What is Magnesium Hydroxide?
Magnesium Hydroxide is not water-soluble. Encapsulate or add it to fruit juice or smoothies for easier supplementation.
Magnesium hydroxide, sometimes called magnesium dihydroxide, is magnesium combined with a hydroxide salt. Magnesium hydroxide is the chemical name for the active ingredient in milk of magnesia. Magnesium hydroxide has a long history as a laxative and antacid. An American inventor patented magnesium hydroxide in 1818. In 1892, Irish physician James Murray gained significant recognition for his fluid magnesia solution. His magnesia recipe was so successful that the marquess of Anglesey named him his resident physician in 1831 and knighted him in 1833. English pharmacist Charles Henry Phillips was the first to use the term milk of magnesia in 1872 for his magnesium hydroxide suspension.
Potential Magnesium Hydroxide Benefits
Magnesium for Constipation
As a dietary supplement, magnesium hydroxide helps relieve constipation. It isn’t a good dietary source of magnesium, as the digestive tract can’t absorb much of it due to its mechanisms of action. It pulls water via osmosis from the surrounding intestinal tissue. Magnesium hydroxide ions also stimulate the release of cholecystokinin (CCK), a gastrointestinal peptide hormone. CCK increases the volume of water and electrolytes in the gastrointestinal tract. Both actions help soften stool and promote bowel movements.
Magnesium hydroxide. Magnesium hydroxide’s primary use is as a laxative. The intestines only absorb 4% of it. It stimulates bowel movements by passing the rest through the digestive tract.
Magnesium citrate. Magnesium citrate is magnesium bound to citric acid. The body absorbs more magnesium from this form. It has a mild laxative effect, but taking too much of it can result in excessive magnesium levels.
Magnesium sulfate. Magnesium sulfate is a combination of magnesium and sulfur. It acts as a highly potent laxative when delivered via an IV and can cause diarrhea. However, the skin has an easier time absorbing this form of magnesium than others. Individuals more often use magnesium sulfate in the form of Epsom salts.
Magnesium malate. Magnesium malate occurs when magnesium binds to malic acid. It boosts ATP synthesis and has a mild laxative effect, similar to magnesium citrate.
All the above magnesium supplements have laxative properties. However, magnesium hydroxide is the best for this purpose. It has a long history of constipation relief, and it’s more potent than several other magnesium supplements in this regard. It’s also not as aggressive and prone to induce diarrhea as magnesium sulfate.
Did You Know?
Magnesium hydroxide can help relieve canker sore pain when applied topically a few times per day.
Magnesium Hydroxide for Acid Indigestion
Magnesium hydroxide’s antacid properties are powerful but simple. The hydroxide ions from its chemical formula Mg(OH)2 seek out and combine with acidic H+ ions in the stomach. The hydroxide ions effectively neutralize stomach acidity to relieve heartburn.
Magnesium Hydroxide Side Effects
Magnesium hydroxide produces laxative effects. Individuals can expect more frequent bowel movements. Taking large or frequent doses may cause diarrhea. Diarrhea may deplete potassium and cause muscle cramps. Magnesium hydroxide may interact with some medications. It may not be suitable for individuals consuming a magnesium-restricted diet. Speak with a physician before starting any new supplements.
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