Time to talk shop – well, OTC pharmacy shop, that is.  Vitamin/mineral  supplements are sometimes a natural alternative to pharmaceutical preparations when preventing or treating physiological conditions.  Be warned – researching what you need for what you have then actually going out and getting it can be rather confusing.  Unfortunately, the manufacturers think  more is better.  Shit, just buying Tylenol is a pain in the ass because there are so many options OF THE SAME THING – tablets, capsules, caplets, liquid, chewables. It’s very overwhelming. However, one particular mineral is actually confusing because of its versatility not its duplicity of availability.


Magnesium is a mineral supplement used to prevent and treat low amounts of this natural occurring mineral in the blood. Magnesium is very important for the normal functioning of cells, nerves, muscles, bones, and the heart. Certain situations cause your body to lose magnesium faster than you can replace it from your diet. These situations include treatment with diuretics, a poor diet, alcoholism, or other medical malabsorption conditions.

Before I decided to pen this post, I asked an intern about the difference in magnesium preparations.  I’ve been out of school over twenty-seven years, I have no fucking clue.  She said that  the majority of  Magnesium products do the same thing – treat a deficiency of magnesium in the body.  If that’s all that is needed, purchase whatever product is on sale and call it a day. Medical professionals have their go to favorites for each disease state and sometimes it really does make a difference.

Magnesium Oxide (MgO):

MagOx 400 is a favorite if cardiologists used for patients that have compromised cardiovascular conditions that warrant supplementation.

Magnesium Citrate (‎C6H6MgO7):

This form of magnesium is an osmotic – translation – it increases water in the intestines.  Even simpler terms – it’s for constipation.  And, the liquid formulation called Citrate of Magnesia is like Liquid Plumber, baby.  Within fifteen minutes you are cleaned out and will continue to be cleansed for some time after.  Caution – don’t leave the  bathroom.

Another, less invasive preparation, is Calm.  A powder that can be mixed with juice to relax the muscles and keep you regular if needed.  In no way will this ever replace Xanax, especially for those gay summer weddings, but it does … calm.

Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4):

This is Epsom Salt.  Health benefits from either soaking your feet or taking a bath in Epsom salt, include: soothing muscle aches, treating sunburn, and removing splinters

 Lastly, Magnesium is even available in the Carbonate formulation which the chalk used by gymnasts, rock climbers, and weight lifters.

Few elements in the Periodic Table have equal versatility.  And, speaking of that Table … .

the Periodic Table song

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