We’ve had a lot of discussion here about magnesium for migraine. One of the most popular versions of magnesium for migraine is magnesium citrate. But some ask, what if magnesium citrate isn’t working? Or is there a better magnesium citrate supplement for headache? What about the dosage of magnesium for migraine?
Instead of bringing a lot of new information today, I went over some of the practical suggestions that we’ve discussed here before.
Which Magnesium should I take for migraine?
Here are some of the key suggestions:
- Do NOT take a magnesium supplement that contains calcium. Read the label. If you take calcium supplements, take them at another time of day.
- Usually, the "ate" forms, such as citrate or glycinate are better absorbed. Although some have recommended magnesium oxide, most people are still going for the "ate" forms.
- If magnesium tablets aren’t working well for you, try capsules or liquid/water soluble magnesium.
- If you’re getting diarrhea, your magnesium probably isn’t absorbing well. Try another type.
Now, what specific brands or types of magnesium have been recommended here? Here are the most common:
- Ultra-Mag Magnesium Complex (also available at Vitacost) (tablets of 400mg, magnesium citrate, taurinate, malate, glycinate, and succinate)
- Solaray BioCitrate Magnesium (capsules of 133.3mg, magnesium citrate)
- Calm Organic Orange (liquid/water soluble, magnesium citrate)
- Trace Minerals Research Mega-Mag (liquid/water soluble, their own blend of magnesium from the Great Salt Lake)
- Flora Floradix Magnesium Liquid Mineral Supplement (liquid/water soluble, magnesium gluconate and magnesium citrate)
- Solaray Magnesium Glycinate (capsules, magnesium glycinate, 100mg)
- Solaray Magnesium Asporotate (capsules, magnesium asporotate, 200mg)
I notice that it can be confusing how much you get in a bottle. Watch for how many capsules, for example, you need to get a serving.
Here are a few specific comments from you our visitors:
Liz says: I had only been told by my neurologist to take Magnesium during menstruation. Also i take a more rare, and highly unavailable kind-magnesium glycinate. It didn’t seem to make much of a difference, but after doing more research I’ve up’d my dose to 400mg/day and will likely double that will menstruating. It has already begun to make a difference!
Judith: Recently (summer 2010) you published a testimonial by a reader who indicated that she had had impressive results by using Solaray brand Magnesium Asporotate. I switched to Magnesium Asporotate in August 2010. In September the frequency of my migraines began to drop off. … I credit the magnesium asporotate with my 8 week freedom from migraines. This is huge!
Angie: I am still on Magnesium, James. I still have severe attacks but also mild ones and less vomitting. I am able to walk my dog even while having an attack…I also found this Mg citrate in liquid form [Flora Floradix Magnesium Liquid Mineral Supplement]. It is what I am taking now.
Aurora: It didn’t stop me from having my attacks, but I am a bit "useful" now than before and the nauseous feeling is lesser so I vomit lesser, too. I found this Magnesium in syrup form—Floradix Magnesium! Tastes like tropical fruits with honey so I don’t have to take those large chewable tables.
Evie: I’ve been taking the Solaray brand of magnesium citrate from Whole Foods because it comes in a capsule which is more easily absorbed than a tablet. … I really noticed a difference and though I’d still get migraines, they were less often and much, much more bearable.
Now, there are some combinations, magnesium + something else, but we’ll talk about those tomorrow. Let’s talk about dosages next.
How much magnesium supplement should I take?
With the disclaimer that you should always talk to your doctor about the dosage that’s right for you, here are some suggestions and comments from our visitors.
First, let me tell you what my research has turned up. Generally, around 400mg per day seems to be a good place to start for migraine. But many are now suggesting larger doses, like 800mg-1200mg. So you’re probably looking at 400-1200mg of magnesium daily, usually in more than one dose (ie 400mg 3x per day). Your doctor will probably recommend starting with a lower dosage and raising it slowly.
Now let’s see some of the experiences of our visitors.
Stephen says: My neurologist told me that the key to dosing magnesium is to increase until it causes diarrhea and then back off until it doesn’t. I am up to 1250 mg and climbing but it is magnesium oxide so I don’t really know how much I am absorbing.
Shari writes: 700 mg of Magnesium was recommended to me by my neurologist.
Rachael: [My doctor] recommended I take 500 mg of magnesium every day. I started this two weeks ago and I have had two minor headaches that I didn’t have to take any medication for and I have not had a migraine since starting the magnesium.
Also we have Liz’ comment above, saying that she wanted to try 400mg and double that during menstruation. We do know that magnesium levels change in women depending on your time of the month. See more about Menstrual Migraine here.
So if you haven’t taken magnesium, give it a try! If your magnesium citrate isn’t working, try a different type of magnesium, or a liquid supplement.
There should be a lot of ideas here to get started. But there’s more – a lot of people are trying combinations, and that’s what we’ll talk about tomorrow.
Meanwhile, what are your suggestions? Is there some form of magnesium you’ve found especially helpful?