Magnesium chloride: what is it for and how to take the supplement

Approximately 80% of the population should use magnesium chloride . This is because, according to the nutritionist Tamara Mazaracki, this is the estimate of people deficient in this mineral.

“The absence of this substance is harmful to the whole body, as it is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions essential to life. In other words, the mineral is necessary for the health of the heart, brain, teeth , bones, muscles and several other tissues”, he explained.

To explain the importance of magnesium, Mazaracki makes an association between the functioning of our body and that of plants, which have the mineral at the center of the chlorophyll molecule.

“It is what captures sunlight and transforms it into energy in a process known as photosynthesis, that is, in plants this substance transforms light into food. When there is a deficiency of magnesium, the plant withers, loses its vigor and starts to die. We’re like that too: we couldn’t breathe, move our muscles or use our brains without enough magnesium in our cells.”

The big problem is that the body only absorbs 20 to 50% of the mineral ingested, which is easily found in green leafy vegetables . In this way, most of the compound passes directly through the intestine and is eliminated, which does not happen with magnesium chloride, which among the different types of mineral is the one with the greatest absorption by the body.

What is magnesium chloride and what is it for?

According to pharmacist Ianca Pereira, this mineral supplement is composed of magnesium and chloride ion, and its chemical formula is MgCl2. “It is indicated for patients who report fatigue , bone pain, magnesium deficiency and also as an adjuvant in the treatment of diabetes”, cites the pharmacy professional.

In addition, Tamara Mazaracki explains that it has a direct action on the production of the body’s energy molecule, on the functioning of the heart muscle and on the formation of bones and teeth. It is also important in blood vessel relaxation, bowel function, and many other organs and tissues.

What are the benefits?

“Magnesium stabilizes cellular DNA, promotes its replication and transcription: if its level is low, it can accelerate cell aging”, warns the doctor. For her, the mineral has a curative versatility in human health, so it can be used as a treatment for some problems, such as:

  • Migraine
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Insomnia
  • Pain
  • Memory
  • Arterial hypertension
  • Diabetes.

Does he lose weight?

According to the nutrologist, there is no relationship between the mineral and weight loss . To be able to lose weight for real, it is necessary to combine a balanced diet with the practice of physical exercise, doing both continuously and accompanied by professionals in the area.


In the human body, almost all magnesium is stored inside cells and only 1% circulates in the bloodstream, so blood tests do not show the mineral deficiency correctly. The more metabolically active organs, such as the brain, heart , liver and kidneys, have a higher concentration of this substance. About 60% of this mineral is stored in bones, 26% in muscles and the remaining 14% is distributed throughout organs, tissues and body fluids.

How to take this supplement?

“The powdered magnesium chloride that is sold in pharmacies, usually comes with 33 g to be diluted with water. The capsules, on the other hand, have the advantage of being able to manipulate the dosage and standardize it for each patient, according to their needs, which is why it is important to use them with medical advice”, indicates pharmacist Ianca Pereira.

Regarding the minimum daily dose, the nutrologist recommends 400 mg for men and 310 mg for women , but the supplementary dose varies between 400 and 1,000 mg per day, depending on each case and the patient’s age. “The ideal is always to start with the lowest dose and then, if necessary, increase the amount”, explains Mazaracki.

The sachet option has a bitter taste, so it is not tolerated by everyone. For this reason, the pharmacy professional recommends using it in small amounts mixed with food and gradually increasing the doses.

“It is recommended that it be taken with a meal , as this helps to reduce or avoid side effects such as stomach pain and diarrhea . Regardless of the form acquired, it should be consumed with plenty of water”, concludes Pereira.

Is it bad to take it every day?

According to Tamara Mazaracki, magnesium can be taken daily and without time limit . In addition, the supplement is free to sell, so there is no need to present a prescription for purchase.

“However, it is extremely important to emphasize that any medication or supplement must be used with medical and pharmaceutical guidance so that the effectiveness of the treatment and patient safety are ensured”, advises pharmacy professional Ianca Pereira.

What is the difference between magnesium chloride and magnesium dilamate?

In addition to the formula, Ianca Pereira points out other differences between chloride and dilamate. Both have Mg, but while the first has two chlorine molecules , the second is made up of two malic acid molecules .

The presence of these substances are crucial to increase the mineral’s bioavailability in the intestine. However, acid has a bonus benefit: its participation in the Krebs cycle. “This biochemical reaction generates energy for the body to function. When they reach the intestine, magnesium and malic acid dissociate and each one will fulfill its function, so the patient ends up having two benefits”, he explains.

This beneficial effect of dilamate is also mentioned by the nutrologist, who indicates its use especially for people who suffer from fatigue. “There is evidence that magnesium malate can reduce muscle pain and tender points in people with fibromyalgia. These properties make it interesting for practitioners of physical activity.”

Another difference between the products is related to cost. According to the pharmacist, chloride is cheaper , for this reason it is more profitable for those who need to undergo treatment in the long term.

“In addition to dimalate, other chelated forms of magnesium (aspartate, orotate, threonate, citrate, glycinate) have good absorption and are indicated to treat specific symptoms”, adds Mazaracki.

Contraindications and side effects

The two professionals consulted do not advise the use of this supplement in patients with severe renal failure , as magnesium is metabolized and excreted mainly by the kidneys. In addition to dehydration, another contraindication for this product.

In the case of pregnant women, supplementation must be carried out with medical supervision. It is noteworthy that the use of magnesium is indicated for pregnant women as it helps to prevent eclampsia and pre-eclampsia. In addition to fighting cramps, nausea, water retention and preserving your bone structure.

Those who do not have any of the cases mentioned above should use them consciously, preventing side effects. “To avoid unwanted reactions you should start with a low dose and then adjust until you reach the proper dose. If there is any kind of uncomfortable reaction, this is a sign to reduce the dose”, warns the doctor.

It also indicates some adverse effects associated with excess magnesium, such as nausea, diarrhea, loss of appetite , drop in blood pressure and muscle weakness. These symptoms can occur in any individual, however it is more common in patients with severe hypothyroidism, colitis, gastroenteritis or who use medications containing this mineral, such as antacids and laxatives.

Common questions

What happens in the body in the absence of magnesium?

Chronic fatigue, premature aging, asthma and caries are some of the problems that arise in an organism with a deficiency of this mineral, according to the nutritionist.

In addition, the lack of this substance can be detected from complaints, discomforts and various diseases, such as:

  • Muscle, bone and joint system: pain, spasms and muscle weakness, cramps, low back pain, joint pain, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis
  • Nervous system: stress, insomnia, anxiety, panic, depression, nervousness, hyperactivity, attention disorder, migraine
  • Circulatory system: heart disease, thrombosis, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure
  • Endocrine system: metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, hyperglycemia, hypoglycemia, liver disease
  • Digestive system: intestinal diseases, constipation, hiccups
  • Reproductive system: premenstrual tension, infertility, menstrual cramps, preeclampsia and eclampsia, low testosterone level in men
  • Renal system: kidney disease, stones, recurrent cystitis and water retention.

What are the causes of disability?

There are several causes that explain the absence of magnesium and the presence of these symptoms, such as excessive intake of calcium, refined carbohydrates (sugar, high fructose corn syrup and white flour), soft drinks (diet and regular), sodium (salt ), medications (diuretics, omeprazole-type antacids, insulin) and alcoholic beverages.

Mazaracki explains that diseases also contribute to the condition, which is why chronic pain (any cause), diabetes, insulin resistance, diarrhea, intestinal diseases (ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s, irritable bowel syndrome) and vomiting are other causes.

All this without counting patients with a very restrictive diet, users of tobacco and other drugs (amphetamine, cocaine, ecstasy), who exceed physical activities or experience physical and/or mental stress. Finally, surgeries and excessive sweating can be included as possible explanations for the lack of magnesium.

Who else needs this mineral?

According to the doctor, the elderly, diabetics and pre-diabetics , people with heart disease (and who use controlled medicine), hypertensive people and people with osteoporosis are some groups that need more magnesium. In addition to them, there is also a greater need among people with restrictive diets, alcoholic beverage users, athletes and individuals with great mental stress.

What does the acronym PA on the products mean?

Pharmaceutical company Ianca explains that the acronym means “pure for analysis” , referring to the degree of purity of magnesium chloride. This means to say that the product is being considered as pure as possible.

What are the natural sources of this mineral?

“Magnesium is present in foods rich in chlorophyll, such as vegetables and green leaves, and also in cocoa and dark chocolate, oil seeds, flaxseed, chia, fruits (the richest are avocado, coconut, banana, fig, apricot and date) , whey protein ( whey protein ), algae ( spirulina , chlorella), fish and seafood, beans, and sugarcane molasses”, quotes the nutrologist Tamara Mazaracki.

However, the professional draws attention to how foods from the plant kingdom are cultivated. “The fertilizers used are based on NPK (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), which make the plant grow a lot and look healthy, but the chronic depletion of essential minerals in the soil impoverishes our food ”, he reveals.

Also according to the doctor, this may be one of the main causes of chronic disability in the population. But, the consequences of this picture will only become more evident as you get older.

Therefore, there is an urgent need to seek doctors and health professionals to investigate the mineral content in the body, especially if there are symptoms included in the case. Thus, the earlier you start treatment with magnesium chloride, the more likely this supplement has to improve your health.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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