Speaking with NutraIngredients-USA at the recent SupplySide West show in Las Vegas, Max Motyka, Director Human Products Division at Albion, explained that magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the human body.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) lists the benefits of magnesium as helping maintain normal muscle and nerve function, keeping heart rhythm steady, supporting a healthy immune system, and keeping bones strong. The mineral is also needed for blood sugar management, and healthy blood pressure.
“Magnesium impacts everything,” said Motyka.
Despite a lot of attention, Motyka said that awareness of the benefits of the mineral among the general population is low. “I don’t think the general public has gotten the message yet,” he said. Indeed, stats show that between 70 and 80% of the US population are not meeting their recommended intakes of magnesium.
Some consumers – and healthcare practitioners – are waking up to magnesium, and US sales of magnesium supplements in natural (excluding Whole Foods) and conventional outlet (including Walmart) grew by almost 20% from 2011 to 2012, to be worth $67,875,702, according to SPINS. Growth from 2010 to 2011 was 15%.
For Albion, which has a group of ingredients that are magnesium forms, sales for magnesium products currently make up 40.6% of Albion sales, said Motyka.
The company has been at the forefront of innovation with its chelate ingredients - magnesium that is bonded together with amino acids – that can produce greater absorption of the mineral in the small intestine when used in supplements. But that is not the only form of innovation, said Motyka: “Our innovation is coming out in the clinical studies. We’ve gotten three good clinical studies in the last couple of years that showing that it helps asthmatics, cystic fibrotics, leg cramp in pregnancy. We’re giving people an indication of where it works and why.”