PrizMAG Pure Magnesium Bisglycinate vs Buffered Magnesium Bisglycinate
Many people ask us why we only put 80mg of magnesium bisglycinate in our 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 is a great form of magnesium for those with digestive issues as it is absorbed by the cells at the top of the small intestine, therefore it bypasses the digestive process. It's also extra helpful for sleep and anxiety issues thanks to the glycine amino acid that carries it to your cells.
Magnesium bisglycinate comes in two forms: 10-14% and 20%
10-14% is pure magnesium bisglycinate. 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 clean and concise. Some brands tout a 10% magnesium bisglycinate content, but we feel this is misleading as that is the low end of the range.
20% means it is buffered with magnesium oxide. This means that approximately 40% of the magnesium in your capsule is magnesium oxide. Studies have concluded that only 4% of magnesium oxide is absorbed by your body. This means that 96% of it is going through your body unused.
Many companies will claim their product contains pure magnesium bisglycinate when in fact it is buffered with magnesium oxide. This is not necessarily their fault – it comes from a misunderstanding of the product and how their suppliers label it.
Why is this problematic?
This is problematic because consumers aren't getting as much magnesium bisglycinate as they think are. They read the label and see that the capsule delivers "200mg elemental magnesium" but nowhere does this say that it's 200mg of magnesium bisglycinate. The distinction is key but the average consumer would not understand that there is even a difference.
Magnesium oxide is that it is a very small molecule, so you can boast a lot of elemental magnesium in one capsule, but you are not delivering magnesium that can be utilized by the body.
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. 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.
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. The only way they can fit that much magnesium is because it is combined with magnesium oxide.
Our capsules hold about 670mg each 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 they have 130mg of elemental per capsule, it is obviously buffered despite their claims: 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 would mean it was pure (size 000 is pretty frowned upon in the industry, but you can get size 00 elongated).
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 standard but is still on the larger size.