Magnesium L-Threonate Benefits

Magnesium L-Threonate Benefits

Scientifically reviewed by: Michael A. Smith, MD

There's no question that magnesium does wonders for your health; it's the fourth most abundant mineral in your body and is essential for the proper function of nearly 80% of your metabolic reactions. Getting enough magnesium is critical to supporting healthy brain function—and beyond that, you need this essential mineral for bone health, muscle contractions, energy production, promoting already-healthy blood sugar levels… and more!

Young woman sitting by the table in deep thought

Still, inadequate levels of magnesium are very common: about 68% of adults don't get sufficient levels of this mineral from their diets. If you don't want to be part of this statistic, make sure you're eating the right foods and supplement as needed.

This is easier said than done, unfortunately. There are many different forms of magnesium available in supplement form; two of the most popular ones, magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide, don't effectively support magnesium levels in the brain, where magnesium is highly desired.

The good news is that there is a form of magnesium that's easier for the brain (and the rest of your body) to absorb: magnesium L-threonate. Here's everything you need to know about this brilliant nutrient.

What is magnesium L-threonate good for?

Older man with healthy magnesium levels reading and drinking coffee

A large body of research shows that raising magnesium levels in the brain through supplementation may support brain plasticity, the brain's ability to rewire itself as we learn and experience new things. That's where magnesium L-threonate comes in! Magnesium L-threonate readily crosses the blood-brain barrier, which makes it a great candidate for promoting healthy magnesium levels in the brain. A clinical study showed that dietary supplementation with magnesium L-threonate significantly supported magnesium levels in the brain and overall cognitive ability.

This innovative form of magnesium was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and is particularly efficient at boosting brain magnesium levels when taken orally. That's because it has a unique ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, which can positively impact overall brain health and communication between neurons.

What are the benefits of magnesium L-threonate?

If supporting brain performance is important to you, you may want to consider taking magnesium L-threonate. Not only has it been shown to increase circulating levels of magnesium in the brain, which helps protect the brain against age-related cognitive decline; it also boosts three other aspects of cognitive health:

  1. Improves short-and long-term memory—A clinical study published in Neuron journal showed that increasing magnesium levels in the brain by using magnesium L-threonate could improve learning and memory.
  2. Supports normal stimulation of brain cells—Your brain cells "talk" to one another via neurotransmitters, chemical messengers that relay information to and from the brain, allowing you to make sense of the world around you. Healthy levels of magnesium help promote this neuron-to-neuron communication by maintaining the stimulation of brain cell receptors associated with brain development, memory, and learning. Maintaining normal stimulation of neurons is crucial for supporting mood, memory and healthy cognitive function.
  3. Formation of new brain cells and synapses—Getting enough magnesium helps your brain maintain and form healthy brain cells and synapses. This keeps your brain function youthful.

Magnesium L-threonate: powder vs capsule

Woman making a smoothie and addding magnesium L-threonate

Now you know the brain-boosting powers of magnesium and why magnesium L-threonate is great at supporting circulating magnesium levels—particularly in the brain— but what if you're not too keen on adding more capsules to your morning routine?

You can always opt to take magnesium L-threonate in powder form, which will give you the same benefits. How should you mix the powder? You have two options:

The old-fashioned way

You can dissolve it in water or your favorite healthy drink.

Smoothie goodness

If you're a smoothie lover, you can make it more nutrient-rich by adding a scoop of magnesium L-threonate to your protein smoothie and sprinkle some cinnamon for a dash of antioxidants.

What is Neuro-Mag® Magnesium L-Threonate?

A woman with healthy levels of brain magnesium solving a puzzle

Neuro-Mag® is a magnesium L-threonate formula created by Life Extension that is highly absorbable, and has been demonstrated in clinical studies to be effective at promoting healthy levels of brain magnesium. In a randomized placebo-controlled trial of 44 adults aged 50-70, the group receiving a daily dose of 1.5 to 2 grams of the same magnesium L-threonate formula used in Neuro-Mag® showed markedly healthy cognitive and executive function in just 12 weeks. It is available in capsule and powder form.

More facts about magnesium L-threonate

Dr. Crystal M. Gossard,a Doctor of Clinical Nutrition and a Licensed Dietitian-Nutritionist in Integrative and Functional Nutrition

We asked Life Extension's Educational Specialist, Dr. Crystal M. Gossard, DCN, to give us more details on this brain-boosting nutrient.

Why add magnesium L-threonate to your self-care routine?

Unlike other forms of magnesium, magnesium l-threonate is a highly absorbable form of magnesium that has been shown to readily cross the blood-brain barrier and support healthy magnesium levels in the brain.

Studies indicate that healthy brain magnesium levels have a beneficial effect on measurements of cognitive function, such as short and long-term memory. It can help you remember where you put things, such as your car keys, or improve your ability to plan the intricate details of moving or traveling.

Does magnesium L-threonate have side effects?

A common side effect of taking magnesium is watery bowel movements; however, this generally occurs when magnesium is taken at doses over 1000 mg. What's great about magnesium L-threonate is that this form has less of a bowel movement effect than most forms of magnesium and the typical dose is much lower, at 144 mg.

How long does magnesium L-threonate take to work?

In clinical research, some effects were seen as early as six weeks, with the best results seen after 12 weeks. But due to everyone's unique biochemistries and lifestyles, the time it takes to work will vary from person to person.

How much magnesium L-threonate should you take?

It's recommended to take 2000 mg of magnesium L-threonate, which typically provides 144 mg of magnesium.

What's the difference between L-threonate vs. theanine?

Theanine is a non-protein amino acid that's commonly found in tea and supports a healthy mood. On the other hand, magnesium L-threonate (or threonic acid) is a form of magnesium bonded to a breakdown product of vitamin C to make it more readily available to the body.