Magnesium Threonate: The Supplement That Wants to Power Your Brain

Degenerative brain disorders are an epidemic. They not only cause emotional struggles but financial ones as well. The worst thing about them is that most research suggests that once you have them, your condition can only go downhill. In short, you can only manage them nut cannot cure them or reverse their effects. However, after a few studies both on rats and humans, we can say, there is hope. It comes in the form of Magnesium Threonate.

What Is Magnesium Threonate?

Studies have found that increasing your intake of magnesium can help improve the plasticity of your brain. Brain plasticity is a contributing factor to proper cognitive functions and memory. We can find magnesium in dark leafy vegetables, beans, some types of fruits and nuts as well as supplements. For years, the kind of supplements we have had on the market have not been efficient. This is because though the body needs the mineral on its own, it is sometimes hard for the body to absorb.

Enter Magnesium L-threonate. This is an improved form of magnesium that is easier for the body to absorb and also enhances its bioavailability. It is what we call a chelate in science. This simply means that it is attached to a negatively charged ion.

You see most metals including magnesium are cations or positively charged ions. In this case, the magnesium cation is attached to the L threanoic acid that is an anion to form Magnesium L-threonate. Cations and ions tend to be unstable on their own and linking them create a more stable form. This is why all magnesium supplements are chelates.

How Does Magnesium L-threonate Work?

We have already established that your brain needs magnesium to help you develop proper brain function. But did you know that there is more magnesium in the brain than there is in your bloodstream? Well, that is how much your brain needs magnesium just in case we were yet to convince you. Some of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency include irritability, insomnia, muscle cramps, hormonal imbalance, palpitations, anxiety, and depression.

Magnesium L-threonate is imperative in the repair of damaged neurons; it may also help with delaying the symptoms of degenerative neural disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease.

There are several other magnesium supplements such as magnesium sulfate, oxide, carbonate, orotate, glycinate, taurate, citrate, and malate to name a few. What differentiates magnesium L-threonate from the rest of the pack is its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier. Typically, the body’s blood vessels have a lining called the endothelial cells. In most parts of the body, these cells have ‘spaces’ between them that enable the passage of substances from the blood to pass into the cells.

When it comes to the brain, however, the ‘spaces’ are not there. Very few substances can pass through, and most medications usually aren’t able to, but Magnesium L-Threonate can permeate the barrier. This makes it one of the most effective supplements when it comes to dealing with conditions that affect the brain
Taking a magnesium L-threonate supplement can also increase your absorption of magnesium by up to 15%.

MIT Conducts a Study on Magnesium Threonate

Magnesium deficiency is a big problem though nobody is actively talking about it. 68% of the American population does the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of this master mineral. In 2010, a group of neuroscientists from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in conjunction with their counterparts from the Tsinghua University in Beijing undertook a study. They concluded that increasing the amount of magnesium you take can improve memory and slow the effects of degenerative neural conditions synonymous with age.

The study also concluded that using magnesium L-threonate is beneficial in improving learning abilities as well as long-term memory and short-term memory. The study was however conducted on rats and not humans. So whether it helps with short-term memory on humans remains to be seen.

The older rats seemed to respond positively to a series of tests that tested their learning abilities after they had taken the magnesium supplement. Susumu Tonegawa who took part in the study observed that while the study highlights the importance of adding sufficient magnesium to the diet; it also showcases how using magnesium in the treatment of memory loss due to age is a great option.

The study also looked at how magnesium L-threonate effects how neurons communicate and improve how they transmit signals to each other. They also saw that in both young and old rats. Magnesium L-threonate helped to improve brain plasticity. It also led to increased density of synapses in the hippocampus which helps with long-term memory as well as navigating your environment. Magnesium also improved how the older rats had memory recall with partial information.

The study concluded that there is a possibly casual correlation between increased magnesium intake and improved memory in older rats. The members of the research team would also like to see the results of further studies between increased intake of magnesium in diet and the levels of magnesium in the brain and consequently cognitive skills.

What are the Benefits of Magnesium Threonate

Magnesium L-threonate helps with improving the plasticity of the brain. As a result, we end up with a healthier and better functioning brain. It helps with cognitive function, but its benefits do not end there.


Our memory remains sharp as long as our brain maintains plasticity. Brain plasticity is a result of the brain being able to form neural pathways and allowing them to communicate with each other effectively. When we learn something new, the brain creates an electrochemical signal. The signal then passes in the spaces between neurons. When we are young, the brain’s ability to form new pathways fast and effortlessly enables us to have strong mental acuity. It also the reason we can be adventurous and spontaneous.

As we age like everything else, our brain wears out and is no longer able to create neurological pathways and allow them to communicate fast anymore. It is for this reason that you may find it harder to learn a new language or you are no longer comfortable with unfamiliar situations as you age. This lost brain plasticity is also a contributing factor to degenerative neural diseases that cause memory loss such as Parkinson’s, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Multiple Sclerosis (MS) among others.

How does magnesium come in? Magnesium is responsible for controlling ion channels in the brain. The channels are like small electric switches and the longer they are on, the stronger the connection is, and the more the subsequent memory is likely to be “set in stone”. You can, therefore, see that when you do not take sufficient amounts of magnesium, the tiny switches will “go off” and you are more likely to suffer memory loss.


Magnesium Threonate

If you have been having trouble sleeping Magnesium may be the solution to your problem. One of the ways in which it helps is by removing calcium from your muscles. With less calcium, the muscles relax, and you can fall asleep easier. Have you ever lost sleep and someone or your Google search suggests milk? Well, milk is a rich source of magnesium, and that is why it is so popular in helping you doze off. Magnesium also reduced cortisol, a stress hormone. When there is less cortisol, melatonin takes over and helps you sleep and stay asleep for longer.


We have seen how magnesium L-threonate can permeate the endothelial cells and get to the brain. It can also help relieve anxiety. One of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency is muscle cramps. These occur because magnesium is not there to relax the muscles. But magnesium’s calming properties do not end there. It is also a calming agent for the nervous system.

Inflammation is also a contributor to anxiety. Magnesium has anti-inflammatory properties that help counter anxiety. Although prescription medications are more famous for treating anxiety, magnesium is a more natural approach and is less likely to lead to dependency in the future. Anxiety in itself may be a symptom of magnesium deficiency. Taking magnesium can significantly reduce the feelings of anxiety.

Hair loss

One of the leading causes of hair loss is male pattern baldness. It occurs as a result of the effects of a hereditary gene affecting the hair follicles. It starts with you growing thinner hair and eventually your follicles no longer grow hair, and you end up with a large bald spot. Although we do not talk about hair loss among men that often, it has devastating effects on a man’s confidence and may even affect his relationships.

There is good news! Magnesium L-threonate may finally be a solution to your hair loss woes. For most of this article, we have been focusing on the benefits of magnesium. But when it comes to growing your hair, the L threonic acid seems to be the one that is effective.  The dihydrotestosterone (DHT) hormone is a form of the male hormone testosterone. It is also greatly responsible for male pattern baldness.

Korean Study has shown that when L-threonate and DHT are added to a culture together, the DHT becomes less potent. There aren’t many studies that have taken the path of researching further on this subject. But if we can find the dosage required for suppressing DHT, we are likely to have a cure for male pattern baldness.

Choosing a Magnesium Threonate Supplement

Magnesium L-threonate is a patented product, and not everyone can sell it. The brand that makes it is called Magtein. You will see this name on all the brands whether they splash it on the front or back or put in fine print in the ingredients section. The sellers with the best feedback so far include Pure Encapsulations, Doctor’s best, Source Naturals, Jarrow Formulas, Mercola, Swanson ultra and Life Extension.

Forms of Magnesium L-threonate

The best form of Magnesium L-threonate for you to purchase is one that contains no magnesium stearate. Stearate allows capsules to stop sticking to machinery. It, however, does not have any health benefits. In fact, in some instances, some algae found in it are toxic. Most brands that sell the safer version are costly but isn’t protecting your health worth more than saving money?

The Recommended Magnesium Threonate Dosage

As with everything else, too much of Magnesium L- threonate can cause you harm. You should, therefore, restrict your daily intake to about 200 to 400 grams. Further analysis recommends 300grams and 400 grams for women and men respectively.

What are the Magnesium Threonate Side Effects?

Most of the side effects of Magnesium L-threonate are not just from taking the supplement but from overusing. When you consume more than the recommended dosage, you may develop symptoms such as extremely low blood pressure, chronic brain fog, and palpitations. You may also experience headaches, drowsiness when you start taking the drug. If this happens, it is advisable to take half the dosage until your body gets used to it.

There are also people who should stay away entirely from this supplement. They include people with any kidney problems and who are on medication for the same. Another group of people is those with any heart-related issues.

Final Thoughts

There is no debate about how much your brain needs magnesium. From all we have talked about above, you now know how much Magnesium L-threonate can change your life. If you have loved ones with degenerative neural conditions, you now know there is hope. They can now improve their cognitive function, something that previously was inconceivable.

Starting is also important. If you are still young, it is crucial to start amping up your magnesium intake now. You will end up with a healthy brain for longer. This is especially important if you have a genetic predisposition to the diseases.

Though it has some severe contraindications, taking them in the dosage that is recommended is safe. If, however, you have any reservations, as with anything concerning your health, you should seek your doctor’s opinion before you start taking the Magnesium L-threonate supplements. You can also take it in magnesium-rich foods.

We would also need more studies to help us better gauge the potency and levels of magnesium but so far so good.

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