There are so many types of magnesium out there, and keeping them all straight can get dizzying! Here is a full-on review of the different types of magnesium (Mg) and what they're used for:
Magnesium Oxide (aka Milk of Magnesia) - this type of Mg has a laxative effect. It is not very well absorbed in the body (only about 5% is absorbed), so it can often lead to side effects of bloating and diarrhea.
**Magnesium Citrate - this has a laxative effect as well, but it is much more gentle. Mg citrate is absorbed really well and works by pulling water into the intestines to make bowel movements softer and easier to pass. Bonus: Mg citrate is also helpful for migraine prevention and can help with Restless Leg Syndrome. This one is my favorite!
Magnesium Glycinate - this Mg is also absorbed really well in the body. This is the type of Mg that produces a sense of calm. To make this Mg is combined with an amino acid, glycine. Glycine works with neurotransmitters --> relaxation. (This type of Mg does not have a laxative effect).
Magnesium Malate - this Mg is especially helpful for proper muscle function. If you are prone to soreness after exercise, this could be a helpful supplement to reduce muscle soreness.
Magnesium Threonate - a less common form of Mg, but studies show Mg threonate to be especially helpful for brain health. Studies show this Mg enhances learning and memory in people with dementia.
Magnesium Taurate - this form of Mg is bound with the amino acid taurine and is especially helpful in reducing blood pressure.
Magnesium Sulfate (aka Espom Salts) - used to decrease muscle soreness. There are internal uses for this type of Mg, but I recommend working with a health care practitioner before trying those!
I will say, this is just the tip of the iceberg of all the amazing things magnesium does for us. It's also important for bone health and a strong immune system. Heart health, blood vessel health, digestive health, nervous system health, etc! These are the big picture ideas to help keep them straight. For more details and specific questions please feel free to reach out!
Magnesium for Blood Pressure- https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27402922/
Magnesium Threonate- https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02210286