stearate, which is used in many magnesium supplements. Magnesium stearate, however, is not magnesium, but a compound used to prevent supplements from sticking together, and it can block nutrient absorption.
Experts recommend taking 1 gram of magnesium L-threonate in the afternoon and 1 gram in the evening. Food is not required for absorption. It’s always advisable to follow the recommendations of your healthcare provider when supplementing with any vitamin, mineral, or herb.