Magnesium Threonate: An Honest Buying Guide for Health Enthusiasts

Last updated on June 12th, 2024 at 03:55 pm

Magnesium L-threonate is a form of the essential mineral magnesium. As a relatively new formulation just identified in 2010, the supplement has garnered significant attention for its unique impact on the brain(1).

Unlike other forms of magnesium, magnesium L-threonate is able to cross the blood-brain barrier, which may enhance its neurological effects. This special characteristic has led to its promotion as a potential supplement for improving memory, cognitive function, and overall brain health.

However, with the wide range of magnesium L-threonate products available on the market, choosing the right one for you can be daunting.

We’re about to simplify the process, providing our honest buying guide that offers insights into understanding this extraordinary mineral. By the end of this article, you should be equipped with the knowledge you need to make an informed decision about whether magnesium L-threonate is the right supplement for you.

Understanding Magnesium Threonate

Magnesium L-threonate, also known as magnesium threonate, is a synthesized compound made by bonding magnesium molecules to a vitamin C metabolite called threonate

This unique structure improves the compound’s bioavailability, absorption, and stability. It also allows magnesium to cross the blood brain barrier, increasing the levels of the mineral in the brain.

As a result, our brain and nervous system can fully make use of the neuroprotective, anti-anxiety, and anti-stress properties of magnesium.

How Does Magnesium Threonate Work?

Once magnesium L-threonate crosses the blood-brain barrier, it undergoes dissociation, releasing magnesium ions into the brain tissue.

The increased availability of magnesium in the brain then supports multiple neurochemical processes that underlie learning, memory, and brain health.

The magnesium ions participate in a variety of biochemical processes crucial for neuronal function. One key mechanism involves magnesium’s interaction with N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, which are important for synaptic plasticity, learning, and memory.

Magnesium acts as a blocker of this receptor, preventing excessive calcium influx into neurons and regulating synaptic transmission. This modulation of NMDA receptor activity is essential for proper cognitive function.

Magnesium threonate may also support the function of other neurotransmitter systems, such as glutamate and GABA, further contributing to the supplement’s cognitive-enhancing effects.

How Does Magnesium Threonate Differ From Other Forms of Magnesium?

While there are various forms of magnesium available, such as magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide, and magnesium glycinate, magnesium L-threonate stands out due to its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier.

Other forms of magnesium primarily affect the body’s physiological functions and may not have the same impact on cognitive health:

Form of MagnesiumDescriptionCommon Uses
Magnesium oxideMost common form in supplementsConstipation relief
Magnesium citrateMagnesium bound to citric acidConstipation relief, general magnesium supplementation
Magnesium glycinateMagnesium bound to glycineRelaxation, muscle cramps, anxiety

Magnesium Threonate Benefits

Magnesium L-threonate is a relatively new discovery, so research on the supplement is somewhat limited.

However, studies published so far show great potential for this compound. Let’s take a look at some of the proven benefits of incorporating magnesium L-threonate into your wellness routine.

May Enhance Memory and Learning

Magnesium L-threonate shows the most promise in improving brain health. Research conducted on 109 healthy adults found that the compound may help with cognitive well-being, especially memory(1)

Participants who received magnesium L-threonate supplementation demonstrated improvements in various cognitive measures compared to those who had received a placebo.

Individuals in the magnesium threonate group showed enhancements in both short-term and long-term memory tasks, as well as improvements in executive function and attention.

These findings suggest that magnesium L-threonate supplementation has the potential to positively impact cognitive function, particularly memory, in healthy adults.

While more research is needed to confirm these results, these preliminary findings are promising.

Could Relieve Pain

(Image source: Pexels)

In addition to its cognitive benefits, magnesium L-threonate has also shown promise in alleviating pain.

A recent study examined the effects of the supplement on cancer patients taking opioids. Study participants who took magnesium L-threonate required less morphine after 30–90 days compared to those who took a placebo(2).

This research suggests that supplementation with magnesium L-threonate may cause painful sensations to be less intense.

May Improve Sleep Quality

Magnesium L-threonate supplementation could cause potential improvements in sleep quality, making it a promising option for individuals struggling with sleep disturbances.

The mineral plays a critical role in the regulation of the neurotransmitters and hormones involved in the sleep-wake cycle. Magnesium is involved in the synthesis and release of melatonin, which promotes sleep onset.

By optimizing levels of the mineral in the brain, magnesium L-threonate may support the production of melatonin, leading to improved sleep quality(3).

Could Help With Hair Loss

Many types of premature balding are caused by the actions of dihydrotestosterone (DHT) on the hair follicles. 

A study suggests that magnesium L-threonate can reduce the expression of DHT, potentially mitigating its detrimental effects on the hair follicles(4).

This means that the supplement may offer a promising avenue for addressing hair loss.   

Magnesium Threonate Side Effects

Magnesium L-threonate is considered safe for most people when taken as directed.

However, some individuals may experience side effects, particularly if they have consumed high doses of the supplement.

These may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Drowsiness and headaches 

Tip: Follow your product’s recommended dosage guidelines and consult with your doctor before starting any new supplement regimen, especially if you have underlying health issues.

If you experience any adverse effects while taking magnesium L-threonate, discontinue use and contact your healthcare provider for further guidance.

Taking Magnesium Threonate for Beginners

If you’re new to taking magnesium L-threonate, navigating the world of supplementation could be daunting. Read on for a few tips to help get you started.

Choose a High Quality Supplement

Selecting a reputable and high-quality supplement is crucial to ensure the product’s safety and efficacy. 

Look for supplements from reputable and trusted brands with a track record of quality and integrity. The products should undergo third-party testing by independent laboratories to verify their purity and potency.

Check the ingredients list to ensure the supplement contains high quality and bioavailable forms of magnesium L-threonate and avoid any unnecessary fillers, additives, or artificial ingredients.

An excellent product that we recommend is Metagenics Mag L-Threonate.


It features two grams of magnesium L-threonate as Magtein in each dose, providing a potent and bioavailable form of magnesium to support cognitive function, sleep quality, and overall health.

Metagenics is a highly reputable manufacturer that has delivered safe and reliable nutritional supplements for over 35 years. The company only uses the highest standard of ingredients and provides detailed quality testing information for every formula it creates. 

Start With a Low Dosage

When you first begin magnesium L-threonate supplements, it’s advisable to start with a low dosage and gradually increase it as needed.

This helps to minimize the risk of gastrointestinal upset, such as diarrhea, which can occur when magnesium intake exceeds your body’s ability to absorb it.

By starting with a low dosage, you can assess your body’s tolerance to the supplement and gauge how it affects you before increasing the amount you consume. This allows you to identify any potential side effects or sensitivities early on.

Taking a lower dosage at first may also help to optimize magnesium absorption by your body. Starting low allows your system to gradually adjust to the supplement and may enhance its effectiveness over time. 

Be Patient

Magnesium L-threonate supplementation may not immediately produce the results you’re looking for. It often takes time for the amount of magnesium in your body to reach optimal levels and for you to notice the benefits.

The timeline for experiencing an improvement in cognitive levels or sleep quality often varies from person to person. Factors like age, weight, health status, and dosage may influence how fast you notice positive changes.

Remember that consistency is key when it comes to supplements. Take your magnesium L-threonate regularly, and allow at least several weeks for the product to exert its full effects.

Make the Right Choices on Your Magnesium Threonate Journey

Throughout this honest buying guide, we’ve explored the benefits, considerations, and best practices for selecting and incorporating magnesium L-threonate into your daily routine. You’ve now equipped yourself with the knowledge needed to make informed choices that support your wellness.

Keep in mind that everyone’s experiences with magnesium L-threonate are unique, and its effects may vary. Listen to your body and give yourself time to fully experience the supplement’s benefits.

Stay connected with us to receive tips for optimizing your health regimen and exclusive offers on high quality supplements. We’re here to support you on your journey to better cognitive function and overall well-being.   







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Medically reviewed by Dr. Jamy Antoine, D.C. — by Chris Bowman — On March 21, 2024


Chris Bowman

Chris Bowman is the CEO and Co-Founder of and has over 15 years of experience in nutritional sciences and wellness. Simply Nutrients is a part of Dr. Jamy Antoine's Select Health Practice in Edina, Minnesota. Chris is passionate about helping people live healthier lives by using the best practices of nature, nutrition, and medicine.