Magnesium Diglycinate Absorption

On November 30, 2010, in Minerals, Reviews, by Andrea

Yup.  More damning evidence against Journey.  Oops.  And folks?  This isn’t good.

This comes from a paper about magnesium chelation.

The magnesium chelate used is magnesium diglycinate.  The supporting documentation that Albion uses is a study that compares it to magnesium oxide in patients with ileal resection, mostly due to Crohn’s disease.

The link above is for the ENTIRE study.  Let me give you the Abstract here:

Bioavailability of Magnesium Diglycinate vs Magnesium Oxide in Patients with Ileal Resection

  1. Sally A. Schuette, PHD
  1. University of Chicago, Department of Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology, BioChemAnalysis Corp, 2201 West Campbell Park Drive, Chicago IL 60612
  1. Bret A. Lashner, MD
  1. University of Chicago, Department of Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology, Department of Gastroenterology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, 9500 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH 44195
  1. Morteza Janghorbani, PHD
  1. University of Chicago, Department of Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology, BioChemAnalysis Corp, 2201 West Campbell Park Drive, Chicago IL 60612

Abstract

Background: Patients who have undergone ileal resection are at risk for developing magnesium depletion/deficiency because of poor absorption and decreased intake as well as increased endogenous losses. Magnesium repletion is difficult to accomplish because of the cathartic action of most oral magnesium supplements at therapeutic doses. The results of in vitro and in situ studies show that magnesium diglycinate (chelate) represents a highly available form of magnesium that is absorbed in part as an intact dipeptide in the proximal small intestine. Methods: We conducted a double-blind, randomized crossover trial with 12 patients who had ileal resections in order to compare the bioavailability of a 100-mg dose of 26Mg-labeled chelate with MgO in this patient population. Results: For the patient group as a whole, 26Mg absorption was low but was not different for the two supplements (23.5% vs 22.8% for magnesium chelate and MgO, respectively). However, 26Mg absorption was substantially greater from the chelate (23.5% vs 11.8%; p < .05) in the four patients who showed the greatest impairment of magnesium absorption with MgO and was better tolerated by all patients. Peak isotope enrichment also occurred significantly earlier after 26Mg chelate than after 26MgO ingestion (mean difference 3.2 ± 1.3 hours; p < .05), and the area under the enrichment vs time curve was greater after chelate ingestion (p < .05). Conclusions: Data from this study support the suggestion that some portion of magnesium diglycinate is absorbed intact, probably via a dipeptide transport pathway. Magnesium diglycinate may be a good alternative to commonly used magnesium supplements in patients with intestinal resection. (Journal of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition 18:430-435, 1994)

There is a reason magnesium oxide absorption was poor for everyone — it’s poorly absorbed by everyone!  Evidence, you say?  Sure:

From Journal of The American College of Nutrition:

CLINICAL TRIAL

Magnesium bioavailability from magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide

J. S. Lindberg, M. M. Zobitz, J. R. Poindexter and C. Y. Pak
Center for Mineral Metabolism and Clinical Research, University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas 75235.

This study compared magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate with respect to in vitro solubility and in vivo gastrointestinal absorbability. The solubility of 25 mmol magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide was examined in vitro in solutions containing varying amounts of hydrochloric acid (0-24.2 mEq) in 300 ml distilled water intended to mimic achlorhydric to peak acid secretory states. Magnesium oxide was virtually insoluble in water and only 43% soluble in simulated peak acid secretion (24.2 mEq hydrochloric acid/300 ml). Magnesium citrate had high solubility even in water (55%) and was substantially more soluble than magnesium oxide in all states of acid secretion. Reprecipitation of magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide did not occur when the filtrates from the solubility studies were titrated to pH 6 and 7 to stimulate pancreatic bicarbonate secretion. Approximately 65% of magnesium citrate was complexed as soluble magnesium citrate, whereas magnesium complexation was not present in the magnesium oxide system. Magnesium absorption from the two magnesium salts was measured in vivo in normal volunteers by assessing the rise in urinary magnesium following oral magnesium load. The increment in urinary magnesium following magnesium citrate load (25 mmol) was significantly higher than that obtained from magnesium oxide load (during 4 hours post-load, 0.22 vs 0.006 mg/mg creatinine, p less than 0.05; during second 2 hours post-load, 0.035 vs 0.008 mg/mg creatinine, p less than 0.05). Thus, magnesium citrate was more soluble and bioavailable than magnesium oxide.

Okay, after reading both studies in their entirety, we can infer the following:

  • Magnesium oxide does not absorb well in anyone.  In fact, when water is added to magnesium oxide, it forms magnesium hydroxide, otherwise known as Milk of Magnesia.
  • Magnesium Diglycinate, the chelated form of magnesium, fared equally well to magnesium oxide.  Thus we can infer that magnesium diglycinate will absorb poorly as well.
  • Magnesium citrate is much better absorbed.
  • From the Diglycinate study, page 434: “Data from in vitro studies suggest that magnesium disglycinate and other metal amino acid chelates may be absorbed via dipeptide absorption pathways in the upper small intestine.”  This includes areas that are frequently bypassed in RNY and DS surgeries!
I want to reiterate a statement made in this study:
Data from in vitro studies suggest that magnesium disglycinate and other metal amino acid chelates may be absorbed via dipeptide absorption pathways in the upper small intestine.  Page 434
This, to me, reads that many of the other metal amino acid chelates simply will not absorb, according to Albion, in RNY and DS patients!  So why on Earth, would a bariatric company be using them knowing this?
And why are patients blindly following someone simply because SHE says they should?
Wake up, people!  This is your life at stake!
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2 Responses to “Magnesium Diglycinate Absorption”

  1. Ruth says:

    Wow, Thanks for taking the time to pull this together & decipher the science-speak for us. I’ve been using Citroma (magnesium citrate) for a few months now because of calf cramps. (I buy it at Walgreens for less than $2 and at 1 Tbsp 2 x day it lasts for 10 days. Cheap!) My pcp approves Citroma because it is liquid; the reason I looked for liquid magnesium was a comment that my gastroenterologist made, “We see a lot of magnesium deficiency around 7 years with bypass patients”. Dr H will semi-retire in 3 years, he works in Vancouver BC at a large urban hospital, which means not many other doctors have as much experience as he does. CAVEAT: just because this is a good choice for me does not mean it is good for you. Consult your surgeon or pcp.

  2. Hala says:

    Andrea, Thanks for pulling all of that together.
    Glad we have you to help us.

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