Magnesium L-threonate is a specific type of magnesium specifically interesting for brain benefits + handling brain disorders. However, it is quite a new form of magnesium and the research is still sparse when it comes to benefits + side effects of this new compound.
What is Magnesium L-Threonate?
Magnesium L-threonate is the salt formed from mixing magnesium and l-threonate.
It’s formed by chelating (binding together) magnesium with l-threonate - a metabolite of vitamin-c in order to create a stable water-soluble compound.
It’s worth noting that the elemental content of of magnesium in magnesium l-threonate is much, much lower than other magnesium types. Because of this - you need much more magnesium l-threonate to achieve the same amount of magnesium from other sources.
There is 144mg in 2g (2000mg of magnesium l-threonate). That’s 7.2% elemental magnesium. Magnesium citrate in comparison is 16% elemental magnesium.
Why Is This So Popular Lately?
Magnesium l-threonate has been primarily discussed in the media recently due to the frequent discussions on the Huberman Lab podcast and other appearance by Dr. Huberman discussing magnesium l-threonate and sleep
There is actually very scant research on this specific compound because of it's novelty, but it does seem promising.
In fact, there are only 28 research papers over the last 20 years that we could find published and few of them even deal with sleep.
That said - we are massive fans of both Dr. Huberman and magnesium in general (all kinds).
However, in our opinion, to say that it's superior to other more widely used forms (such as magnesium glycinate (bisglycinate), or citrate) may be premature at this point in the research.
Recommended Dosage of Magnesium L-Threonate
The recommended dosage of magnesium l-threonate is typically less than 144mg of elemental magnesium.
Most supplements will come in a 2g serving sizes of magnesium l-threonate (yielding the 144mg of magnesium), but will typically require you to take 3-4 capsules at once (so just make sure you know how much you're spending for a daily dose).
Benefits of Magnesium L-Theonate
The main benefits of magnesium l-threonate relate to the fact that it crosses the blood brain barrier much easier than other types of magnesium. There is some interesting research suggesting it for neuro-health and learning.
L-threonate also can help with depression and memory loss given it’s ability to affect the brain better than other magnesium types, but the overall research here is sparse.
Some people like Dr. Andrew Huberman have recommended magnesium l-threonate for sleep in a stack, but it's unclear how much better this form of magnesium would be in comparison to other types of magnesium for sleep.
Magnesium L-Threonate for Learning & Memory
Studies have shown that elevated levels of magnesium in the brain may help with both short-term synaptic function and long-term potential learning & memory functions. MLT is particularly helpful for this case because it can deliver magnesium directly to the brain.
Magnesium L-Threonate for Preventative Cognitive Aging
Similar to the benefits of learning and memory, magnesium l-threonate seems to be neuroprotective in the way that it can help stave off cognitive decline and reduce neural inflammation in order to improve mood and spatial memory.
Magnesium L-Threonate for Depression
Depression in general does seem to be related to overall lower magnesium consumption. For this reason - magnesium levels are recommended to be checked and supplemented if blood serum levels are low.
Because magnesium l-threonate crosses the blood-brain barrier much easier than other types of magnesium - it’s able to be absorbed by the brain much better than other types of magnesium as well and may effect mood.
This has lead to some breakthroughs on it possibly helping with depression and other brain-focused issues - but much, much more research is needed.
One study showed that 450mg elemental magnesium for 12 weeks was just as effective as 50mg of imipramine - an anti-depressant.
There are some studies that show l-threonate supplementation to help alleviate learned helplessness (a corollary to depression in humans).
It does appear that magnesium l-threonate may be able to help deliver magnesium to the central nervous system which may contribute to this.
Magnesium L-Threonate For Sleep
As mentioned above, magnesium l-threonate has been highly recommended in the media for use around sleep. While magnesium in general is widely used as a sleep and mood aid, it's unknown exactly how much this form of magnesium can improve results off other forms of magensium.
It's though to help some what more because it crosses the blood-brain barrier, but more studies need to be done.
Magnesium L-Threonate For Hair Loss
Strangely enough, there's been one lone study about using magnesium l-threonate for hair loss. In this study, it found that a hair follicle culture which was repressed by DHT was then reversed with l-threonate.
If this could be replicated, it may mean that l-threonate may help inhibit DHT and prevent androgenic balding.
Unfortunately, l-threonate is very unstable on it's own and must be chelated with a mineral like magnesium so for now - you'll have to take MLT to get these benefits.
Side Effects of Magnesium L-Threonate
Like any other form of magnesium, if taken in excess - l-threonate can cause stomach discomfort, pain, indigestion and diarrhea.
One main consideration for magnesium l-threonate is drowsiness. This is why it’s often prescribed as part of a sleep supplement and recommended to take at night.
There have also been some reports of dizziness + headaches, but they are much more rare.
At the recommended doses - magnesium is by and large safe (it’s an essential mineral). However, most of the issues come when dosing magnesium excessively. However, these symptoms are usually temporary as your body can clear magnesium easily with time.
Where To Buy Magnesium L-Threonate
Magnesium l-threonate is a widely available and available at many places online. You can buy it below and test it out for yourself:
→ Life Extension - Our #1 recommendation for Magnesium l-threonate
It's worth noting once more that magnesium l-threonate only contains ~7% elemental magnesium by volume - so it's a poor choice to reach your daily magnesium needs. It's best to use the l-threonate form for a specific purpose and get your daily values of magnesium from other sources.
Magnesium L-Threonate Citations + Literature
Magnesium l-threonate research is still growing. Here’s some of our sourcing that we referenced for this guide.