Posh magnesium vs Andrews Salts/Boots equivalent/Epsom Salts. Magnesium can be cheap & effective. So why the posh?

Is there a reason everyone taking magnesium is taking expensive versions of magnesium when you cd take Andrews Salts or Boots' equivalent?

Andrews contains some citric acid (makes nice fizzy and being acidic should help with absorption of magnesium) and a little sugar (Mary Poppins effect).

Looking at the box, the magnesium is as magnesium sulphate. Anything wrong with this in terms of best absorption/something I haven't considered?

(From the box:

"Further information:

Effervescent powder containing the active ingredients Sodium Hydrogen Carbonate 22.6% w/w, Citric Acid 19.5% w/w and Magnesium Sulphate 17.4% w/w. Also contains 2.1g of sucrose per 5ml spoonful").

Unless someone can update us on this, these are the daily requirements for magnesium: "500 mg for infants, children and most women, and 800 mg for adolescents, men, convalescents and expectant mothers. These quantities give a bare margin over the amounts lost daily in the urine, faeces and perspiration". (Adelle Davis, "Let's Eat Right to Keep Fit", revised edition, Unwin 1979).

I am guessing you all know this already but I'm putting it here for argument's sake:

Apart from dietary sources of magnesium, (nuts, soybeans, cooked green leafy vegetables (yes I know...)), we apparently need magnesium supplementation anyway because our soil is deficient in it.

I can see from the chapter I'm skimming over in the Davis book that its effects include a beneficial effect on cholesterol levels, heart function (and all muscle function naturally), and preventing calcium being deposited in the wrong places such as arteries. (Included only a few relevant ones here for brevity).

So I can see why people take it. I did anyway (haphazardly) well before AF diagnosis, but not very systematically.

I did try Epson Salts (not very palatable, and could do with some citric acid/acidity to help it go down better... Can't remember if tried it in orange juice). Lighted on Andrews because it is much more palatable and convenient. (Guilty admission I just like it). It's great fizz but not too much, not a 'hard' fizz.

(I don't just mean one brand, and I don't have any affiliations with the company that produce it).

What I like about magnesium is, you will excrete what you don't need, (Magnesium does not go through you 'like a dose of salts' if you need the magnesium, you just absorb it). So you don't have to worry about taking too much.

Anyway, if this is so cheap, palatable and effective why are people taking other forms of magnesium? Is there something I don't know/haven't considered that you could put me right on?


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10 Replies

  • Boombiddy I'm probably with you on this but there are some real zealots out there who will probably tear your argument to pieces and tell you that you need taurate with your magnesium or similar. I use magnesium oil for muscle cramps and have been known to sit in a bath of epsom salts (wouldn't dare ingest any ). I can see you aren't trying to sell anything so if it works for you just go for it. I always caution that one should discuss with your medical team any supplements but no doubt you already did that.

    By the by, I used to love Andrews as well, great on a hot day to top up electrolytes and unlike most other things out there it has been around sine I was a child. so well proven.

  • Thanks BobD,

    Shall brace myself!

    Actually the book I quoted, though it may now be outdated in some aspects, has a whole chapter on things that should also be present in the diet/supplemented in order for the magnesium to work to its potential.

    That was much too much info to include in a post, so I can see why people might correct me on this.

    I suppose that by picking one element out and scrutinising it I could be being 'part-smart', but my point is about the delivery method. This could be cheaper and simpler, especially as magnesium is so cheap in this form. And magnesium is bulky (too bulky to get enough into a multi-vitamin or supplement). What to take with it is a separate (though interesting and important) issue.

    However, I have not calculated how much magnesium I am getting, and don't know about taurine so would be interested to hear...

    ...Just no 'potato peelings at moonlight from a gibbous moon' stuff...

  • Ps how can you get magnesium (water soluble) to go into an oil? Any chemists around who could explain?

  • Since I work with race car engines a lot of magnesium comes my way in the form of dust or swarf but I don't expect that counts. lol

  • Ummm!

  • Magnesium chloride is dissolved in water and has an oily consistency, but is not actually an oil (so I believe)

  • Thanks Goldfish_ !

  • Aah,

    Should have looked up magnesium first before spouting on here. The Wikipedia entry on magnesium as a nutraceutical says that in magnesium sulphate (which is what is in Andrews Salts), the magnesium is less available than in the chloride, citrate etc.

    ”Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) is soluble in water. It is commonly used as a laxative, owing to the poor absorption of the sulfate component. In lower doses, they may be used as an oral magnesium source, however.”

    So I am beginning to get it.

    Sorry, didn't mean to waste anybody's time, can't think why I didn't look it up first.

  • No potato peelings under a gibbous moon? I feel deprived, and there goes half of my preventative health care strategy... I just take a brand of magnesium citrate, partly because I didn't stop to think that Andrews might be magnesium too :D

  • @Eatsalottie, you made me laugh out loud!

    Mm, I wonder how many of our medics' theories about AF **are** as potato peelings under a gibbous moon or will be seen as such in 20 years time? Our doctors seen as gibbering buffoons?

    ...Ah, the more it changes, the more it stay the same...