Magnesium malate for fibromyalgia

Updated July 19, 2017

Fibromyalgia is characterised by widespread pain in the tendons, muscles and ligaments. There are also tender points that are common in fibromyalgia sufferers, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Fatigue, depression, sleep disorders and digestive problems are associated with the disorder. Magnesium malate, which is a compound of magnesium and malic acid, has been a focus of fibromyalgia research. Magnesium malate is not advised for patients with kidney disease.

Pain Reduction

An eight-week preliminary trial found that magnesium malate may reduce the muscle pain associated with fibromyalgia, according to the University of Michigan Health System. However, in a double-blind study, the same researchers found no reduction in pain with low doses of magnesium malate. Studies of higher doses, at 600 mg magnesium and 2,400 mg malic acid, did show reduced pain but were not conducted under the double-blind study and are considered inconclusive.


Fatigue is a common symptom in fibromyalgia and magnesium deficiency. Magnesium malate is considered to the best magnesium compound to treat fatigue, according to the University of Wisconsin Integrative Medicine. Magnesium contributes to the body's energy production. The malic acid in magnesium malate plays an important role in the Kreb's cycle, which provides cellular energy.

Magnesium Malate Combinations

The benefits of magnesium malate for fibromyalgia symptoms may be enhanced with other supplements, according to MedlinePlus. Adding fish oil and vitamins to a supplement routine may improve magnesium malate's effectiveness for reducing pain.


According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Magnesium malate should be taken three times daily at 200 mg of magnesium and 1,200 mg of malic acid. Magnesium malate is sold in health food stores and lists the amount of magnesium and malic acid on the label.

Side Effects

Patients with renal failure are unable to secrete magnesium and should consult a doctor before supplementing with magnesium. Large amounts of magnesium, or sudden increases in dosage, can cause abdominal cramping, diarrhoea and nausea. Diarrhoea usually prevents toxicity from overdosing on magnesium.

Magnesium Absorption

Consuming certain foods and supplements decreases the body's ability to absorb magnesium, according to Phyllis Balch, in her book "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." Vitamin D, calcium, cod liver oil, tea, cocoa and high amounts of fat reduce magnesium absorption. Greens such as spinach and chard are high in oxalic acid, which also interferes with magnesium assimilation.

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About the Author

Based in Colorado, Jacqueline Lerche has been writing alternative health, natural science and environment-related articles since 2009. Lerche holds a Bachelor of Science in biology and an Environmental Affairs Certification from Colorado State University.