Chelated Magnesium Vs Non Chelated Magnesium: Which Is Better For You?

By Kate Johnson

Updated On

Magnesium, an essential mineral, plays a crucial role in numerous bodily functions, from muscle and nerve function to energy production and bone health. With the increasing popularity of magnesium supplements, many people find themselves wondering about the difference between chelated magnesium and non-chelated magnesium. In this blog post, we’ll explore the key distinctions between these two forms of magnesium and help you determine which one might be better suited for your health needs.

Key Takeaways

  1. Chelated magnesium is bound to an amino acid, which can enhance its absorption and bioavailability compared to non-chelated magnesium.
  2. Studies suggest that chelated magnesium may be more effective than non-chelated magnesium in terms of absorption and utilization by the body.
  3. While chelated magnesium can offer potential benefits, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any magnesium supplement regimen.

Chelated Magnesium Vs Non-Chelated—What’s The Difference?

To understand the difference between chelated magnesium and non-chelated magnesium, let’s first define each form:

  • Chelated magnesium: In this form, magnesium is bound to an amino acid, such as glycine or lysine, creating a stable complex that is more easily absorbed by the body.
  • Non-chelated magnesium: This form of magnesium is not bound to an amino acid and is found in compounds like magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate, or magnesium sulfate.

The main advantage of chelated magnesium lies in its potential for better absorption and bioavailability. The amino acid bond helps protect the magnesium from competing with other minerals for absorption in the digestive tract, allowing more of the magnesium to be utilized by the body. Non-chelated magnesium, on the other hand, may have lower absorption rates and can be more susceptible to interference from other nutrients.

Also Read: What Steps Should Vegetarians Take To Ensure They Get Proper Levels Of Protein? Essential Tips

Is chelated magnesium better than regular magnesium?

Several studies have investigated the effectiveness of chelated magnesium compared to non-chelated forms. A study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that magnesium glycinate, a chelated form, had higher bioavailability than magnesium oxide, a non-chelated form. The researchers concluded that chelated magnesium might be more effective in replenishing magnesium levels in the body.

Another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology compared the absorption of magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide. The results showed that magnesium citrate, which is partially chelated, had better absorption than magnesium oxide, supporting the idea that chelation can enhance magnesium uptake.

Examples of chelated magnesium supplements available in the market include:

  • Magnesium Glycinate
  • Magnesium Lysinate
  • Magnesium Biglycinate
  • Magnesium Taurinate

What does chelated magnesium do to the body?

Magnesium, regardless of its form, plays a vital role in various bodily functions. It supports:

  • Muscle and nerve function: Magnesium helps regulate muscle contractions and nerve impulses, promoting relaxation and reducing muscle cramps.
  • Energy production: Magnesium is involved in the production of ATP, the body’s primary energy currency, and helps convert food into usable energy.
  • Bone health: Magnesium is essential for the proper absorption and utilization of calcium, contributing to strong bones and preventing osteoporosis.

Chelated magnesium, with its potential for better absorption, may be more effective in addressing magnesium deficiencies and supporting these bodily functions. Some studies suggest that chelated magnesium may help with conditions like muscle cramps, migraines, and anxiety, although more research is needed to confirm these benefits.

It’s important to note that while chelated magnesium is generally well-tolerated, it can cause side effects such as diarrhea, nausea, or abdominal cramping in some individuals, especially when taken in high doses.

Who should not take magnesium chelate?

While magnesium supplements can offer health benefits, certain individuals should exercise caution or avoid taking magnesium chelate altogether. These include:

  • People with kidney problems: Magnesium supplements can put additional strain on the kidneys, which may be harmful to those with kidney disease or impaired kidney function.
  • Individuals taking certain medications: Magnesium can interact with some medications, such as antibiotics, bisphosphonates, and diuretics, affecting their absorption or effectiveness.
  • People with digestive disorders: Those with conditions like inflammatory bowel disease or chronic diarrhea may have difficulty absorbing magnesium and should consult with a healthcare professional before taking supplements.

It’s crucial to consult with a healthcare provider before starting any magnesium supplement regimen, especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications. They can help determine the appropriate form and dosage of magnesium based on your individual needs and monitor for any potential risks or complications.


Understanding the difference between chelated magnesium and non-chelated magnesium is essential when considering magnesium supplementation for your health. Chelated magnesium, with its amino acid bond, may offer better absorption and bioavailability compared to non-chelated forms, potentially leading to more effective results.

However, it’s important to remember that individual needs and health conditions vary, and what works for one person may not work for another. By consulting with a healthcare professional and making informed decisions about magnesium supplementation, you can ensure that you’re taking the right form and dosage to support your overall health and well-being.

Read More: How To Increase Ferritin Levels? Tips For Increasing Iron Stores


Q: Can I get enough magnesium from my diet instead of taking supplements?

A: Yes, it’s possible to obtain magnesium from a balanced diet that includes magnesium-rich foods such as leafy greens, nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes. However, some individuals may still benefit from supplementation, especially if they have a magnesium deficiency or difficulty absorbing the mineral from food sources.

Q: How much magnesium should I take daily?

A: The recommended daily intake of magnesium varies by age and gender. For adults, the general recommendations are:
– Men 19-30 years: 400 mg/day
– Men 31+ years: 420 mg/day
– Women 19-30 years: 310 mg/day
– Women 31+ years: 320 mg/day
However, individual needs may vary, and it’s essential to consult with a healthcare provider to determine the appropriate dosage for your specific requirements.

Q: Can I take chelated magnesium with other supplements?

A: It’s generally safe to take chelated magnesium with other supplements, but it’s essential to be aware of potential interactions. For example, magnesium can interfere with the absorption of antibiotics, and calcium supplements may compete with magnesium for absorption. Always inform your healthcare provider about all the supplements and medications you’re taking to ensure safety and effectiveness.

Q: Are there any vegan-friendly sources of chelated magnesium?

A: Yes, many chelated magnesium supplements are vegan-friendly, as they are derived from non-animal sources. Look for products that specify “vegan” or “vegetarian” on the label, and check the ingredient list to ensure that the supplement does not contain any animal-derived ingredients, such as gelatin capsules.


  1. National Institutes of Health. (2021). Magnesium: Fact Sheet for Health Professionals. Office of Dietary Supplements.

Kate Johnson

Kate Johnson is a seasoned nutritionist with extensive experience in the field of health and wellness. With a deep understanding of nutrition science and a passion for helping others, Kate has dedicated her career to empowering individuals to make positive lifestyle changes. Through her practical guidance and expert knowledge, she inspires and motivates clients to achieve their health goals and lead happier, healthier lives.

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