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Which Type of Magnesium Should You Take for Relief from Constipation?

best magnesium for constipation

Magnesium is needed for a number of vital functions of our bodies. Magnesium is also useful for providing relief from constipation.

However, consuming too much of magnesium, or taking the wrong magnesium supplement could make you end up with the runs.

If you’re wondering about which type of magnesium supplement you should take (just in case you feel blocked), read on.

Types of Magnesium Supplements For Constipation

Magnesium, by itself, is an unstable ion and needs to be bound to another substance, such as oxygen, citric acid, chloride or amino acid, in order to become stable. Each of these “partners” have varying properties.

In fact, the difference between various magnesium supplement is due to the differences in the substances magnesium binds to. Therefore, the choice of magnesium supplement depends entirely on an individual’s need. Following are some types of magnesium supplements and how effective they are as laxatives.

Magnesium Hydroxide

Magnesium Hydroxide also known as “Milk of Magnesia”, is one of the most common compounds in the market. Normally, it is used as a laxative, but if taken in excess, magnesium hydrochloride can cause diarrhea. This is because only 4% of it gets absorbed by the body. The remaining 96% passes through the intestines unabsorbed, causing a laxative effect.

Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium Citrate is a combination of magnesium and citric acid. It is absorbed by the body better than most magnesium compounds (approximately 20%), due to which it has a milder laxative effect than magnesium hydroxide.

Magnesium Sulfate

Magnesium sulfate is a potent laxative, and causes diarrhea and bloating when administered intravenously. However, unlike other compounds, this compound has a better degree of absorbability through the skin. Thus, it is used more as a bath salt (commonly known as Epsom salt) than as a laxative. Due to this property, it is added to body lotions as well. These salts are not meant to be consumed orally, and when applied topically, are not very effective as laxatives either.

Magnesium Malate

Magnesium malate is a combination of magnesium and malic acid. Both, malic acid and magnesium, provide relief from the symptoms of fibromyalgia by boosting the body’s ability synthesize ATP and generate energy (ATP aka adenosine triphosphate is a molecule that provides energy on activation). This combination also produces a mild laxative effect that is similar to magnesium citrate.

To conclude, magnesium hydroxide is the strongest laxative among all due to its low absorbability level. However, it should be taken in small amounts to prevent diarrhea, and subsequent dehydration.

Magnesium is contraindicated in patients with renal problems as well as patients who are on certain antibiotics, diuretics and beta-blockers. Do remember to talk to your doctor before you start a course of magnesium for constipation.

Tags : magnesium

Sharda Agarwal

Sharda Agarwal

Co-founder, Sepalika. Nutritional Therapy Practitioner (Cert Awaited), Nutritional Therapy Association, USA
Sharda Agarwal is a qualified Functional Nutrition Therapy Practitioner. She first used dietary supplements to overcome a debilitating migraine she suffered for years. Since then she has studied the subjects of nutrition and nutrients extensively. She uses this to manage the health of her family at home and with Sepalika.
Sharda Agarwal

Latest posts by Sharda Agarwal (see all)

A.D.A.M. (2007, May 14). Health Information> Medical Reference Guide> Complementary and Alternative Medicine Guide> Supplement Interaction>Possible Interactions with: Magnesium. Retrieved from University of Maryland Medical Center:

Liu, L. W. (2011). Chronic constipation: Current treatment options. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology, 25(Suppl B): 22B-28B.

Miners, S. E. (2014). Magnesium Balances Calcium and Rescues the Heart. Well Being Journal, 23(4).

OMICS International. (n.d.). Malic Acid Fibromyalgia. Retrieved from Omics Online:

Portalatin, M., & Winstead, N. (2012). Medical Management of Constipation. Clinics in Colon and Rectal Surgery, 25(1): 12-19.



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Medical And General Disclaimer for
This article is intended for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. strongly recommends that you consult a medical practitioner for implementing any of the above. Results may vary from person to person.

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