What is the Difference Between Magnesium Chloride & Magnesium Chelate?

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Magnesium is an essential mineral that is present in large quantities in the body. It is most commonly found stored in the bones and the teeth and is used by the body in a large array of cellular functions, including support for the immune and nervous system. Magnesium is consumed as a supplement for a variety of reasons; different forms of magnesium and magnesium compounds are more readily absorbed by the body than others.

Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride is most commonly used to help prevent or to treat magnesium deficiency. Magnesium chloride is also used as a bulking and coagulating or firming agent in foods such as tofu and other soy products. In its liquid form, it can be combined with other solutions to be used as a coating on roads to prevent dust or as an anti-icing agent.

Magnesium Chelate

Magnesium chelate is also known as "chelated magnesium" or "magnesium amino acids chelate." Magnesium chelate is used to maintain the magnesium levels in your body. Magnesium chelate is formed during a process called chelation. Chelation occurs when a mineral is bonded to nitrogen to prevent and protect it from interacting or reacting to other compounds in your body.

Magnesium Deficiency

Magnesium deficiency is when there are insufficient amounts of magnesium in the body. Magnesium deficiency is rare in the United States, although it can occur most frequently with those of African-American decent and the elderly. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include anorexia, apathy, confusion, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, muscle twitching, poor memory, reduced learning ability, rapid hear rate, delirium, hallucinations and tingling.

Dosage and Recommendations

The National Institutes of Health recommends doses of magnesium be between 80 to 360 milligrams for children; between 310 to 320 milligrams for adult females; and between 400 to 420 milligrams for adult males. Pregnant or breastfeeding women require between 310 to 400 milligrams of magnesium daily. Do not take magnesium chloride if you are allergic to it, or if you suffer from kidney disease, ulcers or other gastric disorders or if you are dehydrated. Consult your doctor before taking magnesium chloride for treating any type of condition.