EDIT: Read this post, the premise of these experiments was flawed. Result summary: If anyone else wants to go above 400mg of magnesium supplementation, go with chelated magnesium to avoid laxative effects and you won’t need to worry about the upper limit.
I’m in the process of testing out a recipe that follows the optimal micronutrient ratios compiled on this forum.
Everything else has come together nicely, except for my magnesium requirement of 900mg, preferably 1800mg in order to get a good calcium:magnesium ratio of close to 1:1. (720mg phosphorus->x2.5= 1800mg calcium) This is potentially problematic since, for those who don’t know, the safe upper limit recommended for magnesium supplements is about 400mg.
I am getting a decent amount from the “food” part of my recipe, and I’m supplementing the rest. The supplements I’m using are a blend of three sources (oxide, citrate, aspartate). Based on earlier discussions here, I’ve been hoping that spreading various forms of magnesium out over the course of the day and having it mixed in with the soylent would let me digest it more like a natural magnesium source and push over the limit of about 400mg from supplements.
To be clear, the “toxicity” of magnesium supplementation is all about the stool and laxative effects. So turn back now if you don’t like that talk
(I only replace 2/3 of my meals with soylent, so there are other unquantifiable factors involved)
In short: it’s a bit complicated. Basically, I confirmed that in pill form you don’t want to go over 400mg. You can push it a bit by mixing, maybe a lot, but it’s turned into a blindfolded juggling act for me due to problems with getting the magnesium to mix up properly.
Week 1, I used 400mg from supplementation and 400mg from the food (rye, cocoa, etc), with the supplement mixed up thoroughly into the drink. I was getting a steady single bristol-3.5 movement per day. So far so good.
Week 2, I upped it to 800mg from supplementation, and there was no change. I figured for sure there ought to be a little change, though. Until this point, I had noticed there was a bit of a sedimentation problem. I assumed it was from all the minerals from all the vitamins I was crushing up, which is a problem some people have run into. A significant amount of sedimentation gets lost to the sink drain during cleanings.
So for a few days I was being aggressive with shaking my bottle before each sip and trying to get the last bits out of my nalgene bottle (making eating a chore). I think perhaps my stools at this point went from a bristol-3.5 to a 4. It wasn’t dramatic and could have just been due to other factors or random.
I eventually crushed up all my vitamins separately and put them each in a cup of water to get a sense of the sedimentation problem, and it turns out ALL of the sedimentation was coming from my magnesium. So I was likely never getting all of it in the first place, or at least the magnesium oxide (see below). I estimate with my aggressive sediment capture habits, I was still losing up to 10%.
Week 3, I decided to take my 2 magnesium caps in the middle of my soylent meals as separate swallowed capsules. At this point things got a bit messy pretty quick. I started getting bristol-5.5 to 6 movements, THREE times per day!!
Except for the occasional bristol-7 flatulence (happened twice in a controlled manner), it wasn’t a big problem per se, just really annoying and an obvious change. It wasn’t diarrhea, I wasn’t losing water, no nausea, confusion, loss of appetite, muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, or irregular heartbeat. However, I don’t feel comfortable suggesting that nobody would experience these things at this dosage level, or that I wouldn’t eventually if I kept it up. The obvious change in bowel movement to something generally considered unhealthy is not a good sign and not something I intend to let go on.
Week 4, taking only 1 capsule per day and things are returning to normal.
So it’s a real catch-22: In my recipe magnesium is the only one you can’t take separately, but it’s the only one that can’t be mixed easily. Back to the drawing board, I suppose.
It looks like the sediment is coming from the magnesium oxide (magnesium citrate and magnesium aspartate are both water soluble). So theoretically, I could be getting most of the magnesium when mixed. I don’t know how much of each of the three types I can expect in these capsules and I don’t know how much I actually ingest when I mix.
I’m thinking of new things to try now. If anyone has questions, advice or comments, (particularly about different magnesium sources and solubility) please give your feedback. I will post updates as I continue to try to crack this.