Magtein®: The Only Form of Magnesium That Reaches Your Brain

If you ask athletes why they take magnesium, they’ll likely give you at least one reason related to their physiology. Perhaps they use magnesium bath salts to soak their aching joints. Or maybe they’re trying to improve strength and power. While such reasons are valid and evidence based, you may be missing some of the ways magnesium can also positively impact your mind as well.

This is certainly the case when it comes to Magtein®. The full name of this unique form of the mineral that was discovered by a team from MIT is magnesium L-threonate. Other types – such as magnesium citrate, chloride, oxide, or sulfate – all offer their own advantages, but only Magtein® has been proven by clinical studies to cross the blood-brain barrier. In other words, when you ingest Magtein®, some of the magnesium L-threonate is distributed to various areas of the body, where it assists in regulating heart and lung function, muscular contractions, hydration, and more than 300 other vital processes. Other molecules make it through to the brain via both the BBB and, according to a pair of Australian researchers at the University of Adelaide, also the blood-cerebrospinal fluid barrier (BCSFB), located at the choroid plexus found in each of the brain’s four ventricles.

We’ve included this form of magnesium in our Momentous Sleep formula for its ability to help reduce anxiety and create a calming effect before falling asleep. However, there are other benefits to this compound as well, so today we are diving into all of the research that’s been done on Magetin® and the positive effect that different doses can have on your cognitive function.

Improving Cognitive Function + Reducing Brain Age

Magtein’s® ability to reach the brain allows the magnesium molecules to assist in neuronal transfer between various pathways, which scientists believe offers a variety of benefits. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled human study published in 2016 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease assessed the impact of Magtein® supplementation on four cognitive areas in patients suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease: executive function, working memory, attention, and episodic memory. 

The researchers concluded that taking Magtein® daily for the study period resulted in significant improvements in all four domains, and they hypothesized that these could extend to healthy people as well. The biggest benefit observed was when participants were asked to perform the Trail Making Test Part B, a commonly used clinical measurement of executive function. After 12 weeks of Magtein® supplementation, subjects saw an average improvement of 10 percent, the equivalent of a nine-year reduction in “brain age.” Other advantages for the group utilizing Magtein® included reduced fluctuations in mental performance, improved task switching, faster reaction time, and better concentration for sustained periods. 

The researchers proposed that one of the mechanisms for Magtein® having such effects is that it increases synapse density. They also posited that as the threonate element takes the magnesium across the blood-brain and blood-CSF barriers, it increases the total amount of the mineral in neuronal intracellular spaces. Plus, magnesium L-threonate was shown to increase overall magnesium levels throughout the body, which should be good news considering studies have estimated 50% of American adults have a magnesium deficiency.

Enhancing Learning and Recall

Another study published in the journal Neuropharmacology investigated if and to what degree Magtein® supplementation would impact learning, recall, and various other mental functions. They found that in young rats, taking magnesium L-threonate every day accelerated learning new skills, while in older ones, it restored cognitive abilities that had declined. In addition, Magtein® was shown to improve performance in a spatial working memory test that involved deploying a strategy.

The trio of researchers who conducted this trial also noted that this form of magnesium elevated levels of the mineral in spinal fluid after both 12 and 24-day periods, while other types – including magnesium gluconate and chloride – did not create such a change. The study authors also concluded that magnesium levels in the brain were higher than in subjects that either didn’t receive supplemental magnesium or were given another type, and suggested that Magtein® was able to cross the blood-brain and blood-CSF barriers because threonate effectively transports the mineral to brain neurons. 

Elevating Mood, Busting Stress, and Lowering Anxiety

The Tsinghua University study found that participants reported significant reductions in anxiety, experienced less stress when performing cognitive tasks, and had greater mental clarity. Furthermore, a different paper published in the journal Pain Physician found that magnesium L-threonate prevents and reverses memory deficits associated with chronic neuropathic pain. This is a promising finding for athletes who suffer a single traumatic injury or are in persistent pain because of a continuing condition. The Chinese researchers observed that Magtein® also improves the efficiency of communication between neuronal networks in the hippocampus region of the brain. 

At the highest level, everyone is a physical specimen, so cognitive improvements hold great potential to elevate your performance. As humans, all of us regardless of our athletic pursuits, rely on the health of our brains to maximize our ability to perform both mentally and physically. Whether you’re ready to try Momentous Sleep and feel the benefits Magtein® can have on your sleep, or you were just interested in learning more about the various ways Magtein® has been studied in different research, we hope you learned something new today.


Mounir N. Ghabriel and Robert Vink. “Magnesium transport across the blood-brain barriers.” University of Adelaide Press (2011).

Guosong Liu, et al. “Efficacy and Safety of MMFS-01 for Treating Cognitive Impairment in Older Adults.” Journal of Alzheimer's Disease 49,4 (2016): 971–990.

Andrea Rosanof, et al. “Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States.” Nutrition Reviews® Vol. 70,3 (2012):153–164.

Q Sun, et al. “Regulation of structural and functional synapse density by L-threonate through modulation of intraneuronal magnesium concentration.” Neuropharmacology 108 (2016 Sep):426-39.

J Wang, et al. “Magnesium L-threonate prevents and restores memory deficits associated with neuropathic pain by inhibition of TNF-α.” Pain Physician 16,5 (2013 Sep-Oct):E563-75.
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