Benefits of Magnesium
While the majority of studies have focused on the role of calcium in bone health, magnesium is also necessary for bone growth.
In females after menopause, increased magnesium consumption has been associated with higher bone density, improved bone crystal formation, and a lower risk of osteoporosis, according to research from 2013.
Magnesium has the potential to boost bone health both directly and indirectly, as it aids in the regulation of calcium and vitamin D levels, two additional essential elements for bone health.
Magnesium deficiency exacerbates insulin resistance, a condition that typically occurs before type 2 diabetes. Researchers have connected high magnesium diets to diabetes in some studies. Furthermore, according to a 2017 comprehensive review, consuming magnesium supplements can enhance insulin sensitivity in people with low magnesium levels.
High magnesium diets lower the risk of contracting type 2 diabetes; due to magnesium’s role in glucose regulation and insulin metabolism. According to a 2015 analysis published in the World Journal of Diabetes, most, but not all, diabetics have low magnesium levels, and magnesium may play a role in diabetes management.
Magnesium plays a vital function in heart health, it keeps muscles healthy. Magnesium insufficiency increases the risk of cardiovascular disease; and is frequent in people with congestive heart failure. Magnesium is occasionally used during congestive heart failure (CHF) treatment to lower the risk of arrhythmia, or irregular cardiac rhythm.
Helps with insomnia
Magnesium supplements are frequently prescribed as a natural treatment for sleep disorders like insomnia. This is because magnesium modulates numerous sleep-related neurotransmitters, including gamma-aminobutyric acid. Magnesium tablets reduced the time it took older people with insomnia to fall asleep by an average of 17 minutes, according to one study.
Another study of nearly 4,000 adults revealed that increased magnesium consumption led to better sleep quality and longer sleep duration. In addition, women who intake more magnesium were less likely to fall asleep during the day.
Magnesium deficiency leads to inflammation, which is a crucial part of aging and chronic disease. Magnesium supplements reduced levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker, in persons with chronic inflammation, according to a study of 11 trials. Other studies have found that magnesium supplementation can lower CRP and other inflammatory indicators including interleukin-6.
May boost exercise performance
Magnesium improves exercise performance in older people and those who are deficient in this nutrient. Depending on the activity, you require more magnesium during exercise than when you are resting. Exercise can cause the accumulation of lactate, which can get uncomfortable and make one feel worn out. Magnesium helps the body move blood sugar into muscles as well as remove lactate from the body.
Higher magnesium consumption led to enhanced muscle growth and power in a study of 2,570 women. Volleyball players who took 250 mg of magnesium per day improved their jumping and arm movements in an earlier trial. Furthermore, one study found that magnesium supplements protect expert cyclists from specific signs of muscle injury.
Migraine sufferers may have lower magnesium levels in their blood and body tissues than non-migraine sufferers. Therefore, magnesium supplementation may aid in the prevention or relief of headaches. This is because a magnesium deficit can disrupt neurotransmitters and limit blood vessel constriction, both of which are variables linked to migraine.
Magnesium therapy may be helpful in preventing migraines, according to a systematic review published in 2017. According to scientists, consuming 600 mg of magnesium citrate every day appears to be a safe and effective method of prevention. According to the American Migraine Foundation, 400–500 mg per day is commonly used to prevent migraines.
Magnesium could also help with premenstrual symptoms (PMS). Taking magnesium supplements, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, may help with PMS bloating, mood problems, and breast tenderness. Several small-scale studies, including one published in 2012, suggest that combining magnesium supplements alongside vitamin B-6 can help with PMS symptoms.
Anxiety & Depression
Magnesium levels may play a role in mood disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Research suggests that low magnesium levels lead to increased levels of anxiety, according to a systematic review published in 2017. This is due in part to activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a group of three glands that regulates a person’s stress response.
The study does, however, point out that the evidence is of poor quality, and that researchers need to conduct high-quality trials to determine how effective magnesium supplements are at reducing anxiety.
Sources of Magnesium
Nuts and seeds, dark green vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are just a few of the foods that are high in magnesium. Magnesium is also added to breakfast cereals and other fortified foods by manufacturers.
Magnesium is found in the following foods:
|Source||Per serving||Percentage of daily intake|
|Banana (1 medium)||32 mg||8%|
|Canned kidney beans (½ cup)||35 mg||9%|
|Instant oatmeal||36 mg||9%|
|Fortified breakfast cereals||40 mg||10%|
|Low fat yogurt (8 oz)||42 mg||11 %|
|Cooked brown rice (1 cup)||42 mg||11%|
|Potato with skin (3.5 oz)||43 mg||11%|
|Avocado (1 cup )||44 mg||11%|
|Whole wheat bread *2 slices)||46 mg||12%|
|Peanut butter (2 tablespoons)||49 mg||12%|
|Cooked edamame beans (½ cup)||50 mg||13%|
|Cooked black beans (½ cup)||60 mg||15%|
|Soy milk (1 milk)||61 mg||15%|
|Oil roasted peanuts (¼ cup)||63 mg||16%|
|Roasted cashews (1 oz)||74 mg||19%|
|Spinach (½ cup)||78 mg||20%|
|Almonds (1 oz)||80 mg||20%|
When wheat is refined, magnesium is lost, hence whole grain cereals and bread products are ideal. Magnesium levels are low in most fruits, meats, and seafood.
Adequate intake of magnesium
|Birth to 6 months||30 mg||30 mg|
|7-12 months||75 mg||75 mg|
|1-3 years||80 mg||80 mg|
|4-8 years||130 mg||130 mg|
|9-13 years||240 mg||240 mg|
|14-18 years||410 mg||360 mg||400 mg||360 mg|
|19-30 years||400 mg||310 mg||350 mg||310 mg|
|31-50 years||420 mg||320 mg||360 mg||320 mg|
|51 + years||420 mg||320 mg|
While many people do not get sufficient magnesium, symptoms of insufficiency are uncommon in otherwise healthy people. Hypomagnesemia is the medical term for magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium insufficiency or inadequacy can occur as a result of excessive alcohol use, as a side effect of some medications, or as a result of certain health conditions, such as gastrointestinal disorders and diabetes. In older people, deficiency is more common.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:
- a loss of appetite
- nausea or vomiting
- fatigue or weakness
Symptoms of more advanced magnesium deficiency include:
- muscle cramps
- personality changes
- heart rhythm changes or spasms
Magnesium shortage can lead to many health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and migraine headaches.
Groups at Risk of Magnesium Inadequacy
Magnesium deficiency can arise when intakes fall below the RDA but is higher than the amount needed to avoid overt deficiency. Because they typically consume insufficient amounts or have medical conditions (or use medications) that impair magnesium absorption from the gut or increase losses from the body, the following groups are more likely than others to be at risk of magnesium deficiency.
Those suffering from gastrointestinal disorders
Crohn’s disease, gluten-sensitive enteropathy (celiac disease), and regional enteritis all cause chronic diarrhea and fat malabsorption, which can lead to magnesium deficiency over time. Malabsorption and magnesium loss are common after resection or bypass of the small intestine, particularly the ileum.
Type 2 diabetes patients
In persons with insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, there is a greater risk of magnesium deficiency as a result of increased urine magnesium excretion. Magnesium loss appears to be a side effect of greater glucose concentrations in the kidney, which enhance urine production.
Those who are addicted to alcohol
Magnesium shortage is frequent in those who have been drinking for a long time. Poor dietary intake and nutritional status; gastrointestinal problems caused by pancreatitis, such as vomiting, diarrhea, and steatorrhea (fatty stools); renal dysfunction with excessive excretion of magnesium into the urine; phosphate depletion; vitamin D deficiency; acute alcoholic ketoacidosis; and hyperaldosteronism secondary to liver disease can all contribute to decreased magnesium status in these people.
Magnesium intake is lower in older people than in younger adults. Furthermore, as people get older, magnesium absorption from the gut diminishes and renal magnesium excretion rises. In addition, older people are more likely to have chronic conditions or use medications that change their magnesium status, increasing their risk of magnesium depletion.
Interactions with medications
Several drugs can interact with magnesium supplements or impact magnesium levels. Following are a few instances. People who use these or other medications on a regular basis should talk to their doctors about their magnesium intake.
Magnesium-rich supplements or pharmaceuticals dampen the effects of oral bisphosphonates used to treat osteoporosis, like alendronate (Fosamax). Take bisphosphonates and magnesium-rich pharmaceuticals at least two hours apart.
Tetracyclines, such as demeclocycline (Declomycin) and doxycycline (Vibramycin), as well as quinolone antibiotics, such as ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and levofloxacin (Levaquin), can form insoluble complexes with magnesium. Take these antibiotics at least 2 hours before or 4–6 hours after taking a magnesium supplement.
Chronic use of loop diuretics like furosemide (Lasix) and bumetanide (Bumex), as well as thiazide diuretics like hydrochlorothiazide (Aquazide H) and ethacrynic acid (Edecrin), can increase magnesium loss in the urine and lead to magnesium deficiency. Potassium-sparing diuretics like amiloride (Midamor) and spironolactone (Aldactone) reduce magnesium excretion.
Proton pump inhibitors
When administered for an extended period of time (usually more than a year), prescription proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as esomeprazole magnesium (Nexium) and lansoprazole (Prevacid) can cause hypomagnesemia. Magnesium supplements frequently raised low serum magnesium levels caused by PPIs in FDA-reviewed cases.
However, in 25% of cases, supplements failed to improve magnesium levels, and patients can no longer use the PPI. Healthcare practitioners should consider evaluating patients’ serum magnesium levels before starting long-term PPI treatment and checking magnesium levels in these patients on a regular basis, according to the FDA.
Risks of too much magnesium
The body will clear any excess magnesium from meals through urine, therefore an overdose of magnesium from food is uncommon. Supplementing with magnesium might cause gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, nausea, and cramps.
High doses can result in kidney difficulties, low blood pressure, urine retention, nausea and vomiting, depression, lethargy, loss of central nervous system (CNS) control, cardiac arrest, and death. Individuals that suffer from kidney disease cannot take magnesium supplements unless their doctor recommends it.
Magnesium is a necessary macro-nutrient for a variety of bodily functions, including muscle, neuron, and bone health, as well as mood.
Magnesium deficiency has led to a variety of health issues, according to research. If a person’s daily magnesium requirements cannot be met by diet, a doctor may advise taking magnesium supplements.