Magnesium Oxide Market: Steps and Suggestions to Avoid the Perils

April 2021

If you're like most people, magnesium oxide is just another word for "magnesium supplement" or "magnesium powder" that you might see at the grocery store. But what is magnesium oxide? Where does it come from? Why do people take it?

Those are all excellent questions! Get ready to find out just what magnesium oxide is and why you might want to consider using it to enhance your health.

What Is Magnesium Oxide?

Magnesium oxide is a common, naturally occurring form of magnesium that is extracted from mineral deposits or other naturally-occurring minerals. It is the inorganic form of magnesium, meaning it has an ionic charge. In this case the ion is Mg(OH) 2 . Because it is a carbonate, it has a high affinity for water and can dissolve better than other forms of magnesium.

Magnesium oxide can also be synthetically produced by combining calcium carbonate (the most common form of artificial calcium) and elemental magnesium (Mg). This creates MgCO 3 and MgO, both of which are forms of magnesium oxide.

The magnesium oxide used in supplements, particularly those sold as "magnesium powder" or "magnesium oxide," is most often derived from a mineral deposit called magnesite. Magnesite is a type of limestone that contains high amounts of magnesium oxide (up to 98% of some magnesite materials), and it is therefore used as a source for magnesium supplements.

What Is the Purpose of Magnesium Oxide?

As you can probably tell, there are a lot of different uses for magnesium oxide today, and the purpose varies from application to application. The most common reason people use magnesium oxide today, however, is as an electrolyte because it provides the minerals calcium and potassium. As an electrolyte, magnesium oxide is used for water purification, or to create caustic solutions. It is also used as a flux in welding and steel manufacturing.

Another common use for magnesium oxide–particularly the synthetically-produced forms–is in the field of medicine. This form of magnesium oxide is widely used as a laxative treatment for constipation because it can help absorb water and increase fluid movement within the body. It can also be found in medicines that help treat heart disease and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) by lowering cholesterol levels. Magnesium oxide has also been found to have antispasmodic properties, making it great for treating diarrhea and cramping.

Magnesium oxide is a chemical compound that contains magnesium and oxygen. It has two different crystalline forms, called alpha-MgO and beta-MgO. Alpha-MgO is the more stable form but it is not usually used as an antacid.

The most common use of magnesium oxide is in antacids for people who suffer from acid indigestion or heartburn. Magnesium oxide has been given to help people relax before surgery, but only dilute solutions have been shown to be effective. Dilute solutions were also given to help heal surgically-created wounds. Magnesium oxide is not very soluble in water, so it can be used for a laxative or cathartic, but it is not used in these ways often.

Even though magnesium oxide is a component of milk of magnesia, the two should not be confused. Because milk of magnesia contains other components besides magnesium oxide, it acts differently from magnesium oxide when consumed.

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