What is Magnesium Chloride?

MgCl2Many people ask me which is the best magnesium (Mg) supplement to take and I always answer Mg Chloride (MgCl2). Then there’s the inevitable second question. What is Mg Chloride? Before I can answer there is often a 3rd question.  Why do you recommend Mg Chloride rather than any other Mg supplement?

So this article is to fully explain what MgCl2 is and why I think it is the best Mg supplement to take.  Have a look at this article about the benefits of this supplement.

Mg Chloride is the name for the chemical compound with the formula MgCl2 and its various hydrates MgCl2(H2O)x. These salts are highly soluble in water.  The hydrated Mg Chloride can be extracted from brine or sea water.

So many variables

The problem with Mg is, there are so many variations with some Mg salts being more bio available than others.   But who do you trust to tell you the truth?  The pharmaceutical companies?  The food manufacturers?   Your doctor?  It’s no wonder the public is confused as to which is the most efficient and bio available.  This is apart from the fact that few in the medical industry seem to even know about Mg and that includes allopathic doctors!

Not sure?

If you’re not sure what to do, research for yourself and your family.  If you haven’t got time to do your own research, look for a source that has no axe to grind and gives out information freely.  A source that has no ties with big pharma, big agra or food manufacturers.

A list of different Mg salts

Listed below in alphabetical order, is a rundown of the different magnesium salts available. You have probably realised that you can’t take magnesium in its elemental form ie. as a metal so it has to be processed to make it available to the body as a supplement.

  • Magnesium Aspartate – SCV 2.43 –  Avoid – breaks down to aspartic acid which is neurotoxic
  • Magnesium Bicarbonate – used as antacids
  • Magnesium Carbonate – used as antacids
  • Magnesium Chloride (6H2O) – SCV zero – 120mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Citrate – SCV 2.8 – 150mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Gluconate – SCV 0.70 – 50mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt – used in drips
  • Magnesium Glutamate – Avoid – breaks down to glutamic acid which is neurotoxic
  • Magnesium Glycinate – SCV 3.45 – 100mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Lysinate – used as a food additive
  • Magnesium Malate – SCV 1.55 – 150mg of elemental Mg per l gram of salt
  • Magnesium Orotate – 60mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Oxide –  Only 4% bio available – 600mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
  • Magnesium Phosphate – laxatives and antacids
  • Magnesium Sulfate – Epsom Salts – Laxative – 100mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt – used in drips
  • Magnesium Taurate – 100mg of elemental Mg per 1 gram of salt
It’s all about the bond

You may have noticed there is an SCV number next to some of them.  This is the Stability Constant Value of the Mg salts. This tells you if the strength of the bond between the two components is strong or weak.  The higher the number, the stronger the bond and the less bio availability.

Mg oxide’s laxative effect

Mg Oxide, for instance, has a very strong bond between the Mg and the oxygen which means it will not dissociate easily so the Mg cannot be used to any great extent biologically.  Instead, most of the compound will go straight through you giving a laxative Mg oxideeffect.  OK if you want a clear out!  I cannot find the official SCV of Mg oxide or some of the other salts, but I know the SCV of Mg oxide is high and is therefore strongly bonded to oxygen.  Unfortunately, Mg oxide is commonly added as the dietary source of magnesium to foods and supplements, because it’s cheap.  This likely produces dietary deficiencies resulting in poor health and a reduced life span. Mg oxide is at most only 4% bio available.

MgCl2 stability constant of zero

As you can see, Mg Chloride (MgCl2) has an SCV of zero.  This means the bond between the Mg and the chlorine to produce Mg Chloride is very weak.  This is good, because the two quickly disassociate from each other leaving the Mg in its ionic state to do its work immediately within the body.

What about Mg Citrate?

Mg Citrate also has quite a low SCV of just 2.8 and has good bio availability.  This molecule will give you a gentle laxative effect if you suffer from constipation which is a symptom for some people who have a Mg deficiency.  It is also very good for children, who often suffer with constipation, mainly because of all the junk food that’s available to them.  This is a very distressing condition for a child as well as the parents and also means that child has a Mg deficiency which can cause all kinds of serious conditions such as ADHD, ADD and asthma to name but a few and if not addressed, heralds health problems for the child’s future.  See this article which covers child constipation.

Food manufacturers at fault

You can blame the food manufacturers for putting temptation in a youngsters way with all  the relentless advertising of all the sweets and processed foods such as cereals, biscuits and fizzy drinks.   Parents will generally relent when being nagged constantly by their child to buy certain items of sweets, junk food or carbonated drinks.

Mg Citrate can be bought in a tasteless powder form which you can put into soups, porridges etc..  The kids won’t even know it’s there.  With Mg Chloride such as ReMag, the taste can be salty and bitter, especially if not taken with enough water.  Kids will often baulk at taking it unless it is well disguised (please, not with aspartame laced fizzy drinks).

Mg Gluconate in hospital drips

The other low SCV supplement is Mg Gluconate at SCV 0.70.  Have you ever visited a hospital, particularly to see an older friend or relative.   The patient is often attached to a clear fluid drip for re-hydration.  If you look at the contents of the drip bag (without touching it of course) you will likely see Mg Gluconate as one of the salts.

Mg SulphateMg Sulphate & Pregnancy

Mg Sulphate is a treatment for preeclampsia, a condition of pregnancy.  This dangerous problem can be avoided if the mother is well supplemented with Mg before and during her pregnancy.  The lack of this vital mineral can kill. That does sound a little dramatic but this is a condition that can be a danger to both mother and child and has also been linked to SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Naming salts

The name of a salt has two parts. The first part is the name of the metal and second is the salt that is formed.  The second part of the name comes from the acid used to make it. The names of salts made from hydrochloric acid end in -chloride, while the names of salts made from sulfuric acid end in -sulfate.

Formation of salts
Metal Acid Salt
aluminium reacts with hydrochloricacid to make aluminium chloride
copper reacts with hydrochloricacid to make copper chloride
calcium reacts with sulfuric acid to make calcium sulfate
zinc reacts with sulfuric acid to make zinc sulfate

Mg forms Mg salts when it reacts with acids. Therefore, Mg reacts with hydrochloric acid to make Mg chloride

So why is Mg Chloride so bio available
  1. Mg is dissociated from the weak chloride bond, leaving a Mg ion that is so small it will readily permeate through cell walls.  Because of this permeability, the Mg does not cause the laxative effect because much of it does not get into the gut before it has been absorbed into the body.
  2. The compound MgCl2 is a very small molecule, consequently it can even be absorbed through the skin, that’s why many people use it topically.  (Another topical application is Mg sulphate (epsom salts), which people often put in their bathwater for a relaxing soak.)  Great for getting more Mg into your body whilst pregnant
ReMagMgClsupplements on the market

There are a few MgClsupplements on the market, perhaps the most famous is Dr Carolyn Dean’s ReMag, a very popular and high quality supplement.  Dr Dean advertises her product concentrating on the tiny size of the molecule, calling it ‘picometer’ size.  This well explains how very small this compound is.  It could be misconstrued that the picometer size is only applicable to this particular brand of  MgCl2 but this is not the case.  Whichever brand you use, all the supplements will be this very small ‘picometer’ size and this is the beauty of MgCl2

Dr Carolyn Dean’s ReMag

ReMag is easily available in the US where it is competitively priced, not so in the UK, where it is very expensive.  This makes it difficult for those with limited funding to afford.  That being the case, if you really want to use MgCl2 you can make it up yourself.

You must, however obtain the best quality MgCl2 salt to make into your solution.  Always use food quality, don’t be tempted to go for the cheaper lower quality stuff.  Once you have obtained your MgCl2 from a reputable supplier, you can make up a 250ml bottle of the solution as follows:

Pyrex JugHow to make up MgClsolution

Put 125 grams into a small marked pyrex jug.  Add just a little mineral water, enough to dissolve the salts and stir.   Add more water to make your solution up to the 250ml mark, stir again and then pour it into a suitable glass bottle.  It will be very cloudy at first but that is not sediment, it is air bubbles, which will start to clear in a few minutes.

100 doses from 250ml

This will give you 100 doses of 2.5ml (½ teaspoon).  Put one dose into a glass of water and drink over the course of the day.  If you don’t like the taste, lace it with a little cordial (NOT low sugar, we don’t want aspartame in it).  The taste doesn’t bother me but some find it a little bitter (hubby uses Rose’s lime cordial).  Up your doses gradually until you feel the difference.  Always spread your doses throughout the day.  Everyone needs a different dose and it’s a case of finding your own level.  I take around 2 teaspoons in a litre of water and drink it slowly throughout the day.  This gives me the equivalent of 600mg of elemental Mg. I used to suffer from insomnia, so to stop it recurring, I drink at least a quarter of my daily dose in the evening.  If I’m stressed or have a heavy day ahead, I will up my dose from 2 teaspoons to 2½.

Making up your own MgCl2 solution is much cheaper than buying it ready made.  It is a little inconvenient but well worth the trouble.  I have never bought MgCl2 in solution, I am quite happy Ches Powermaking it up myself.  Mind you, it is quite useful having hubby around as he has qualifications in peptide chemistry and has worked in a laboratory environment as a senior technical officer.
If someone who is au fait with chemistry takes this supplement every day, it may give you a clue as to how important it is for your overall health.

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What Is Magnesium Chloride
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What Is Magnesium Chloride
Many people ask me which is the best magnesium (Mg) supplement to take and I always answer Mg Chloride. So what is magnesium chloride?
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8 thoughts on “What is Magnesium Chloride?

  1. Hi Chess. I posted a couple of weeks ago, after being on the Dr. Dean site, extensively, and noticing that she very definitely makes it sound as if her product (which goes through 18 steps) is only the size it is because they get it there. I hate deception of any kind, but especially to sell a product. I don’t usually like talking down someone else, either, but think this is important. I don’t doubt that she knows her business, and I’m sure not everyone would want to make their own Mg. So, okay. But I must tell you, it is not inexpensive here, just compared with you all there. She says that we need a minimum of 6 g per Kg body weight. For me, at 175, I would have to pay $1.96 per single serving. Magnesium citrate in a very popular powdered formula which I took for a long time costs about $0.32 per serving of about 325 mg. So, you can see the draw for making my own. Your info is great and I like your straight forward approach. I do see why this one mineral is so important, by the way, and Dr. Dean is the main reason. Her work seems important to me. Thanks.

    1. Hi again Roger, yes you’re right her product is a Mg Chloride solution. MgCl2 is MgCl2 and you can’t change that. It’s small ‘pico’ size makes it easier to get into your cells and the bond between the Mg and the Chloride is very weak so it disassociates in the digestion system very readily. The pico size is applicable to Dr Dean’s ReMag as well as the home made. It is very expensive here compared to the US and Canada, I don’t know about other countries. The ‘Brexit’ problems we have here in the UK doesn’t help either.
      Mg Citrate is a good supplement but not everyone can take the quantity they need to keep their deficiency at bay. Too much and the laxative effect can be a problem for some. It is ideal to keep your Mg levels up and for kids, because it’s tasteless. The powder form makes it easy to control for parents.
      If you’re doing your own MgCl2, make sure your MgCl2 granules are of excellent food quality. Thanks for your input!

  2. OK, I’m chastened. I posted a few minutes ago before finishing this article under “about” because you seemed to like Dr. Dean so much, etc. I see that you have an alternate way to get your magnesium, and have rather a lot of good information for folks. Sorry if I was too direct, but as I said, the web… So, thanks for the info. Answering each post takes a lot of time, but makes your site stand out. I will keep reading.

    1. Hello again Roger, don’t worry, I have become quite thick skinned. But I think it is a good thing to check everything out, especially when it comes to people expounding the virtues of something that many know little about. You do need to do your own research and that’s what you’re doing. Research nowadays, especially by the pharmaceuticals needs to be looked at carefully. They have been caught out massaging their figures at best and being downright fraudulent at worst. This often to the detriment of the public health, Vioxx comes mind, 65,000 dead because of this horrendous drug.

      We weren’t born needing drugs, what makes us think we should change mother nature and reject the nutrients we were born with in favour of a toxic chemical. I hope you find value in the articles you read which I have carefully researched and written. This site is meant to help all those that come across it so they can make an informed decision as to whether to ingest a drug or try a natural nutrient first. We must remember to ‘follow the money’. The pharmaceuticals do not put their customers first, they put profits ahead of all other considerations. Have a look at this, it’s quite unsettling!

  3. I received magnesium gluconate infusions while I was in the hospital last year. I asked for it for pain from my GBS/CIDP. After my 4th bag I stayed pain free and I mean pain free. Pain levels went from 24/7 of between 7-8 to 0 for 8months. Didn’t find the pill form till I was already starting to hurt. Have you ever heard of using magnesium gluconate for pain relief in people with autoimmune diseases. I was diagnosed 10 yrs with GBS.

    1. Hi there Mike, I feel for you having Guillain-Barré syndrome/Chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy. I know my Mum was given Mg gluconate as part of a rehydration infusion (Mg gluconate was just one of the ingredients).

      Unlike many patients, you have found one of the most important minerals which you need to use regularly, especially with your conditions. There are many different salts of Mg which you have probably read in my blog. IMHO, Mg chloride is one of the most effective supplements to take for anyone and I mean anyone. Most of us are deficient in Mg, due mainly to ignorance from most of the medical community. Other factors are the pharmaceutical industry’s obsession with high monetary value drugs (they mostly ignore vitamins, minerals and other nutrients because they cannot patent them). Lastly but by no means least is our rubbish processed foods, artificial sweetener like aspartame and our modern farming practices which deplete our soils of their nutrients, Mg being one of those most depleted.

      Mg gluconate has a stability constant of 0.70 which is low but Mg chloride has a stability constant of zero which is the best possible. This SCV tells you if the strength of the bond between the two components ie. Mg and gluconate or Mg and chloride is strong or weak. The higher the number, the stronger the bond and the less bio availability. The bond between Mg and Chloride is extremely weak. This means, when it hits the stomach it breaks apart so that the Mg is fully ionised, ready to be used in your cells. Mg gluconate is also good but more difficult to obtain.

      I would advise you to use Dr Carolyn Dean’s Mg Chloride solution called ReMag. It is easily available in the US, not so much in the UK. Dr Dean does a completement formula, which although is expensive, is worth looking into for someone with your problems. (I do not gain anything for recommending her supplements by the way).

      Another amazing supplement (which is also expensive I’m afraid) is LivOn’s Altrient Liposomal vitamin C. I take this regularly as well as Mg chloride which I make up myself (see the blog). This type of vit C supplement is very bioavailable and also gets straight into the cells, missing the digestive system. Vitamin C is renowned for reducing inflammation dramically but it needs to be taken in larger quantities than you get from food. IV infusion vitamin C is much used in the US and has actually saved many on the brink of death. Check out these videos https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJKRP8bCvOQ – Sepsis cure and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GApXBaZuw14 – swine flu victim with no hope of survival. Linus Pauling knew about this way back in the last century. Check out Dr Thomas Levy a cardiologist who is an expert on vitamin C.

      Hope this information is helpful. Keep taking your Magnesium! (Not oxide, very poor bioavailability).

  4. What interesting information! I had no idea there were so many different kinds of Mg! I’m so glad I do now.
    I’ve gotten a bunch of blood test done over the past several years because of a wacky health situation with Lyme and Celiac disease. But, as I’m sure many people are, I was very deficient in magnesium.
    I’m not sure what kind it was, but I was made to spray it on my feet every night before bed. It worked wonders!
    Thanks for the good info and making people aware of all the benefits of Magnesium!


    1. Thanks for reading the post Helen.  If your blood test showed you were very deficient then you need to keep your supplementation of Mg up.  Topical use like the spray is really good but to really get to grips with your deficiency a good quality supplement would do you well.  Also make sure you eat those foods that do have the most Mg in, see Foods With High Magnesium.  Also make sure your calcium levels are not too high. Have a look at this post What is the Best Calcium Supplement for Women?

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