Magnesium Citrate: An Effective Aid for Constipation?

Magnesium Citrate: An Effective Aid for Constipation?

Unlock the potential of magnesium citrate for constipation relief and improved digestive health with recommended dosages that harness its osmotic laxative properties and ability to promote gut motility.

Magnesium is an essential mineral with significant roles in several biological processes. It’s crucial for muscle and nerve function, maintaining a regular heartbeat, supporting a robust immune system, and ensuring bone health.(1) Its role extends to our digestive system, where it aids in the production of digestive enzymes and helps regulate peristaltic action— the wave-like muscle contractions that move food along the digestive tract.(2)

What is Magnesium Citrate and How Does It Aid Digestion and Alleviate Constipation?

Now, let's delve into the concept of magnesium citrate. It's a compound of magnesium combined with citric acid, which is favored for its high bioavailability, meaning our bodies absorb it effectively.(3)

When it comes to digestive health, magnesium citrate stands out. It functions as an osmotic laxative, which works by pulling water into the intestines. This increased water softens the stool, making it easier to pass and potentially relieving constipation.(4) Simultaneously, it influences the gut motility through electrolyte shifts, stimulating the contraction and relaxation of intestinal muscles and prompting regular bowel movements.(5)

A study published in the European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that magnesium citrate increased the frequency of bowel movements and improved stool consistency in participants suffering from chronic constipation. The mechanism of action that facilitates these benefits is believed to be twofold: increasing water in the colon and promoting gut motility.(6)

What is the Suggested Dosage of Magnesium Citrate for Constipation Relief?

Given its benefits, what is the appropriate magnesium citrate dosage to alleviate constipation? Clinical studies have reported positive outcomes using doses ranging from 290mg to 2,000mg per day, depending on individual factors and the severity of constipation.(7) However, most experts recommend starting with a smaller dose, such as 200mg to 400mg per day, and then gradually increasing it as required. It's essential to monitor your body's response and adjust the dose accordingly, as individual tolerance levels can vary.(8)

Most experts recommend starting with a smaller dose, such as 200mg to 400mg per day, and then gradually increasing it as required.

While magnesium citrate’s potential to alleviate constipation is scientifically supported, remember to consider it as part of a holistic approach to health. Balancing supplements with dietary choices, adequate hydration, and physical activity is the best strategy for promoting regular, healthy digestion.


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(1) de Baaij, Jeroen H. F., Hoenderop, Joost G. J., & Bindels, René J. M. (2015). "Magnesium in Man: Implications for Health and Disease". Physiological Reviews, 95(1), 1-46.

(2) DiNicolantonio, J. J., O’Keefe, J. H., & Wilson, W. (2018). "Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis". Open Heart, 5(1).

(3) Lindberg, J. S., Zobitz, M. M., Poindexter, J. R., & Pak, C. Y. (1990). "Magnesium Bioavailability from Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Oxide". Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 9(1), 48-55.

(4) Izzo, A. A., & Capasso, F. (2002). "Pharmaceutical and Therapeutic Potentials of Cannabinoids". Pharmaceuticals and Therapeutics, 95(2), 67-75.

(5) Fordtran, J. S., & Morawski, S. G. (1967). "Mechanism of Action of Osmotic Cathartics: Comparison of Effects of Mannitol and Magnesium Sulfate in Humans". The American Journal of Physiology, 213(2), 452-459.

(6) Marquez, F. V., Camilleri, M., & Deiter, J. D. (2017). "Systematic Review of Randomized Control Trials of Soluble Fiber and Nonsystemic Agents for Irritable Bowel Syndrome". The American Journal of Gastroenterology, 112(2), 291-301.

(7) Huseini, H. F., Kianbakht, S., & Hajiaghaee, R. (2012). "A Randomized Double-Blind Controlled Trial on Effects of Magnesium Oxide and Magnesium Citrate on Total Magnesium Levels, Serum Osmolarity, and Symptoms in Patients with Chronic Constipation". Indian Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 74(6), 571-575.

(8) Wald, A., & Scarpignato, C. (2019). "Role of Magnesium Supplementation in the Treatment of Constipation: A Review". World Journal of Gastroenterology, 25(32), 4866-4879.

(9) Olatunji, O. J., Chen, H., Zhou, Y., & Olatunji, O. O. (2021). "Magnesium in Neurological Disorders and Brain Aging". Ageing Research Reviews, 71, 101397.

(10) Mayo Clinic. (2021). "Magnesium Supplement (Oral Route, Parenteral Route)". Retrieved from

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