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What Are the Different Uses for Different Types of Magnesium Supplements? How Many Different Types of Magnesium Supplements Are There?

There are many different types of magnesium: 
  • magnesium glycinate (often called chelated magnesium)
  • magnesium aspartate
  • magnesium taurate
  • magnesium orotate
  • magnesium citrate
  • magnesium oxide 
The typical uses of magnesium supplements are to support bone and muscle health, as well as cardiovascular health and nervous system function.  As far as the different uses for different types of magnesium we wouldn’t make a distinction, as it is the elemental magnesium that is present that is providing the nutritional benefit. 

The only real distinction we would make is that there are some forms that are easier to absorb and utilize than other forms…for example:  magnesium oxide is the most common magnesium supplement, but it is also the most difficult to absorb and use. So some people may experience loose stool from it because they are not absorbing it very well.  Magnesium citrate is a little better absorbed than magnesium oxide and may be a little less likely to cause gastro intestinal distress.  The following forms of magnesium are the best in terms of absorption and body use: 
  • glycinate
  • aspartate
  • taurate
  • orotate
This question was answered by a trained product specialist at Swanson Health Products. Do you have a question you’d like answered? Send them via email to

(Note: as per industry regulations, we cannot and will not answer medical questions, make treatment or diagnosis recommendations or comment on disease inquiries. Such questions must be answered by your doctor or professional healthcare provider.)


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