Timeline (Bioavailability) of Magnesium Compounds in Hours: Which Magnesium Compound Works Best?

Biol Trace Elem Res. 2019 Jan;187(1):128-136. doi: 10.1007/s12011-018-1351-9. Epub 2018 Apr 21.


Magnesium is an element of great importance functioning because of its association with many cellular physiological functions. The magnesium content of foods is gradually decreasing due to food processing, and magnesium supplementation for healthy living has become increasingly popular. However, data is very limited on the bioavailability of various magnesium preparations. The aim of this study is to investigate the bioavailability of five different magnesium compounds (magnesium sulfate, magnesium oxide, magnesium acetyl taurate, magnesium citrate, and magnesium malate) in different tissues. Following a single dose 400 mg/70 kg magnesium administration to Sprague Dawley rats, bioavailability was evaluated by examining time-dependent absorption, tissue penetration, and the effects on the behavior of the animals. Pharmacokinetically, the area under the curve calculation is highest in the magnesium malate. The magnesium acetyl taurate was found to have the second highest area under the curve calculation. Magnesium acetyl taurate was rapidly absorbed, able to pass through to the brain easily, had the highest tissue concentration level in the brain, and was found to be associated with decreased anxiety indicators. Magnesium malate levels remained high for an extended period of time in the serum. The commonly prescribed dietary supplements magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate had the lowest bioavailability when compared to our control group. More research is needed to investigate the bioavailability of magnesium malate and acetyl taurate compounds and their effects in specific tissues and on behavior.

Keywords: Anxiety; Brain; Magnesium acetyl taurate; Magnesium citrate; Magnesium malate; Magnesium oxide; Magnesium sulfate; Muscle.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Area Under Curve
  • Biological Availability
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Magnesium Compounds / administration & dosage
  • Magnesium Compounds / metabolism*
  • Magnesium Compounds / pharmacokinetics*
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Time Factors


  • Magnesium Compounds