What Is Chelated Magnesium

Magnesium is vital in many bodily functions affecting heart, bone, and muscle health. While you can get it by eating certain foods, others don’t get enough of it that way alone. But what is chelated magnesium? Is it better than ordinary magnesium? Read along to find out more…

What is Chelated Magnesium?

Chelated magnesium is a type of magnesium supplement that is bound to an amino acid or another organic molecule. This process, called chelation, helps to improve the absorption and bioavailability of magnesium in the body.

Chelated Magnesium

Chelated Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential mineral that’s critical to many bodily functions. It supports the absorption and metabolism of calcium and is responsible for the activation and function of 325 enzymes that affect various metabolic processes and physiological functions, such as:

  • Neuromuscular contractions
  • Promotes heart health and function
  • Provide anti-inflammatory effects
  • Regulates blood and sugar levels in the body 
  • Maintains the acid-alkaline balance 
  • Supports sleep-related systems 

This mineral also helps metabolize carbohydrates, amino acids, and fats, assists with energy production, and utilizes other important minerals like calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, and manganese. With all its functions considered, it should be adequately absorbed and used by the body. Taking chelated magnesium improves the bioavailability and effectiveness of this important mineral, making it easier to absorb by the body. 

How Does Chelation Work? 

Chelation is a binding process that combines minerals like magnesium with organic compounds to improve the stability and bioavailability of nutrients. Coming from the Greek word χηλή, chēlē, meaning “claw,”; this process allows for the efficient transport of minerals across the intestinal wall to be utilized throughout the body. 

Chelated minerals are minerals that have been combined chemically with amino acids to form “complexes.” You will see products labeled as chelated boron, chelated calcium, chelated chromium, etc.

They are also considered ideal for supporting normal growth, stabilizing bipolar disorder, building strong muscles and bones, and improving immune system function and overall health. 

Benefits Of Chelated Magnesium

Chelated magnesium offers the same health benefits as regular magnesium. However, since it’s in its chelated form, scientists believe that it fares better on two things: 

  • Higher bioavailability – Chelated minerals use organic compounds like amino acids to improve nutrient absorption and utilization — this is because nutrients exposed to the digestive system often fail to be adequately absorbed by the body. One study on chelated and non-chelated zinc found that the chelated form was absorbed around 11% more effectively than the latter.
  • Increased stability – The added stability of chelated minerals is said to increase the absorption rate and effectiveness of the supplement (in this case, magnesium). 


Sports medicine doctor and fitness expert Dr. Gabe Mirkin believes that chelated minerals don’t have an advantage over non-chelated ones and goes on to explain that once a non-chelated mineral is in the intestines, it naturally will bind to parts of food that you consume, such as organic acids like acetic, lactic, citric, malic, and ascorbic acids. 

A study done among pregnant women with iron deficiency found that no there had been no significant difference in blood iron levels when comparing chelated iron with its regular form. That said, further research and clinical testing on the effects of chelated minerals on the body are still needed to fully solidify claims and verify purported health benefits. 

Side Effects

Taking chelated magnesium may also cause some side effects on the body. The most commonly reported ones include:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach troubles

This product may cause serious side effects. Stop using this product and call your doctor at once if you have:

  • Allergic reaction (e.g., hives; severe dizziness; breathing problems; swelling of the face, lips, tongue, or throat)
  • Severe or ongoing diarrhea
  • Muscle cramps
  • Depression 
  • Irritability

Ask a doctor or pharmacist if it is safe for you to use this product if you have other medical conditions, such as:

While using chelated magnesium, you may need frequent blood and kidney function tests to see if the supplementation is causing a negative effect on your blood circulation and kidneys.

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What does it mean if a supplement is chelated?

Chelated minerals are those bound to a chelating agent, such as an organic or amino acid, to improve absorption. Though they’re often said to be absorbed better than regular mineral supplements, the current research is mixed.

Is it better to take chelated magnesium?

While magnesium supplements will help maintain optimal magnesium levels in the body, not all magnesium supplements are created equal. Supplements containing chelated magnesium offer superior bioavailability and heightened stability, allowing the body to properly utilize more nutrients.

What time of day should I take chelated magnesium?

Magnesium supplements, in general, can be taken at any time of the day as long as you can take them consistently. Taking supplements first thing in the morning may be easier for others, while taking them with dinner or just before bed works fine as long as it’s done religiously.

What should I avoid while taking chelated magnesium?

Taking antacids can make it harder for your body to absorb chelated magnesium. Ask your doctor before using an antacid, and use only the recommended type. If you’re also taking an antibiotic, avoid taking it within 2 or 3 hours after taking chelated magnesium.

How should I store my chelated magnesium? 

Store at room temperature, away from moisture and heat. Always keep them out of your children’s and pets’ reach.

What happens if I miss a dose?

Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up for the missed dose.


Chelated forms of minerals like magnesium are rising in popularity due to them having superior bioavailability and stability, making them absorbed better than regular mineral supplements, though current research is mixed. Further studies and testing are needed to establish such claims. 

If you’re considering taking chelated magnesium, consult your doctor or pharmacist first to see if you’re qualified enough to take one and discuss possible health effects and risks. 

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