Siener, R., Jahnen, A. & Hesse, A. Urol Res (2011) 39: 123. doi:10.1007/s00240-010-0309-y
Magnesium is suggested to reduce intestinal oxalate absorption and to act as an inhibitor of calcium oxalate crystallization in the urine. However, previous studies have shown only minimal increase in urinary magnesium excretion following oral magnesium supplementation, possibly due to its low bioavailability. This study was performed to examine the bioavailability of magnesium from two different pharmaceutical formulations of magnesium oxide (MgO). Thirteen healthy male volunteers (22–31 years) were recruited from university students and staff, and all completed the study. During the baseline phase, subjects collected two 24-h urines while on their usual diet. Throughout the control and test phases, the subjects consumed a standardized diet calculated according to the recommendations. During the test phases, subjects received two magnesium preparations in a cross-over procedure. With each preparation, MgO-capsules and MgO-effervescent tablets, 450 mg magnesium was supplemented. On the control day and the two test days, fractional urine collection was performed and six corresponding blood samples were taken. In the follow-up phase, subjects continued to take the respective preparation while on their usual diet and collected 24-h urines weekly. With standardized conditions, urinary magnesium excretion increased by 40% after ingestion of the effervescent tablets, and by only 20% after intake of the capsules. The results indicate better bioavailability of magnesium from the effervescent tablets than from the capsules. This may be attributed to the fact that the tablets have to be dissolved in water before ingestion so that magnesium becomes ionized, which is an important precondition for absorption.