Magnesium threonate is a form of the essential mineral magnesium. The body requires magnesium for various functions, including protein synthesis, glucose control, and nerve function.

Magnesium is essential for many of the body’s processes. According to a 2021 article in the journal Nutrients, magnesium deficiency is associated with numerous conditions, such as cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, and age-related conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Magnesium threonate, or magnesium L-threonate, is a nutritional supplement that contains the L-threonate form of magnesium.

This article looks at magnesium threonate, its benefits, and possible side effects. It also explores the importance of magnesium in the body and the symptoms an individual may experience with magnesium deficiency.

Some animal studies have found that magnesium threonate can increase magnesium ions in the brain and improve cognitive function.

For example, a 2020 study on zebrafish found that magnesium threonate helps protect against brain cell death and preserve cognitive function.

In light of these findings, people may take magnesium L-threonate for its potential cognitive benefits and to normalize their magnesium levels. However, there is a lack of research to support these effects in humans.

Similarly, a 2019 study using a mouse model of Parkinson’s disease found that magnesium threonate elevated magnesium levels in cerebrospinal fluid and reduced motor deficits and dopamine neuron loss.

Magnesium threonate could have benefits for memory and nerve pain.

Read about supplements for the brain.

If an individual ingests high levels of magnesium from food, it generally does not pose a risk to their health. However, taking a magnesium supplement could cause side effects, including:

Ingesting more than 5,000 milligrams (mg) of magnesium per day, usually from magnesium-containing laxatives and antacids, can cause magnesium toxicity, leading to symptoms such as:

Some medications can affect magnesium levels or interact with magnesium supplements. People taking the following medications should discuss their magnesium intake with a healthcare professional:

Recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) are the intake levels of essential nutrients that meet the nutrient needs of most people.

Currently, no recommended daily allowance exists for magnesium L-threonate.

Magnesium intake recommendations vary. The RDAs for males and females over 31 years are 420 milligrams (mg) and 320 mg, respectively.

These values change for females during pregnancy and lactation as follows:

Magnesium RDA during pregnancyMagnesium RDA during lactation
Females aged 19–30 years350 mg310 mg
Females aged 31–50 years360 mg320 mg

The Office of Dietary Supplements states the upper limits for magnesium supplements and medications. The upper limits are lower than RDAs because RDAs include magnesium from all sources, including diet and supplements.

The upper limit for supplemental magnesium for males and females aged 19 years and over, including pregnant and lactating females, is 350 mg. People taking magnesium supplements and medications containing magnesium should ensure they do not exceed this dose. If in doubt, discuss magnesium intake with a healthcare professional.

Learn more about foods high in magnesium.

Magnesium is a mineral that is abundant in the body and many foods. Magnesium is crucial for bodily processes and is involved in over 300 enzyme reactions. It is essential for:

  • protein synthesis
  • brain function
  • muscle and nerve function
  • blood sugar control
  • blood pressure regulation
  • energy production
  • glycolysis, the breakdown of glucose to produce energy
  • DNA synthesis
  • bone development
  • calcium and potassium transport

Learn more about why we need magnesium.

In healthy individuals with a regular dietary intake, magnesium deficiency is uncommon. This is because the kidneys limit how much magnesium they excrete from the body if insufficient.

However, people may develop a magnesium deficiency if they eat a diet low in magnesium, have an alcohol use disorder, take certain medications, or have certain other health conditions.

Early symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:

If the deficiency continues, a person may develop:

In severe cases, the individual may also develop low serum calcium or potassium levels because of the disruption to how their body manages mineral homeostasis or balance.

Learn more about magnesium deficiency here.

Magnesium threonate is one of the various forms of magnesium. Magnesium is an important mineral in the body.

Magnesium is essential for over 300 enzyme reactions and plays a role in DNA synthesis, muscle and nerve function, mental abilities, and more.

If an individual has a magnesium deficiency, they can experience symptoms ranging from nausea and vomiting to severe heart problems.

Animal studies suggest that magnesium threonate may have benefits for cognitive function but there is no evidence of this effect in humans.