9 Amazing Health Benefits of Magnesium Supplements
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As you may know, human beings need a certain daily intake of food supplements in order to thrive. For this reason, nutritional labels found on the packages of food and nutritional supplements provide the percentage of each nutrient in a single serving.
One such nutrient one may find on nutrition labels is magnesium. It's a nutrient that contributes to everything from blood glucose control to the structural development of bone. We're going to cover the health benefits of taking magnesium supplements.
What is Magnesium?
The mineral can also be found in smaller quantities in blood, soft tissue, muscles, and cells. In fact, every cell in the body contains magnesium. Its mere presence and/or absence can affect the heart, blood vessels, brain, and muscles.
Do We Need Magnesium?
Considered an enzyme co-factor, this helper molecule is essential to the body. Magnesium participates in over 600 reactions in the body, including: (3)
Nervous system regulation
This mineral is simply a requirement for good health. It helps the body sustain balance, avoid sickness, and continuously perform even during times of stress.
A lack of magnesium can severely impact one’s quality of life, but surprisingly, many people get less than they need.
Researchers estimate that approximately half of Americans and Europeans are magnesium deficient. (4) Many people are unaware of this deficiency due to it being difficult to diagnose.
Magnesium is widespread throughout the body and the symptoms of a deficiency can easily be pinned to other health conditions. However, the most common signs of deficiency are irritability, muscle weakness, and an irregular heartbeat.
How Much Magnesium Does One Need?
Based on information from the National Institute of Health, an adult male requires 400-420 mg/daily; an adult female needs 310-320 mg/daily. (5) A pregnant woman should have 350-360 mg/daily.
The recommended dietary allowance for children and teens is: (6)
Birth to 6 months: 30 mg/daily
7 to 12 months: 75 mg/daily
1 to 3 years old: 80 mg/daily
4 to 8 years old: 130 mg/daily
9 to 13 years old: 240 mg/daily
14 to 18 year old males: 410 mg/daily
14 to 18 year old females: 360 mg/daily
Too Much Magnesium
Healthy individuals that get a lot of magnesium from food generally don't have anything to worry about. Their kidneys will eliminate excess magnesium in the urine. (7)
However, too much magnesium from medications or dietary supplements often results in diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. (8)
In extreme cases, it can result in low blood pressure and heart problems. (9)
Individuals should be very careful about taking magnesium-containing antacids and laxatives, as that has been associated with magnesium toxicity.
The Benefits of Magnesium
Now that you know why magnesium is necessary, it's time to look at 9 ways it could be beneficial to you.
Critical to Brain Function and Mood
The neurotransmitter, GABA (gamma-aminobutyric acid), requires magnesium in order to effectively produce hormones like serotonin. (10)
Low levels of serotonin have been linked to depression. Magnesium is needed for hormone regulation and is a vital component to keeping the brain calm and relaxed.
Helps Those With High Blood Pressure
High blood pressure sufferers are at risk of heart attack, stroke, and aneurysms. A study found that individuals who took 450 mg per day of magnesium had a significant decrease in overall blood pressure. (11)
There was no difference for individuals with normal blood pressure.
Improved PMS Symptoms
Women that deal with fatigue, irritability, and bloating as they near menstruation may find magnesium supplements beneficial. (12)
It is shown to improve mood in women with PMS and decrease water retention.
Helpful For Type 2 Diabetics
Individuals with type 2 diabetes are more at risk for magnesium deficiencies. Research suggests that 48% of diabetics have lower levels of magnesium in their blood.
This impairs the function of insulin, which keeps blood sugar levels under control.
A study found that diabetics who took high doses of magnesium every day experienced remarkable improvements to blood sugar and Hemoglobin A1c levels. (13)
Exercise and Fitness
Research has shown that using magnesium supplements can enhance exercise performance for athletes, the elderly and individuals with chronic disease. (14)
This is because magnesium helps move blood sugar to the muscles, which discards lactic acid. The latter causes pain during exercise when there is excess build up.
Those who suffer from migraines may find magnesium to be extremely beneficial. Magnesium helps control migraine pain by releasing pain-reducing hormones. (15)
Creates and Maintains Healthy Bones
Osteoporosis is a common condition that largely affects women over 40 (those entering menopause).
Having an adequate supply of magnesium will encourage appropriate bone formation. The osteoclasts and osteoblasts need magnesium for healthy bone density.
Osteoporosis can be prevented and/or reversed with healthy amounts of magnesium. (16)
Regulates Calcium Levels
Magnesium and calcium together make a powerful team. This mineral provides active transport of calcium ions to cell membranes, which helps with: (17)
Nerve impulse conductions
Normal heart rhythms
Together, they contribute to the structural development of bone and are needed for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, and glutathione. (18)
Supports The Digestive System And Provides Energy
Our body needs magnesium in order to properly digest foods. This mineral activates enzymes that helps the body absorb and use fats, proteins and carbohydrates. (19)
By activating enzymes, magnesium permits the body to break down food into smaller units, so it can be used as energy.
As a result, taking magnesium supplements could lead to increased energy.
Foods That Contain Magnesium
Those looking for foods that are high in magnesium don't have to look far. It can usually be found in green, leafy vegetables, beans, seeds, and whole grains.
Consider trying these five magnesium-rich foods:
Individuals that have a difficult time getting an adequate amount of magnesium each day should turn to magnesium supplements.
However, many people don't realize that there are actually different types of magnesium supplements.
The most popular and preferred are magnesium chelate, magnesium citrate, and magnesium chloride.
This form of magnesium absorbs well in the body and is the kind naturally found in foods. (20)
It binds to multiple proteins and restores magnesium levels.
Combined with citrate, this form of magnesium is helpful for improving digestion because of its laxative effect.
This is also known as magnesium oil and it can be used topically. Those who have irritable skin or wounds may use this for healing. It is also helpful for those with digestive disorders.
In addition to being an oil, magnesium chloride is also found in magnesium gel. The gel is known to increase flexibility, strength and endurance, which is helpful for athletes. (21)
Magnesium gel is also suggested to help with mental health. Applying magnesium gel regularly is said to balance cortisol hormones and the adrenal glands, which reduces depression and stress. (22)
Other Types of Magnesium Supplements
The remaining types of magnesium supplements are magnesium glycinate, magnesium threonate, and magnesium orotate.
Magnesium glycinate is a recommended choice for those suffering from a magnesium deficiency; it also lacks the laxative effect.
Magnesium threonate is currently not available for use, but it's supposed to directly penetrate the mitochondrial membrane, which makes it more absorbable. (23)
Lastly, magnesium orotate contains orotic acid, which is known to be beneficial to the heart. (24)
Magnesium Is Required For A Healthy Life
The benefits of magnesium greatly outweigh the risks associated with the supplement.
Its ability to provide homeostasis, protect our DNA, and be the essential ingredient to energy-production, makes it a need in our lives.
Truth is, individuals can't afford to skimp on magnesium. Consider a supplement to avoid the effects of having a magnesium deficiency.
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