The importance of magnesium in the body is well established in scientific literature; however, many people find it a difficult nutrient to tolerate. If you experience loose stool when taking magnesium, don’t worry! There is a solution called choline citrate.
Why we need magnesium
Magnesium is an unbelievably crucial nutrient that is needed for more than 300+ physiological processes in the body. We need it for energy production, for sleep, as well as for our bones, heart, and mental health. Unfortunately, most of us are deficient in magnesium with 48% of adults getting less than the EAR (Estimated Average Requirement). (1)
Some of the reasons why so many people are deficient in magnesium include the high consumption of low-magnesium foods, soil mineral depletion, and magnesium losses from food processing techniques. This means that supplementing with magnesium is more important than ever. However, when people try to correct this problem through magnesium supplementation, they may experience loose stool. This results from a block to magnesium.
What is a block to magnesium uptake?
A block to magnesium uptake occurs when the body is unable to take magnesium into the cells. Cells have a calcium–magnesium ion channel that brings magnesium into the cell. This ion channel can become blocked by toxins, stress, acidosis, immune weakness, and dietary inadequacies. If the channel is blocked, magnesium cannot make it into the cell. The unabsorbed magnesium then makes its way to the intestines and causes hypermotility, resulting in loose stool.
Choline citrate enhances magnesium uptake
Choline citrate combats this block to magnesium by getting magnesium into the cells. The choline and citrate balance magnesium’s positive charges with their negative charges. This neutralization creates tiny droplets that are taken up by neutral pores, allowing the magnesium, choline, and citrate to enter the cells. In fact, Dr. Jaffe, the developer of liquid choline citrate, has found that magnesium uptake triples in the presence of choline citrate. More magnesium being taken up into the cells means that the amount of unabsorbed magnesium that can irritate the intestines decreases.
Bonus benefits of choline citrate
Even if you think your magnesium levels are fine, we still recommend supplementing with choline citrate because of the magnitude of health benefits that come along with it.
Choline is yet another essential nutrient needed for a multitude of bodily processes. It plays key roles in brain, heart, bone, and liver health, as well as muscle function. It also has major health implications in terms of fetal neurodevelopment and birth outcomes, and enhances exercise and athletic performance. You can read more about the importance of choline in our blog, Never Heard of Choline? Here’s What You’re Missing.
Despite its significance, about 90% of Americans are deficient in choline. (2) Supplementing with choline citrate can help fight choline deficiency thus giving you adequate amounts of this much-needed nutrient.
Additionally, along with magnesium, citrate is alkalizing. Being able to reduce the acidity of cells is crucial in terms of preventing toxins that can block the calcium–magnesium ATPase ion channel and allowing the magnesium to enter the cell. The ion channel itself is dependent on magnesium — it relies on ATP and magnesium is needed for ATP.
Alkalizing is vital for overall health. Learn more about the health benefits of alkalizing in our blog, Why Alkalize?
How much magnesium and choline citrate should you take?
Generally, a good intake of magnesium is 500 to 1,000 mg a day. Use a pure and alkalizing form of magnesium such as our ionized magnesium. It’s best to start with a low dose and work up slowly. If you experience loose stool from the magnesium, add 1 teaspoon of liquid choline citrate taken in a glass of water or juice. Take this along with your magnesium twice a day. For some of you, it might take longer to reduce the loose stool from the magnesium. For others, using the teaspoon of choline citrate twice a day will do the trick right away.
Choline citrate to the rescue!
There are too many benefits of both choline citrate and magnesium to ignore. Be sure that you are getting enough choline citrate to both combat your deficiency in choline and your deficiency in magnesium so you can amplify your health, and live and feel better.
Not sure if you’re getting enough choline citrate and magnesium? Measure your first-morning urine pH with pH test strips. When the cells have too much net acid overnight, the body puts it into your urine. A first-morning urine pH lower than 6.5 indicates excess acidity and tells you that you will benefit from magnesium and choline citrate. If your first-morning urine pH is below 6.5, you’re too acidic and it’s time to increase your magnesium–choline citrate intake.
- NIH (National Institutes of Health). 2022. Magnesium: Fact sheet for health professionals. Office of Dietary Supplements NIH website. Accessed May 2022.
- Wallace, T. C. and V. L. Fulgoni, III. 2016. Assessment of total choline intakes in the United States. Journal of the American College of Nutrition 35(2):108-112.