Study elucidates threonate's role in magnesium transport in brain

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Neuron

Study elucidates threonate's role in magnesium transport in brain
A new paper sponsored by branded ingredient supplier AIDP has elucidated the way in which threonates boost the uptake of magnesium into the brain, the company announced recently.

In a paper published in the journal Neuropharmacology​, ​researchers compared the effects of AIDP’s Magtein (L-Threonic acid Magnesium salt) to other magnesium dietary ingredients using cultured human hippocampal neurons.  The researchers said they “discovered that threonate is naturally present in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and oral treatment with L-TAMS elevated CSF threonate. In cultured hippocampal neurons, threonate treatment directly induced an increase in intracellular Mg(2+) concentration.”

Raising the magnesium concentration has a number of positive effects, including boosting the mitochondrial membrane potential and increasing the functional synapse density.  These effects were unique to the threonate formulation, and other common magnesium formulations failed to show the same effects, the researchers said.

“This publication uncovered at the molecular level why it is special since the patented carrier, threonate, can bind to its special receptor to bring the magnesium to the brain and neural cells. This provides the most fundamental explanation for the mechanisms of action in terms of its brain health benefits,” ​said Jennifer Gu, PhD, chief science officer of AIDP.

Other transport avenues

Moreover, this paper also suggests that other minerals beneficial to the brain and neuron cells, such as zinc and selenium, can also be efficiently transported using this patented carrier to support brain function. This opens doors for formulations and other brain beneficial minerals,”​ she added.

The study concludes that intraneuronal magnesium is a critical regulator of synaptic density and plasticity, critical factors that determine cognitive ability. The researchers said, L-threonate, the unique component of Magtein, drives magnesium into the fluids that surround the brain (cerebrospinal fluid), and then into neurons. This leads to multiple changes including enhanced synaptic density and plasticity, as supported by human clinical study. In addition, increased brain magnesium levels have been shown to support restful sleep and balanced mood.

Magnesium has been the hot mineral ingredient of late, with sales growth that far outpaces calcium or other minerals.  Gu said AIDP’s plan is to support Magtein with further studies to capitalize on this trend. 

“It is our interest to investigate how it works to promote stem cell regeneration, how it promotes deep sleep, how it supports cardiovascular health, how it provides benefits for metabolic abnormalities, and many other areas where Magtein has significant impacts,”​ Gu said.

Source: Neuropharmacology
2016 Sep;108:426-39. doi: 10.1016/j.neuropharm.2016.05.006. Epub 2016 May 10.
“Regulation of structural and functional synapse density by L-threonate through modulation of intraneuronal magnesium concentration.”
Authors: Sun Q, Weinger JG, Mao F, Liu G

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