PrizMAG Pure Magnesium Bisglycinate vs. Buffered Magnesium Bisglycinate
Many people ask us why we only put 80mg of magnesium in our PrizMAG capsules - the short answer is because that's all there is room for in the capsule!
In order to make magnesium bisglycinate, a manufacturer must start with a form of magnesium. Magnesium oxide is the logical choice as it easily converts to magnesium bisglycinate by reducing and attaching to the amino acid glycine. This produces a biovailable form of magnesium known as magnesium bisglycinate. Magnesium Bisglycinate contains one magnesium molecule for every two glycine amino acid molecules, which is why it is call magnesium bisgycinate (bi=two) but it is also correct to call it magnesium glycinate.
The magnesium component of PrizMAG is 80mg per capsule, which seems rather low in comparison to other forms of magnesium. Glycine has a large molecule size and only leaves room for 80mg of the magnesium in each capsule. Some magnesium bisglycinate companies can display significantly higher values of magnesium in their products, and this can be confusing for consumers. When we decided to make a magnesium bisglycinate supplement, our founder and formulator George Esser knew that something wasn’t adding up so he went on a journey to figure it all out. Here’s what he came up with:
Magnesium bisglycinate can be purchased by supplement companies in two forms: 10-14% and 20%
10-14% is what the industry considers pure magnesium bisglycinate, nothing extra is added.
The 4% range is just a natural discrepancy as each batch may come out a little bit differently due to the nature of the raw material. We average it at 12% to keep it standardised.
20% is what the industry considers as buffered magnesium bisglycinate, since magnesium magnesium oxide is left in the finished product during the conversion process.
With regard to buffered magnesium bisglycinate, the relevance here is that approximately 40% of the magnesium in your magnesium bisglycinate capsule is actually magnesium oxide, and not magnesium bisglycinate which would be assumed.
Why is this problematic?
This is problematic because consumers aren't getting as much magnesium bisglycinate as they think are-- if you wish to purchase magnesium oxide there are plenty of companies selling magnesium oxide for a very affordable price since it is economical to produce. But if you purchase magnesium bisglycinate, we believe you should get just that. But since they wish to purchase magnesium bisglycinate, we believe that is what they should be given in their product.
Magnesium oxide is a small but heavy molecule, meaning that it boasts an impressive amount of elemental – or useable – magnesium in a small package. As a result, magnesium oxide is commonly used by companies wishing to display high amounts of magnesium in their product. However, Studies have concluded that only 4% of magnesium oxide is absorbed by your body. This means that 96% of the magnesium contained in the product, runs straight through your body unused. Just because a high magnesium level is displayed on a product, is doesn’t always mean a high magnesium level absorbed by the body. A quality supplement is paramount to getting the most out of your magnesium supplementation.
So how can I tell if a product is pure or not?
It’s been our experience that going straight to the source doesn’t always produce satisfactory answers because they simply don’t know what percentage of magnesium bisglycinate they are using. Companies may purchase magnesium bisglycinate in good faith, and don’t always investigate the difference between the forms available. Legally, it doesn’t have to be disclosed on the label. For this reason, the only way to tell how pure a product is, is to do the math yourself, see below.
How to calculate:
Take the capsule size: Our PrizMAG uses 00 Capsule sizes. Size 0 is one size smaller and is considered a more standard size.
Our PrizMAG capsules can only physically fit 80mg of pure magnesium bisglycinate into a 00 capsule. Any more is physically impossible. Many companies claim around 130mg of elemental magnesium per capsule, or higher. The only way they can fit that much magnesium is because it is combined with magnesium oxide.
Our 00 capsules each hold about 670mg of magnesium bisglycinate – that’s a combination of magnesium and the glycine amino acid it’s bound to. To come up with the amount of elemental magnesium, you simply take the % form of bisglycinate and multiply it.
670mg x 12% = 80mg of elemental magnesium per capsule, with the rest being the amino acid glycine.
If someone is claiming to have 130mg of elemental per capsule, it would have to be buffered: 670 mg x 20% = 134mg. The numbers speak for themselves.
The odd time, you will get someone claiming closer to 100mg of elemental magnesium. They could be using the upper limit (14%) instead of the average (12%) or they could have a different size capsule. A larger capsule could mean it was pure; although size 000 is pretty frowned upon in the industry, you can get size 00 elongated, which means it is the same diameter but has a longer length.
If their capsule size was 0 it would most certainly be buffered.
To recap: no more than 80mg of elemental magnesium can physically fit into a 00 capsule, which is considered slightly larger than standard size.