New supplement targets magnesium deficiency as side effect of diuretics

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: High blood pressure, Hypertension

Magnitria comes in sachets that can be dissolved in a beverage.  Photo courtesy Jungbunzlauer.
Magnitria comes in sachets that can be dissolved in a beverage. Photo courtesy Jungbunzlauer.
Althos Pharma is targeting a new market—patients taking diuretics —with the release of its Magnitria supplement, which features powder form magnesium citrate to address the deficiency of this mineral that can accompany this treatment.

According to the company, the trimagnesium citrate anhydrous (supplied by Jungbunzlauer) is easy to absorb, and the new supplement is also the first powder-form of magnesium citrate supplement that is available without a prescription in the US.

“For some time, the science community believed that the use of loop and thiazide diuretics long term may lead to magnesium deficiency. Some clinical data show that perhaps magnesium is excreted from the body along with the water and salt, which is how diuretics work in reducing high blood pressure,”​ Maritz Gomez, Althos spokesperson, told NutraIngredients-USA.

“While the medical community does a good job recommending magnesium to patients on diuretics, some may not realize that certain types of magnesium – such as magnesium oxide – are poorly absorbed. Research has also shown that magnesium citrate is well absorbed by the body.”​ she said.

Big potential market

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in three adults in the US have high blood pressure, which could lead to heart disease. In addition to high blood pressure medications, there are other factors that may cause magnesium deficiency. For example, people who take medicines for acid reflux, individuals with Crohn's disease, those undergoing chemotherapy, and transplant patients on immunosuppressant drugs may be at risk. Warning signs of magnesium deficiency include poor memory, fatigue and irritability. Some patients may also experience muscle cramps, nausea, numbness or tingling in the fingers or even seizures. 

Gomez said Althos, based in Milan, IN,  chose to focus on the action of magnesium in regards to the need of diabetics because of the potential size of the market.

“We know that an estimated 43 million people in the US have high blood pressure, according to the CDC’s National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. However, there is no specific data on how many of these individuals are on diuretics. We can presume that many are if they are being treated for their health condition,”​ she said.

Competing on bioavailability

The flushing of the system caused by diuretics could potentially affect other mineral balances, too, and there are some multiple mineral supplements already on the market that could address this deficiency.  Gomez said Althos choose to focus on magnesium first, and compete on the basis of Magnitria’s superior bioavailability.

“Unfortunately, combination products currently available suffer from poor bioavailability and unproven ratios of minerals. We are in the process of developing new products and believe combining minerals should be done only when the ratio works to create a product that is more effective than its individual components,”​ she said. 

“Because magnesium is required for absorption of potassium and calcium, some patients may find that supplementation with well-absorbed magnesium will help normalize levels of other minerals,”​ Gomez said.

Magnesium is also a factor in other supplementation scenarios, Gomez said.  But the company, which has the product in distribution in Walgreens pharmacies and other local outlets as well as online, chose to focus on one market first, she said.

“While we initially are targeting patients on diuretics, we have also begun marketing Magnitria to cardiologists. It’s too early to talk about outcomes yet, however. We also know that magnesium deficiency is prevalent in those who take proton pump inhibitors, patients on immunosuppressive drugs, and diabetics on dialysis. So we see multiple opportunities for Magnitiria. However, instead of blanketing every market, our goal is to focus on one market at a time,”​ Gomez said.

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