Magnesium is an essential mineral, and one of its forms is magnesium threonate. It is the fourth-most abundant dietary mineral in the human body that is essential to function the cells properly. 

A study suggests that a high intake or circulating magnesium level may benefit a person by lowering their risk of dementia and other age-related disorders [1]. This may be because magnesium is necessary for healthy nerves and the brain. But there are other possible benefits of magnesium.

We’ll explore all the connections between magnesium L-threonate and hair growth and its potential benefits and side effects in this article.

What is Magnesium L-Threonate?

Magnesium L-threonate is a synthesized form of magnesium [2]. It happens when a manufacturer produces salt containing magnesium and threonic acid. This acid is produced during the metabolic breakdown of vitamin C.

Magnesium threonate is readily absorbed by the body. According to some animal studies, magnesium threonate is superior to magnesium sulfate in boosting the number of magnesium ions in the brain and enhancing cognitive performance [3]. Therefore, to normalize a person’s magnesium levels and to achieve its potential benefits to the brain, doctors may suggest magnesium L-threonate supplements.

Magnesium L-Threonate Supplements 

A magnesium supplement is available in various forms, many of which have poor oral bioavailability (the ability to have an active effect on the body). Additionally, most of these supplements fail to reach the blood-brain barrier. It is worth noting that high dosages of most magnesium supplements can have laxative side effects.

However, because magnesium L-Threonate is efficiently absorbed from the gut and has high bioavailability in the brain, it is reportedly preferable to use as a supplement. And when compared to other forms, magnesium L-threonate has fewer gastrointestinal adverse effects.

When looking for magnesium supplements, it is important to read the labels as there are fewer supplements containing magnesium L-threonate if you’re after the brain benefits.

Dosage of Magnesium L-Threonate

The recommended daily requirement for elemental magnesium is around 400 to 420 mg for men and 310 to 360 mg for women. However, 2000 mg of magnesium L-threonate can only provide 144 mg of elemental magnesium.

Elemental magnesium refers to the magnesium found in supplements. The body can take magnesium as a compound or when magnesium is combined with another molecule. This is why all magnesium supplements do not contain 100% magnesium. The main reason why magnesium threonate has a high dosage recommendation is that it contains a lower amount of elemental magnesium.

Benefits of Magnesium L-Threonate 

Magnesium L-threonate has the potential to enhance cognitive performance since it can easily raise magnesium levels in the brain [3]. However, researchers are still in the early stages and primarily use animals as subjects.

Magnesium L-threonate was only available in 2010 and has not been used for a long time. 

But the studies conducted showed promising results. For example, research suggests that magnesium L-threonate can increase short and long-term memory function and learning ability in older rats [4]. Meanwhile, another study showed that it could decrease the psychological effect of brain injury [5].

Magnesium L-threonate for Hair Loss

Magnesium L-Threonate’s effects on hair loss or regrowth have not been widely explored. However, a study indicates that L-threonate may block the hormone dihydrotestosterone (DHT), a major factor in male pattern baldness.

The study suggests that the DHT hormone was “substantially repressed” when the L-threonate was introduced to the cultured cells that come from male scalps. L-threonate may lessen the impact of DHT on these cells by decreasing the expression of the gene DKK1 (dickkopf-1), a key factor in balding [6].

As proven by Propecia (a medication used to treat male pattern baldness), decreasing DHT can be a successful treatment for men suffering from baldness.

More studies are needed to confirm the effects of Magnesium L-Threonate on hair loss.

Magnesium L-threonate Side Effects

The use of magnesium supplements frequently results in a laxative effect. High doses of this supplement may cause stomach distress, loose stools, and unpleasant bowel movements. 

Magnesium can stimulate the contraction of the gut muscles and attract water into the colon to speed up excretion. Although it is sometimes used to treat constipation, the laxative effect is not beneficial if the dosage exceeds the minimum required.

Another serious side effect of taking more than 5,000 milligrams per day is magnesium toxicity. This can cause symptoms such as confusion, low blood pressure, slowed breathing, irregular heartbeat, coma, and even death.

Bottomline: Magnesium L-Threonate Benefits for Hair and More

Magnesium L-threonate is one of the many forms of magnesium that offers potential brain benefits. It could lower a person’s risk of dementia and other age-related disorders since it effectively increases magnesium levels in brain cells.

Additionally, it’s thought that magnesium promotes healthy hair and scalp. However, more research is still necessary to support claims about whether Magnesium L-Threonate affects hair loss. 

People also need to be cautious about the serious side effects of high dosages of magnesium supplements and make sure to follow the recommended daily requirement for its safe use.

Disclaimer: This article is only a guide. It does not substitute the advice given by your healthcare professional. Before making any health-related decision, consult your healthcare professional.

Editorial References And Fact-Checking 

  • The Use of Magnesium L-Threonate for the Enhancement of Learning and Memory in People With Mild to Moderate Dementia. (n.d.). https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/study/NCT02210286
  • NCI Drug Dictionary. (n.d.). National Cancer Institute. Retrieved September 7, 2022, from https://www.cancer.gov/publications/dictionaries/cancer-drug/def/magnesium-l-threonate
  • Kim YS, Won YJ, Lim BG, Min TJ, Kim YH, Lee IO. Neuroprotective effects of magnesium L-threonate in a hypoxic zebrafish model. BMC Neurosci. 2020 Jun 26;21(1):29. doi: 10.1186/s12868-020-00580-6. PMID: 32590943; PMCID: PMC7318545.
  • Slutsky I, Abumaria N, Wu LJ, Huang C, Zhang L, Li B, Zhao X, Govindarajan A, Zhao MG, Zhuo M, Tonegawa S, Liu G. Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium. Neuron. 2010 Jan 28;65(2):165-77. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2009.12.026. PMID: 20152124.
  • Fromm L, Heath DL, Vink R, Nimmo AJ. Magnesium attenuates post-traumatic depression/anxiety following diffuse traumatic brain injury in rats. J Am Coll Nutr. 2004 Oct;23(5):529S-533S. doi: 10.1080/07315724.2004.10719396. PMID: 15466958.
  • Kwack, M.-H., Ahn, J.-S., Kim, M.-K., Kim, J.-C., & Sung, Y.-K. (2010, October 31). Preventable effect of L-threonate, an ascorbate metabolite, on androgen-driven balding via repression of dihydrotestosteroneinduced dickkopf-1 expression in human hair dermal papilla cells. BMB Reports . Korean Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology – BMB Reports. https://doi.org/10.5483/bmbrep.2010.43.10.688

Charish is a Registered Nutritionist-Dietitian (RDN) who really enjoys helping her readers understand their dietary habits better. She has impressive experience and knowledge about the nutritional values of various foods and ingredients and enjoys informing her readers about popular diets, supplements, and herbs. Charish harnesses her nutritional expertise to inspire and empower people to make positive, healthy changes through what they eat (and drink!). LinkedIn