Health Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium is essential for the brain and body. It has numerous advantages, including those for your heart, blood sugar levels, and mood. It can be found in a wide range of foods, from leafy greens to nuts, seeds, and beans.

Magnesium is essential for your brain and body, from regulating blood sugar levels to improving athletic performance.

Despite the fact that it can be found in a variety of foods ranging from leafy greens to nuts, seeds, and beans, many people do not get enough of it.

Here are 12 evidence-based magnesium health benefits, as well as some simple ways to increase your intake.

Health Benefits of Magnesium

Participates in hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body

Magnesium is found all over your body. In fact, every cell in your body contains and requires this mineral to function.

The majority of the magnesium in your body is found in bone, with the remainder in muscles, soft tissues, and fluids such as blood.

One of its primary functions is to act as a cofactor — a helper molecule — in the biochemical reactions that enzymes continuously perform. It participates in over 600 reactions in your body, including:

  • Energy generation is the process of converting food into energy.
  • Protein synthesis: the process of synthesizing new proteins from amino acids.
  • Gene maintenance entails assisting in the creation and repair of DNA and RNA.
  • Muscle contraction and relaxation are aided by muscle movements.
  • Nervous system regulation is the process of controlling neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout your brain and nervous system.

Nonetheless, studies show that roughly half of all adults in the United States consume less magnesium than is recommended.

the potential to improve exercise performance.

Depending on the activity, you require more magnesium when exercising than when resting.

Magnesium aids in the movement of blood sugar into your muscles as well as the elimination of lactate, which can accumulate during exercise and cause fatigue.

According to research, magnesium supplements may be especially beneficial for improving exercise performance in older adults and those deficient in this nutrient.

In one study of 2,570 women, higher magnesium intake was associated with increased muscle mass and power.

Volleyball players who took 250 mg of magnesium per day improved their jumping and arm movements in an earlier study.

Furthermore, one study found that magnesium supplements may protect professional cyclists from certain markers of muscle damage.

More research is needed, however, as some research suggests that supplementing does not benefit athletes or active people with normal magnesium levels.

May help with depression

Magnesium is essential for brain function and mood, and low levels are associated with an increased risk of depression.

In fact, a study of over 8,800 people found that those under the age of 65 with the lowest magnesium intake had a 22% higher risk of depression.

Furthermore, supplementing with this mineral may help reduce depression symptoms.

In one small 8-week study, taking 500 mg of magnesium daily resulted in significant improvements in depression symptoms in people who were deficient in this mineral.

Furthermore, a 6-week study of 126 people found that taking 248 mg of magnesium per day reduced depression and anxiety symptoms regardless of magnesium status.

May help maintain healthy blood sugar levels

According to studies, approximately 48% of people with type 2 diabetes have low blood magnesium levels, which may impair the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels effectively.

Furthermore, studies show that people who consume more magnesium have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

According to one study, magnesium supplements improve insulin sensitivity, a key factor in blood sugar control.

Another study found that taking magnesium supplements improved blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity in people at risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

However, these effects may depend on how much magnesium you’re getting from food. One older study, for example, discovered that supplements did not improve blood sugar or insulin levels in people who were not deficient.

May promote heart health

Magnesium is essential for keeping your heart healthy and strong.

Indeed, research indicates that magnesium supplements can help lower high blood pressure, which may be a risk factor for heart disease.

Another study linked increased magnesium consumption to a lower risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

Furthermore, one study discovered that magnesium supplements improved multiple risk factors for heart disease, including triglyceride, LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure levels, particularly in people who were deficient in magnesium.

More research is needed, however, because other studies have found no effect of magnesium on cholesterol or triglyceride levels.

It has anti-inflammatory properties.

Low magnesium intake has been linked to increased inflammation, which is important in aging and chronic disease.

A meta-analysis of 11 studies concluded that magnesium supplements reduced levels of C-reactive protein (CRP), an inflammatory marker, in people with chronic inflammation.

Other studies have found that magnesium supplements can reduce CRP and other inflammatory markers like interleukin-6.

Furthermore, some studies link magnesium deficiency to increased oxidative stress, which is associated with inflammation.

May aid in the prevention of migraine attacks

Migraine headaches are painful and frequently cause nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise.

Some researchers believe that migraine sufferers are more likely than others to be magnesium deficient.

Several studies suggest that magnesium supplements may even help to prevent and treat migraine headaches.

In one study, 1 gram of magnesium supplementation provided faster and more effective relief from acute migraine attacks than a common medication.

Eating more magnesium-rich foods may also help reduce migraine symptoms.

May alleviate PMS symptoms

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is one of the most common conditions in women of childbearing age. Water retention, abdominal cramps, tiredness, and irritability are common symptoms.

According to some research, magnesium supplements can help relieve PMS symptoms as well as other conditions like menstrual cramps and migraine attacks.

This could be because magnesium levels fluctuate during the menstrual cycle, exacerbating PMS symptoms in those who are deficient. As such, supplements may help reduce the severity of symptoms, including menstrual migraine attacks

In fact, a previous study found that taking 250 mg of magnesium per day reduced bloating, depression, and anxiety in 126 women with PMS when compared to a control group.

More recent, high-quality research is needed to determine whether this mineral can improve symptoms regardless of magnesium levels.

May promote bone health

Magnesium is essential for maintaining bone health and preventing bone loss. In fact, your bones contain 50-60% of your body’s magnesium.

Lower levels of this mineral have been linked to an increased risk of osteoporosis, a condition that causes bones to become brittle and weak.

A three-year study of 358 people undergoing hemodialysis (a treatment to help remove waste and water from the blood) found that those who consumed the least magnesium had three times the number of fractures as those who consumed the most.

Furthermore, a recent meta-analysis of 12 studies linked high magnesium intake to increased bone mineral density in the hip and femoral neck, both of which are prone to fracture.

It may help you sleep better.

Magnesium supplements are frequently used as a natural treatment for sleep disorders like insomnia.

This is due to the fact that magnesium regulates several neurotransmitters involved in sleep, including gamma aminobutyric acid.

In one study of older adults with insomnia, magnesium supplements reduced the time it took people to fall asleep by an average of 17 minutes.

Another study of nearly 4,000 adults found that increasing your intake of this mineral improved your sleep quality and duration.

Another study linked higher magnesium intake in women to a lower likelihood of falling asleep during the day.

May aid in the reduction of anxiety symptoms

According to some studies, magnesium can help treat and prevent anxiety.

One study of 3,172 adults, for example, found that increased magnesium intake was associated with a lower risk of depression and anxiety.

Similarly, a small 6-week study discovered that taking 248 mg of magnesium per day significantly reduced anxiety symptoms.

Other research suggests that magnesium deficiency may increase your body’s susceptibility to stress, thereby exacerbating anxiety symptoms.

One review concluded that magnesium supplements may help reduce mild to moderate anxiety, but it also stated that research is contradictory — and that the effects of supplements have not been studied beyond 3 months.

It is both safe and widely available.

Magnesium is necessary for a variety of health-related functions. Men should consume 400-420 mg per day, while women should consume 310-320 mg per day.

This mineral can be obtained through both food and supplements.

Food sources

The foods listed below are high in magnesium:

  • Pumpkin seeds: 37% of the DV per ounce (28 grams)
  • Chia seeds: 26% of the DV per ounce (28 grams)
  • Spinach, boiled: 19% of the DV per 1/2 cup (90 grams)
  • Almonds: 19% of the DV per ounce (28 grams)
  • Cashews: 18% of the DV per ounce (28 grams)
  • Black beans, cooked: 14% of the DV per 1/2 cup (86 grams)
  • Edamame, cooked: 12% of the DV per 1/2 cup (78 grams)
  • Peanut butter: 12% of the DV per 2 tablespoons (32 grams)
  • Brown rice, cooked: 10% of the DV per 1/2 cup (100 grams)
  • Salmon, cooked: 6% of the DV per 3 ounces (85 grams)
  • Halibut, cooked: 6% of the DV per 3 ounces (85 grams)
  • Avocado: 5% of the DV per 1/2 cup (75 grams)

Supplements

Before taking magnesium supplements, consult your doctor if you have a medical condition. Although these supplements are generally well tolerated, they may be dangerous for people who take diuretics, heart medications, or antibiotics.

Magnesium citrate, glycinate, orotate, and carbonate are examples of well-absorbed forms (1).

In conclusion

Magnesium is crucial for sustaining good health and is important for everything from heart health to brain function to exercise performance.

You can make sure you’re getting enough of this crucial vitamin in your diet by consuming a range of foods that are high in magnesium. Avocados, spinach, chia seeds, peanut butter, and other foods work well as complements to smoothies, snacks, and other meals.

Nevertheless, you might try supplementing or utilizing a multivitamin to assist address any gaps in your diet.

Nonetheless, it is important to evaluate study data cautiously. It’s more crucial to have a balanced diet than to concentrate on a particular nutrient. Keep in mind that none of the outcomes listed above are promises made by magnesium.

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