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    What Is Magnesium Threonate? Benefits, Dosage, And Risks

    What Is Magnesium Threonate? Benefits, Dosage, And Risks
    November 24, 2023 Vitality Pro

    What Is Magnesium Threonate? Benefits, Dosage, And Risks

    Magnesium threonate is a supplemental form of the essential trace mineral magnesium. This form offers a variety of potential benefits for health and longevity. It also plays important roles in bone health and development, cellular energy production, muscular contraction, and the development and optimal function of the nervous system and brain.

    Magnesium supplements come in a variety of different forms. Magnesium threonate (also known as magnesium L-threonate) is considered to be one of the most bio-available and readily absorbed forms of magnesium for human consumption. Research suggests that supplementing with magnesium threonate may enhance cognitive function, reduce the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression, accelerate muscle recovery, and benefit cardiovascular health.

    In this guide, we will explore magnesium threonate’s benefits and potential risks, magnesium L-threonate side effects, and the ideal magnesium threonate dosage schedules based on scientific data. We’ll also delve deeper into magnesium threonate vs glycinate and other supplemental magnesium forms.

    What is Magnesium Threonate?

    Magnesium threonate is a mineral salt consisting of magnesium bound to the amino acid L-threonic acid. It is often derived from corn and promoted as a dietary supplement. Magnesium L-threonate offers a unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier in humans, thereby increasing magnesium levels in the brain. This is why the supplement may assist in reducing symptoms of anxiety and depression while improving brain function. 

    In the brain, magnesium threonate inhibits the stimulation of specific neurotransmitters by attaching to neural receptors that promote deeper relaxation. Additionally, the supplement may also play a role in inhibiting the secretion of cortisol and other stress hormones, helping to regulate the nervous system and alleviate anxiety.

    Some research indicates that magnesium threonate can increase neural plasticity, allowing the brain to form new neural pathways and enhance the processes of learning and memory retention. Additionally, it may increase brain levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a protein which assists in the formation of new brain cells and supports cognitive function and long term brain health.

    Benefits and Risks

    Magnesium L-Threonate Benefits

    • Serves as an electrolyte
    • Acts as an enzymatic co-factor in over 600 chemical reactions in the body
    • Facilitates ATP production
    • Supports cognitive health and ideal brain function
    • May alleviate depression, anxiety and symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
    • May limit loss of cognitive function caused by Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease
    • May assist in reducing pain
    • May limit androgen-driven balding and hair loss
    • May assist in optimising low magnesium levels, even in the brain, due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier


    • May cause side effects such as fatigue, headache, and a sensation of increased blood flow to the head, although side effects and unwanted reactions are uncommon
    • May not be suitable for patients with kidney disease or dysfunction, as well as those taking certain chronic medications
    • Pregnant and breastfeeding women and children should take caution when taking any supplements, and should always seek out medical advice before starting to supplement with magnesium threonate

    How Does It Work?

    Magnesium threonate serves a number of critical purposes in the human body. Research indicates that one of the primary mechanisms of this form of magnesium involves its up-regulation of NR2B-containing NMDA receptors, as well as its ability to induce synaptic plasticity and encourage the generation of new neurons in the brain. Researchers suggest that these mechanisms account for magnesium L-threonate’s benefits for immediate synaptic facilitation, long-term synaptic potentiation, memory, and learning.

    Moreover, the supplement may assist in treating low levels of magnesium, particularly in the brain. Magnesium plays a role in facilitating communication between neurons by maintaining stimulation of the brain cell receptors associated with learning, memory, and brain development. This normalisation of neural function assists in supporting mood and overall cognitive function and may offer benefits for preventing or slowing age-related cognitive decline.

    Magnesium threonate may be able to alleviate many conditions and disorders associated with (or exacerbated by) magnesium deficiency. A large body of scientific data suggests that low levels of magnesium could drive chronic inflammation and the development of age-related conditions like insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease, and type II diabetes. Magnesium is also a GABA agonist, assisting in inhibiting overstimulation of the central nervous system and promoting feelings of calmness, relaxation, and mental and physical well-being.

    Potential Magnesium L-Threonate Benefits

    What is magnesium L-threonate and what are its benefits for health and longevity? There is a growing body of evidence to suggest that the mineral form could offer notable benefits for sleep quality, cognitive function, depression, anxiety, and even hair loss conditions.

    Magnesium Threonate Benefits for Hair Loss

    Many conditions of premature balding and hair loss are driven by the actions of DHT (dihydrotestosterone) on hair follicles. Some research suggests that magnesium L-threonate can attenuate the expression of DHT-induced DKK-1 (DHT-inducible dickkopf-1), a key factor involved in the process of androgen-linked hair loss and balding.

    Researchers also noted in a co-culture system of outer hair sheath keratinocytes that DHT prevented the growth of ORS cells, which accelerated balding. They found that L-threonate significantly reversed this effect and noted that this form of magnesium may be an effective treatment for the prevention of balding.

    Mental Energy and Cognitive Function

    Low magnesium levels can drive the development and acceleration of neurological disorders. A recent clinical study conducted in China used magnesium threonate to increase levels of magnesium in the cerebrospinal fluid of animal models with Parkinson’s disease. They found that the mineral supplement reduced dopamine neuron loss and motor deficits while successfully increasing cerebrospinal fluid concentrations of magnesium and limiting MPTP-induced motor deficits in mice. While more human trials are needed, the results show a promising ability of magnesium threonate to slow diseases of cognitive decline such as Parkinson’s disease.

    Further research has noted magnesium L-threonate’s benefits for Alzheimer’s disease. This disease is linked with magnesium ion deficits and elevated levels of interleukin-1β in the brain. They found that magnesium threonate suppresses IL-1β in glial cells within signaling pathways, stimulating the activity of the extracellular signal-related protein kinase and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ) pathways via increased phosphorylation. 

    The data suggests that magnesium threonate could reduce neuro-inflammation and suppress IL-1β expression to reduce the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and subsequent cognitive decline.

    Depression and Anxiety

    Clinical data indicates that magnesium threonate can reduce some symptoms associated with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. 

    A study from 2011 assessed the effects of magnesium supplementation on fear conditioning and neural plasticity in specific brain regions and found that increasing magnesium levels in the brain improves neural plasticity in the hippocampus of rat models. 

    Magnesium Threonate Sleep Benefits

    The effects of magnesium supplementation on insomnia and other sleep disorders are well documented. Magnesium threonate, which is the only form which can effectively cross the blood-brain barrier, may assist in promoting both mental and physical relaxation for deeper, quality sleep. 

    Some studies have noted that taking a magnesium L-threonate supplement improves subjective measures of insomnia, including sleep time, sleep onset latency, sleep efficiency, and early morning waking. It may also improve objective measures associated with healthy sleep-wake cycles, such as concentrations of serum melatonin, cortisol and renin, especially in senior adults.

    Pain Relief

    Oral supplementation of magnesium L threonate has been linked with increased pain relief in patients with advanced cancer. One study assessed 83 patients from pain and oncology wards and found that the patients who were administered magnesium began to require lower doses of morphine for pain from day 30 of the trial. 

    The researchers noted that magnesium L-threonate was more effective than placebo at enhancing the analgesic properties of opioid painkillers while reducing required opioid dosages. Moreover, the magnesium was also found to notably relieve opioid-related constipation in the participants.

    Potential Risks and Side Effects

    When assessing magnesium threonate side effects, it should be noted that the supplement is generally safe to consume and that few side effects have been reported. The most common, albeit rare, side effects of magnesium threonate supplementation include drowsiness, fatigue, headache, and increased sensations of blood flow to the head. 

    Additionally, people with certain health conditions, including kidney disease, should always consult with a medical professional before starting any magnesium supplements. Pregnant and breastfeeding women should also seek medical guidance before supplementing, and children should only be given magnesium supplements under explicit direction from a qualified doctor or healthcare professional. 

    More research is also needed to fully understand the mechanisms of magnesium threonate in the human body, and current safety data is primarily based on adult supplements.

    Types of Forms of Supplements

    Magnesium L-threonate is most commonly sold in capsule form, but magnesium threonate powders are also widely available. 

    This is one of many different forms of supplemental magnesium and is often considered to be one of the most bio-available alongside options like magnesium glycinate.

    • Magnesium oxide. Magnesium oxide supplements have relatively poor bioavailability and are primarily used to treat digestive symptoms such as constipation and indigestion.
    • Magnesium citrate. This form of magnesium is bound to citric acid and is widely available and easily absorbed by the body. It is used to treat low magnesium levels and as a gentle laxative for constipation.
    • Magnesium aspartate. Research suggests that magnesium aspartate may be effective in regulating blood sugar levels, reducing migraines, and alleviating some symptoms of depression and anxiety.
    • Magnesium glycinate. Magnesium glycinate has been found to improve sleep, address inflammation, and support heart health and blood glucose regulation. It may also assist in treating anxiety, stress, insomnia and depression. When it comes to magnesium threonate vs glycinate, the two supplements are both highly bioavailable and are both used to treat many similar conditions, but only L-threonate can cross the blood-brain barrier.
    • Magnesium orotate. This form is widely used to promote cardiovascular health and to support the heart’s energy production processes. 
    • Magnesium chloride. Magnesium chloride is used to correct low magnesium levels, relax tense muscles, and alleviate digestive complaints.
    • Magnesium lactate. Often used as a food additive, magnesium lactate is a gentle magnesium form that is typically used to treat digestive symptoms and relieve constipation.
    • Magnesium malate. This form offers high bioavailability, making it a viable option for correcting magnesium deficiencies, treating constipation, and even addressing chronic fatigue syndrome, although further research is needed.
    • Magnesium taurate. Magnesium taurate contains taurine, an amino acid which works together with the mineral to potentially regulate blood glucose levels, lower blood pressure, and support cardiovascular health and function.

    It’s important to bear in mind that more quality, long-term human research is needed to fully understand the benefits that magnesium supplements may offer for physical and mental health.


    Magnesium is an essential mineral that is involved in hundreds of metabolic reactions in the body. It also plays roles in ATP production, protein synthesis, DNA synthesis, neurotransmitter function, cardiac function, muscle contraction, glucose and insulin regulation, and blood pressure homeostasis.

    Low levels of magnesium are common in populations across the world and typically manifest due to limited magnesium absorption in the gut or excessive excretion via urination. Hypomagnesemia is also more common in hospitalised patients and people undergoing elevated levels of stress, as well as people who do not obtain enough dietary magnesium by consuming a healthy diet.

    Some conditions also increase the risk of developing magnesium deficiency. These include gastrointestinal issues, insulin resistance, type II diabetes, diuretic use, chemotherapy, and excessive alcohol consumption. Advanced age is also a risk factor, as magnesium absorption in the gut declines naturally with age, according to Healthline.

    Dietary and Natural Sources

    The majority of a healthy individual’s magnesium intake is derived from a healthy diet based primarily on whole, minimally processed foods. Magnesium is present in a variety of foods, including leafy green vegetables, almonds, cashew nuts, whole grains, avocados, salmon, pumpkin seeds, potatoes, and dark chocolate. 

    However, magnesium L-threonate is exclusively available in supplement form, and thus, there is no natural or dietary source of this specific mineral complex. Magnesium threonate must be purchased from a reputable supplier of third-party-tested supplements like Vitality Pro and can assist in meeting your daily magnesium requirements for optimal health.

    Note: Although diet or lifestyle changes help to fortify the body with major vitamins and minerals, certain supplements are difficult to consume in therapeutic quantities.

    In short, a magnesium threonate supplement is likely the best way to benefit from the mineral’s therapeutic effects. However, more research and human trials are needed.

    Supplements and Dosage

    How much magnesium L threonate should I take? There is currently no universally agreed-upon daily dose recommendation for magnesium L-threonate. An individual’s magnesium requirements will vary according to age, gender, health status, and the presence of diagnosed deficiencies. The recommended dietary intake (RDI) for adult men and women is up to 420mg and 320mg per day, respectively. 

    Many suppliers of magnesium threonate supplements offer a dosage of around 1500mg to 2000mg. With that said, a 2000mg dose of magnesium threonate will typically only offer around 144mg of elemental magnesium, according to data from Medical News Today. Speak to your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional to determine the optimal dosage of magnesium L-threonate for your specific needs.

    How long does it take for magnesium L-threonate to work? Some research, such as one study mentioned earlier in this guide on advanced cancer patients, noted beneficial effects from magnesium supplementation in as little as one month. However, you may need to take magnesium threonate consistently for at least two or three months to experience the full range of potential benefits, depending on your reasons for supplementation. 

    When it comes to when to take magnesium threonate, most researchers agree that it is equally effective when taken at any time of the day, as long as it is taken consistently over a period of time. Some people prefer to take magnesium threonate about one hour before bed to enhance their sleep quality and aid relaxation. Complementary supplements to assist with magnesium absorption include vitamin D3, and it is also advised to avoid taking zinc or calcium supplements together with magnesium, as these may hinder absorption.


    Magnesium L-threonate offers many potential health benefits. It may assist in supporting cognitive function, learning and memory, alleviate some symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress, promote better sleep, and even aid in pain relief.

    While initial data on magnesium threonate supplementation seems promising, further human research is needed to understand exactly how the supplement works to deliver the benefits and effects outlined in this article.

    If you are considering trying magnesium threonate for yourself, consult with your healthcare provider first to ensure that you choose the right solution and dosage for your needs.


    What is magnesium L-threonate?

    Magnesium L-threonate is a supplemental form of magnesium that consists of elemental magnesium and L-threonic acid.

    What are the benefits of magnesium threonate?

    Research suggests that magnesium threonate may be beneficial for cognitive health and function, sleep quality, anxiety, depression, insomnia, hair loss, and pain.

    Is magnesium threonate good for anxiety?

    Some research indicates that magnesium threonate can alleviate stress and anxiety due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier and increase magnesium levels in the brain.

    Can magnesium L-threonate help with sleep?

    Initial research suggests that magnesium threonate can help to regulate the sleep-wake cycle and balance sleep-related hormones like melatonin, cortisol and renin.

    Is magnesium threonate good for hair loss?

    Data suggests that magnesium threonate could help to reduce the actions of DHT on hair follicles, helping to prevent and limit androgen-related hair loss and balding.

    Glossary of Technical Terms

    Androgens: sex hormones, including testosterone, DHT and others.

    Bioavailability: how easily a compound or substance is absorbed and utilised on a cellular level.

    Cortisol: a human stress hormone.

    Hypomagnesemia: a condition of clinically low magnesium levels in the body.

    Keratinocytes: cells which make up the epidermal layer of the skin.

    Long-term synaptic potentiation: the ability of synapses between neurons in the brain to adjust their strength and function.

    Melatonin: a hormone known for regulating the sleep-wake cycle.