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Difference Between Magnesium and Magnesium Oxide

Magnesium vs Magnesium Oxide

Magnesium and magnesium oxide are two related substances, but they come with many differences.

In terms of classification, magnesium is an element and cannot be broken down into smaller components. A white to silvery substance, magnesium is a metal that is durable, malleable, and a good conductor of electricity. It consists of magnesium atoms bearing the atomic symbol “Mg” and the atomic number 12.

Magnesium is an abundant element both on Earth and inside the human body. It is a component of more than 300 biochemical processes and reactions inside the body. The element is a significant factor in the body as it acts as a bone strengthening agent and muscle and nerve relaxant. It also aids in blood circulation.

So vast are the functions of magnesium that, not surprisingly, it is used in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, anxiety, and other diseases and disorders. It is also used by people to keep them going as magnesium does increase endurance and energy levels. Others use it as a skin ointment for skin ailments.

Magnesium is abundant in water sources like wellsprings, seas, and the like. It is also present in organic foods and foods rich in fiber, but it is often eliminated in food preparation and production. A good amount of magnesium exists in the body, and the lack of it causes a deficiency in human nutrition.

As an element, magnesium can be paired with other elements to create compounds, among them magnesium hydroxide, magnesium sulfate, and magnesium oxide.

Magnesium oxide is a compound that forms an ionic bond between the atoms of magnesium and those of oxygen. Magnesium oxide can be broken down chemically by a process called decomposition. It is largely ceramic in nature that fractures easily and is also a great insulator.

Magnesium oxide is one of the magnesium salts and serves as a magnesium supplement. As a supplement, it has the lowest absorption rate of the body. By and large it is the most popular and economical among the choices of magnesium supplements.

Magnesium oxide is used by many as a laxative, but it can also offer relief from headaches and migraines, control blood sugar, and regulate high blood pressure. When taking this supplement, one needs to watch out for possible side effects like diarrhea, abdominal pain, and gas as well as allergic reactions.


  1. Magnesium and magnesium oxide, although closely related, are very different from each other. Magnesium is a base substance while magnesium oxide is a substance derived from magnesium. The latter is also one of the magnesium compounds and salts.
  2. Magnesium is an element with a specific atomic number (12) and symbol (Mg). As an element, it is classified as a metal and retains all the properties of metallic elements. It is durable and malleable and cannot be broken down since it is already comprised of atoms. On the other hand, magnesium oxide is a compound derived when magnesium combines with oxygen. It has its own chemical formula (MgO) which is formed due to an ionic bond. However, this bond can be broken by chemical decomposition. Magnesium oxide is ceramic and is prone to breakage.
  3. Magnesium as a metal is a conductor while magnesium oxide plays a reverse role as an insulator.
  4. Magnesium is an important element that plays an important role in body processes and reactions. For this reason, it is necessary to have enough magnesium present in the body. For a magnesium deficiency, magnesium oxide can be taken as a supplement.
  5. Both magnesium and magnesium oxide exist as natural substances, and they are used in a variety of medical and industrial applications.

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1 Comment

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