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23rd December 2021

Magnesium Malate: What is it, and how can it help you?

Magnesium Malate: What is it, and how can it help you?

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The apple (botanical name Malus) is well known as a powerhouse of nutrients, and apples, along with various other fruits, contain a chemical acid that has certain health-giving properties. We’ve all heard the old saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away,’ so there has long been an awareness that something within the chemistry of the simple apple had health-giving powers. Modern science has isolated and identified the chemical compound as malic acid, but why does a combination of malic acid and magnesium help with specific health-related issues?

What is Magnesium Malate?

Firstly, magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals found in the human body and it is vital to the health of both your body and brain. It plays a part in many biochemical reactions and the inspired marriage of magnesium with malic acid gives a supplement that is more readily absorbed by your body than magnesium taken alone.

The biological name for apple is malus, and along with a few other fruits, apples are rich in malic acid. This acid is what gives a tart flavour to certain fruits and has long been used as a medicine to relieve such things as chronic fatigue and certain skin conditions. Studies have found that the combination of the mineral magnesium with malic acid, gives enhanced bioavailability in supporting many serious and chronic health issues.

Why Do You Need Magnesium?

Magnesium is a metallic element that is found within your bones. Some of the vital functions that magnesium helps with are the breaking down of proteins in your diet, keeping blood-sugar levels on an even keel, regulating your blood pressure, and enabling the smooth functioning of muscles. It even has an impact on the proper functioning of your nervous system, and therefore a deficiency of magnesium in your daily diet can lead to mental health problems. Depression is a proven side effect of low magnesium levels.

Indications of Low Magnesium Levels

A diet that is missing the items of magnesium-rich food can lead to low and fluctuating levels. A more serious cause is when certain ailments and diseases cause levels to diminish. Such conditions as chronic nausea or an arrhythmic heartbeat can often result in magnesium deficiency. It’s quite rare, but conditions that seriously affect the kidneys can also cause a deficiency and when magnesium levels in the blood are seriously lower than normal, the condition is clinically known as hypomagnesemia and some of the symptoms of this condition may include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Depression
  • Delirium
  • Lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Tremors
  • Premenstrual syndrome
  • Cold extremities
  • Leg or foot cramps
  • Seizures
  • Ventricular arrhythmias
  • Congestive heart failure

Checking Magnesium Levels

A blood test can verify if you are magnesium deficient.


To find out if you have low levels of magnesium, it’s possible to take a blood test via a website known as Lab Tests on-Line UK. This is a facility offered by The Association for Clinical Biochemistry & Laboratory Medicine.

It should be noted that the magnesium stored within the body is not always accurately registered by blood testing and more accurate readings may be necessary. These usually involve clinically supervised urinary tests over a 24-hour period. These tests are carried out following the administration of magnesium to make it possible to establish how much magnesium the body stores and how much is excreted.

Getting Magnesium from Your Diet

Magnesium can be sourced from foods such as bananas, avocado and leafy greens.


It’s important to try to include enough magnesium-rich foods in your regular diet to help your body access the health benefits it can potentially derive from this vital mineral. Here are just ten of the best choices of everyday foods that are great for boosting those levels:

  • Avocados
    • Very rich in magnesium and easy to incorporate into various meals and snacks. Delicious when sliced into sandwiches with a few prawns or slivers of smoked salmon, good mashed on toast and topped with a poached egg, great as part of a mixed salad. Be aware though, avocados are also high in fat, albeit a good kind of fat. Nevertheless, best to stick to a moderate amount rather than overdoing it.
  • Bananas
    • You probably know about their high potassium content, but they are also very rich in magnesium. Bananas provide vitamin C, B6 and fibre. Very ripe bananas are higher in fructose (fruit sugar) than less ripe fruits and when a banana is still slightly green, it contains a resistant starch which passes through the digestive system unabsorbed, so you get the vitamins and minerals without the fructose overload.
  • Cashew, Almonds and Brazil Nuts
    • A 1oz (28g) serving of cashews, according to, gives 82mg of magnesium and that represents 20% of the recommended daily intake.
  • Dark Chocolate
    • It’s good to know that one of the foods considered ‘naughty but nice’ is in fact not as naughty as you may have thought. Chocolate with cocoa solids higher than 60% has a high magnesium content. Don’t overdo it though, all commercial chocolate has a high sugar content.
  • Flaxseed
    • There are several reasons why flaxseed is a great addition to your diet. As well as being very rich in magnesium to help keep tabs on blood sugar and blood pressure levels, it is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, and these have been found to help cardiovascular function as well as brain function. Flaxseed is a good source of plant protein and provides energy as an easy and healthy ‘graze’ option. Try sprinkling over mixed salad or cereals, or buy milled flaxseed to add to cereals, smoothies etc.
  • Green, leafy vegetables
    • Top of the list of superfoods, such vegetables as kale, chard, spinach, brussels sprouts tops (a superb and tasty leafy vegetable that often gets ignored in favour of the actual sprouts). They are best when just lightly cooked as a side-dish to your main course, or you could slice them finely and add to sauces such as bolognaise, shepherd’s pie, curries etc. They are also good in smoothies but if you struggle with the slightly bitter taste, mask it with some apple juice and fresh ginger.
  • Milk
    • One cup of milk gives you about one third of your daily recommended intake of calcium, it also provides 27.8mg of magnesium. As well, it is a very useful source of protein, potassium, vitamin D, and vitamin B-12. Oat, soy and almond milk are good non-dairy options; check the label to ensure vitamins and minerals have been added.
  • Oatmeal
    • One cup of oatmeal gives approximately 57mg of magnesium. It’s a great way to get your magnesium boost at breakfast, maybe add half a banana too. From oatmeal you will also benefit from soluble fibre and potassium. Oats are very good for helping lower cholesterol and they are high in omega-3 fatty acids. A great all-round food.
  • Tofu
    • If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet you most probably eat tofu regularly, but for many it’s a food that doesn’t get a look in as far as regular choices are concerned. This is a pity because tofu is an amazing source of protein and an excellent source of magnesium. Just half a cup of tofu gives you 37mg of magnesium. It also provides 43% of the recommended daily amount of calcium along with iron to support haemoglobin production to help red blood cells deliver oxygen around your body.
  • Tuna
    • There are lots of ways to include tuna in your diet from tinned tuna and mayo sandwiches or as a filling for a jacket potato. Tuna and pasta bake is a good midweek supper dish, as are fresh tuna steaks – try them with a lime and coriander marinade. Tuna is a very versatile protein source that just happens to also be packed with magnesium, making it a bonus for anyone with diabetes or heart-related issues.

What are The Benefits of Magnesium Malate?

Magnesium is associated with various health benefits such as blood sugar control, mood-boosting function, sports performance, and general exercise ability, as well as helping ease chronic pain. When taken as a supplement, alongside a healthy, magnesium-rich diet, magnesium malate has been found in laboratory trials to give greater bioavailability, thereby getting more magnesium into your blood stream rather than being eliminated through urine.

It may be that you struggle, due to food allergies or special dietary requirements, to include sufficient items of magnesium-rich food in your regular diet. Maybe you have been diagnosed with low levels of magnesium, and in either of these instances you may wish to take a dietary supplement to help boost your magnesium levels. Should you choose to try magnesium malate, this will help your body absorb more magnesium both from your food and from the supplemented magnesium, ensuring that you are reaping the benefits to health that magnesium provides.

Having sufficient magnesium levels can help to ease the onset of many health issues. Some of the most studied and established areas of health known to benefit from magnesium malate are:

Magnesium Malate can offer many benefits including migraine relief and easing symptoms of depression.


  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome – Varying results to studies have been published, some with very positive findings in terms of relief of chronic pain associated with CFS due to supplementing with magnesium, and others finding little improvement.
  • Mood and Depression – magnesium is important to brain function and low levels are linked to possible depression.
  • Headaches and MigraineResearch has found that magnesium is a safe option for helping prevent migraine as well as tension and cluster headaches.
  • Type-2 Diabetes and Blood Sugar ControlStudies have found that magnesium may play a significant role in avoiding type-2 diabetes and also in the control of blood sugars in respect of insulin sensitivity.
  • Lowering Blood Pressure – Some studies have shown that taking magnesium helps lower blood pressure. One study found that participants taking 450mg per day had positive results in terms of decreased systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, further research is needed as the conclusions remain controversial.
  • Exercise Issues – Because magnesium has a direct effect on muscle function, oxygen absorption and balance of electrolytes, it plays an important part in the body’s exercise performance. During exercise, lactate can build up within the muscles causing muscular pain. Magnesium helps eliminate lactate. It also helps by increasing glucose availability to the blood, muscles, and brain during exercise.
  • Regular Bowel Movements – Magnesium malate is highly effective as a natural laxative. It helps by drawing water into your intestines, and this has the effect of encouraging the movement of food through your digestive tract.
  • Heartburn and Indigestion – As a means of easing the discomfort of indigestion and heartburn, magnesium malate is a natural antacid.

Possible Side Effects of Magnesium Malate

Some of the most usual side effects experienced when taking magnesium malate are feelings of nausea and stomach cramps but these are usually only experienced when taking large amounts. Doses exceeding 5,000mg per day may well cause toxicity and this can result in serious symptoms such as low blood pressure, flushing, muscular weakness and heart issues.

Magnesium malate could possibly react badly with certain pharmaceutical products such as diuretics, antibiotics, and medications that prevent bone loss (bisphosphonates). If you are taking any of these, or have other health conditions, it’s advisable to check with your doctor before taking magnesium supplements.

Dosage of Magnesium Malate

The amount recommended varies depending upon your gender and age. Many people will be able to meet their body’s needs by eating sufficient magnesium-rich foods but for those with certain dietary requirements and health problems, supplementing with magnesium malate will be very beneficial.

Studies have found that 300-450mg of magnesium per day is the optimal dose to provide necessary health benefits. Supplements typically contain between 100 and 500mg of magnesium and it is generally recommended to start with a low dose and gradually increase as you monitor your own tolerance to the supplement. It is also advised that you take magnesium malate with food to help avoid any side effects such as digestive problems.

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