Magnesium taurate is a supplement made up of magnesium (a mineral) and taurine (an amino acid).
Magnesium is an essential mineral that your body needs for energy production, protein creation, DNA synthesis, bone strength and a host of other important functions. It’s also an electrolyte, so it’s critical for processes that involve your body’s “electrical circuit”. That includes your heartbeat, muscle movements, nerve function and even your sense of touch.
Taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids in your body. Most amino acids are used to create proteins, but taurine does not. Instead, it performs vital functions around the body, especially in the tissues of the heart, brain, eyes, muscles and digestive system.
What are the benefits of magnesium taurate?
Taken alone or together in a supplement, magnesium and taurine may offer some impressive, evidence-based benefits.
Magnesium and taurine both support heart health
As an electrolyte, magnesium is essential for proper heart function. Research has shown that the lower your magnesium levels, the higher your risk of cardiac problems like coronary heart disease and high blood pressure. On the other hand, boosting magnesium levels with a supplement has been shown to reduce heart disease and stroke risk. This may be because it lowers major heart disease risk factors, like “bad” LDL cholesterol and triglycerides (fatty acids), and boosts protective HDL cholesterol.
Taurine is also essential for good heart health. A large-scale review showed that taurine helps to optimise your cholesterol and fatty acid profile, just like magnesium, and it may also protect the heart and blood vessels against harmful free radicals and high glucose stress. Another study talks about how just two weeks of taurine supplementation reduced atherogenesis (arterial plaque formation) and inflammation in patients with heart failure. And in animals, taurine has been found to protect cardiac tissue from injury.
So with magnesium and taurine both offering impressive heart benefits on their own, surely they’re a force to be reckoned with together?! This study seems to agree, stating that magnesium and taurine can stop atherogenesis in its tracks, prevent an irregular heartbeat, and stabilise blood platelets (important for reducing blood clot risk). And in this study, those with highest levels of both magnesium and taurine were shown to have a better cholesterol profile, a lower atherogenesis risk, and a healthier body weight on average.
Magnesium and taurine both promote healthy blood pressure
Blood pressure is another key indicator of heart health, and high blood pressure (hypertension) is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Luckily, both magnesium and taurine may help to tackle it.
Magnesium has been shown in study after study after study to have a positive effect on blood pressure. Meanwhile, taurine has also been shown to lower blood pressure, partly by improving the function of the blood vessels.
The anti-hypertensive effect of these two supplements has been shown to be even greater when they’re taken together. The higher a person’s taurine and magnesium levels, according to this study, the healthier their blood pressure.
Magnesium and taurine both support healthy blood sugar
Yet another thing magnesium and taurine have in common is a positive effect on blood sugar. If your blood sugar is consistently too high, your cells can become resistant to insulin. That means they lose the ability to take in glucose from your blood and turn it into energy. Eventually, it can lead to pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes, which comes with a long list of other risks like heart disease, kidney failure and blindness.
Magnesium has a proven track record of improving insulin resistance, as shown here, here, here, here, here, here and here. High magnesium levels may help to prevent the jump from pre-diabetes to diabetes, and may even reduce diabetes risk by as much as 47%.
Just like magnesium, taurine is important for regulating blood sugar and insulin sensitivity, and is often found to be low in people with diabetes. If you’re interested in controlling your blood sugar, then, you may be interested in a magnesium taurate supplement that combines the two.
Magnesium taurate may help to keep the brain healthy
Magnesium is well-known to be vital for brain health, but what about taurine? It’s found in extremely high concentrations in the brain, but levels tend to decline with age. In a 2017 review, researchers discussed evidence that taurine could protect memory function and suggested that supplementing with taurine may help to fend off age-related cognitive decline. This effect has also been found in animal studies, with taurine shown to improve learning and memory deficits like those found in Alzheimer’s.
Magnesium taurate may support mental health
Low magnesium can increase the risk of depression by as much as 22%, and has been shown to directly cause anxiety in animal studies. There has been lots of research showing that addressing low magnesium can help to improve certain symptoms of depressive illnesses, and it’s also been found to improve the effectiveness of some antidepressants when taken alongside them. That makes sense, as magnesium is involved in lots of mood-related biochemical reactions in the brain, like the production of the neurotransmitter serotonin.
Taurine is also known to have antidepressant properties. Researchers are currently studying how it might regulate the HPA axis (a key brain system involved in mood and stress response). Specifically, they’ve found that it promotes the growth and survival of neurons in the hippocampus, your brain’s emotional “processing centre”.
It goes without saying that a magnesium taurate supplement is no substitute for professional mental health treatment, but research so far suggests that it could be one more effective tool in your kit.
Magnesium taurate may help with stress and insomnia
GABA is one of the most important neurotransmitters in the brain. It calms activity in certain areas of the brain, so it plays a key role in things like sleep and stress. In fact, many anti-anxiety and sleeping meds work by helping GABA to bind to the right receptors in the brain and work its relaxing magic.
As well as relaxing your muscles and regulating your natural sleep-wake cycle, magnesium may help you drift off to sleep by binding to and stimulating those GABA receptors. Taurine not only has a similar GABA-promoting effect, but it’s also been found to zero in on GABA receptors in the specific part of the brain that regulates the transition into sleep. That means magnesium taurate, a synergistic combination of both, is a very promising natural solution for those who find it hard to wind down.
Magnesium taurate can support healthy digestion
In order to properly digest food, you need a substance called bile. To produce bile, your liver uses up cholesterol that might otherwise be harmful. Bile then breaks down fatty acids from your food so that they can be absorbed from the intestines, and it also helps you absorb fat-soluble vitamins like vitamins A and D. As you might have guessed, taurine is one of the key ingredients in bile, supporting healthy digestion and metabolism.
Magnesium taurate may support exercise performance
Your body needs up to 20% more magnesium during exercise. That magnesium helps to make more glucose available in the blood, move the glucose into your muscles, and clear out lactate (the stuff that builds up and causes muscle burning and fatigue). That’s why magnesium has become a popular exercise supplement, with one study showing improved anaerobic metabolism and muscle movement with daily use.
What about taurine? Well, as it’s found in high concentrations in your muscle cells, it makes sense that a healthy supply of taurine will support muscle function during exercise. Just like magnesium, it’s been shown to help boost muscle endurance and efficiently clear waste products. That means better performance and fewer post-exercise aches and pains.
Magnesium taurate offers higher absorption
Magnesium taurine is very well absorbed in the gut and is one of the most bioavailable magnesium types. That means you get greater benefits from your supplement, especially if you’re looking to treat deficiency and boost overall magnesium levels.
In fact, magnesium taurate might just be one of the most efficient magnesium combos around. That’s because taurine is actually used to transport magnesium in and out of your cells. It also has the ability to “shape-shift”, adapting how it works for different cells in the body. By taking magnesium and taurine together, then, you’re ensuring that every single cell gets the full benefit.
Magnesium taurate is better tolerated
Some forms of magnesium are better tolerated than others. Magnesium citrate and oxide, for example, are associated with digestive side effects like nausea and diarrhea. Luckily, magnesium taurate is one of the better-tolerated forms, so it’s ideal if you have a sensitive stomach.
Does magnesium taurate have side effects?
We know that magnesium taurate is gentler on the stomach than some other types of magnesium, but you should still stick to the recommended daily maximum magnesium from a supplement. The higher you stray over this upper limit, the more chance of a digestive upset.
Otherwise, magnesium taurate is considered safe for most people. Taurine was commonly considered dangerous due to its use in energy drinks, but it’s since been shown that the negative effects of those drinks come from other ingredients and from overconsumption.
As with all magnesium supplements, you should check with your doctor before taking magnesium taurate if you have pre-existing conditions. Those with kidney problems, for example, might not be able to regulate their magnesium levels, so there’s a risk of hypermagnesemia (too much magnesium) from taking supplements.
Magnesium taurate can also interact with some medications and change how they work. This is most common with antibiotics, heart medications, acid reflux medications, and bisphosphonates (for osteoporosis). There are more, though, so check with your doctor to be on the safe side!