Magnesium supplements are best absorbed when they fully dissolve in liquids, according to the National Institutes of Health. Magnesium aspartate, citrate, lactate or chloride is better absorbed than magnesium oxide or magnesium sulfate.
High doses of zinc are impediments to magnesium absorption, states the NIH. However, an adequate amount of vitamin B6 is essential because it controls how much magnesium is drawn in, explains the University of Maryland Medical Center. Magnesium supplements that are in time-released forms are likely more efficient.
Although magnesium is found in medications for heartburn, upset stomach and constipation, those intended as laxatives reduce the absorption of the nutrient, NIH advises. The nutrient also occurs naturally in many foods, though only about 30 to 40 percent of this is absorbed. Magnesium-rich foods include leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds and whole grains.
Magnesium is required by every organ in the body, bones and teeth, reports UMMC. It is involved in energy producing and controlling the amounts of calcium, copper, zinc, potassium and vitamin D in the body. Magnesium levels are often low in people with intestinal viruses or gastrointestinal diseases. Other conditions, including diabetes, pancreatitis and kidney disease, reduce magnesium. Menstruation, too much sweating or stress, and excessive amounts of coffee, soda, salt or alcohol also cause deficits.