MAG365, ITL Health’s flagship product
The two ingredients in MAG365 is made are: Magnesium Carbonate and Citric Acid. When combined with hot water, these two ingredients convert into ionic magnesium citrate. Adding hot water causes the carbonate in the magnesium carbonate to disperse which creates a fizz. The citric acid is then forced to bind to the magnesium ion which creates ionic magnesium citrate.
Ionic is a word that is hard to understand and is easily misunderstood because of its multi-faceted nature. Read below to learn more about what ionic means.
MAG365 vs other magnesium citrate powders
If you were to mix up MAG365 in a glass of water, once it finished fizzing, you would see that the MAG365 appears translucent. It looks just like water and as if nothing was added.
However, if one then took a different brand of magnesium citrate powder in a glass of water, there would be a large difference between the other brand and the MAG365. There would be no “fizz” or activation process and the other magnesium citrate powder would have settled on the bottom of the glass (because it doesn’t blend properly) which causes the liquid to look murky.
There is a difference in the science between how MAG365 magnesium citrate behaves and how other magnesium citrate powders behave, and understanding the difference is where words like “ionic” and “salt” come into play. These words are common in the industry and are used in the way that “organic” is the industry standard for pesticide-free food.
In chemistry, there are two main types of bonds; covalent and ionic. A covalent bond is formed between two non-metallic atoms, which is characterized by the sharing of pairs of electrons between atoms and other covalent bonds.1 An ionic bond is formed from an attraction between a positively and negatively charged ion, and is almost always formed between a metal and a non-metal.
By this elemental definition, all magnesium citrate is technically coupled together by an ionic bond,2
and one might assume that all magnesium citrate is “ionic.” That definition is correct if referring exclusively to the difference between covalent and ionic bonds.
In chemistry, an organic compound is any chemical compound that contains carbon. By this definition, oil and gasoline are organic compounds. 3
Equally, if someone were to say, "all foods are organic," they would be technically correct because all foods contain carbon compounds.
According to the principles of chemistry, a salt is “a solid chemical compound consisting of an assembly of cations and anions.” Salts are composed of related numbers of cations (positively charged ions) and anions (negative ions) so that the product is electrically neutral (without a net charge).4 There are positive and negative ions; cations are positive and anions are negative. Table salt it is a solid chemical compound consisting of Sodium cations (+) and Chlorine anions (-).
Magnesium citrate is also a salt, a solid chemical compound consisting of Magnesium cations (++) and Citrate anions (--). Both examples have “ionic” bonds because they have a metal (Sodium, Magnesium) and a non-metal (Chlorine, and Citrate).6 More specifically, magnesium citrate is a magnesium preparation in salt form with citric acid in a 3:2 ratio (three magnesium atoms per two citrate molecules).
MAG365 is a magnesium citrate with a 1:1 ratio, i.e. one Mg++ to one C7H6O7++. Most magnesium citrate salts have a 3:2 ratio, which is much less absorbable.
MAG365 is ionic because the molecules dissociate when the chemical reaction occurs.
MAG365 (unflavoured) is comprised of two ingredients; Magnesium Carbonate (MgCO3) and Citric Acid (C6H8O7). When you add it to water you get the chemical reaction MgCO3 + C6H8O7 --> C6H6MgO7 + H2O (water) + CO2 (Fizz).
In other words, you get a dissociated magnesium and citrate molecule, a water molecule and a carbon dioxide molecule.
The definition of dissociation in chemistry is “a general process in which molecules (or ionic compounds such as salts) separate or split into smaller particles such as atoms, ions, or radicals, usually in a reversible manner.”5
This dissociation into smaller parts such as ions is referred to as “ionic,” and it is what makes MAG365 highly bioavailable to the body. Technically we should say that MAG365 is a dissociated magnesium citrate; however, we feel that ionic magnesium citrate is easier understood by the public.
Whether loose or in a capsule, consuming powdered magnesium citrate – which is in a salt form – requires your stomach acid to “ionise” or activate the magnesium citrate salt into magnesium and citrate ions. This is also known as digesting and is what your stomach does to absorb all minerals.
Because magnesium citrate is a salt, it doesn’t ionize easily in the body for many of us, which translates to poorer absorption rates. MAG365, on the other hand, is pre-digested in the mug as it is already in an ionic form.
If you leave MAG365 alone for long enough, the magnesium citrate salt will precipitate out and you will observe a white powder at the bottom of the liquid. At this point, the product is no longer dissociated (ionic) and is akin the aforementioned powders you find in jars or capsules.
Unique to MAG365
While this makes the process seem straight forward, there are many factors to consider. For example, there are variations in magnesium carbonate and citric acid, and using the correct kind in the correct ratio is part of what makes our proprietary process so unique. Others have tried to emulate MAG365 with little or no success and have ended up with their powder hardening in the jar, having an improper pH balance, or having issues getting it to fizz or taste right without a lot of sweetener and additives. MAG365 is pure with no fillers or common allergens.
Food for Thought
Another form of absorbable magnesium is topical magnesium chloride, which relies on the pH of your skin (~4.9) to dissociate (“ionise”) the magnesium chloride to let it pass through the skin in its ionic form.
ITL Health also manufactures PrizMAG, which is a chelated mineral in a vegan pullulan capsule. One magnesium molecule is held by two glycine amino acids. The word chelation comes from a Greek word meaning “claw,” and one could say it is like two “claws” are holding the magnesium in place.
Our gastrointestinal tract readily absorbs amino acids and will just as easily allow the transport of a magnesium that is attached to these two amino acids. This is why PrizMAG works well even though it is not in an ionic form.
PrizMAG is set apart in the industry as, it is the only pure magnesium bisglycinate that is free from excipients, stearates and magnesium oxide. Magnesium oxide is a cheaper and smaller molecule that makes a product appear to have a higher magnesium content, but it is almost completely unabsorbed by the body. Beware of buffered magnesium bisglycinate as it means it’s mixed with magnesium oxide. Not all brands disclose that their magnesium is buffered.
PrizMAG is a comprised of pure magnesium bisglycinate and we can only fit 80mg of elemental magnesium into a single 00 capsule. Anyone claiming more should be investigated for buffered magnesium or larger capsule sizes. Bisgylcinate and glycinate are used interchangeably.