Magnesium has Six Established Health Benefits; it’s a Vital Mineral that You Probably don’t get Enough of

Magnesium has Six Established Health Benefits; it’s a Vital Mineral that You Probably don’t get Enough of

Magnesium is among the best supplements for healthy aging, as you may already be aware, but its advantages extend beyond helping you look and feel your best. According to Andrea Wong, Ph.D., senior vice president for scientific and regulatory affairs of the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), “it’s essential for all stages of life.”

“Magnesium is one of the main minerals in your body,” says Michelle Schoffro Cook, Ph.D, holistic nutritionist and author of Super-Powered Immunity. “It’s necessary for strong bones and teeth, and helps muscles to relax—not just when we’re tense, which it does help, but for proper muscle movement as well. It’s nature’s relaxant and natural anti-inflammatory and is important for cardiovascular health.”

According to Schoffro Cook, magnesium is a mineral that the body cannot produce; therefore, you must obtain it from diet. Additionally, you run a larger chance of developing some health issues if your diet is inadequate.

“A magnesium deficiency is linked to a wide range of disorders, including cardiovascular disease, menstrual problems, and psychiatric disorders,” Schoffro Cook says.

Studies have validated the numerous advantages of this crucial mineral. Observe the following few.

Enhances cardiovascular health

By lowering the risk of high blood pressure, making sure your diet contains the recommended quantities of magnesium will help maintain the health of your heart.

How? Elevated blood pressure has the potential to cause heart disease by narrowing your arteries and decreasing the oxygen and blood flow to your heart. Magnesium aids in blood vessel relaxation.

A magnesium deficit raises your risk of cardiovascular disease, according to several studies. “The totality of scientific evidence supports a qualified health claim on the relationship between magnesium and a reduced risk of high blood pressure in conventional foods and dietary supplements,” the Food and Drug Administration agreed in 2022.

Bolsters the bones

Fun fact: Your bones contain 60% of the magnesium in your body, which aids in the production of new bones.

According to Schoffro Cook, “bone mineral density is a measure of the amount of minerals within the bones and is usually an indicator of bone strength.”

Men and women who consume more magnesium in their diets had higher bone mineral density, according to studies. According to a 2021 review of research on magnesium and bone health, those who took supplements increased their bone mineral density and reduced their risk of fracture.

Aids in lowering anxiety and depression

Numerous investigations have revealed that magnesium may have a role in mood regulation.

According to a 2017 study, participants’ measures of anxiety and sadness significantly improved after taking 248 mg of magnesium chloride daily for six weeks. Furthermore, these beneficial impacts were felt by participants quite rapidly—in just two weeks.

Researchers believe that magnesium helps the body produce less cortisol, or the stress hormone.

Enhances slumber

Before going to bed, Wong says she takes a glass of water with 300 mg of magnesium powder in it to help her unwind.
Studies support the beneficial effects of magnesium on the quality of sleep.

The cortisol-lowering properties of magnesium help offset the potential sleep-related effects of elevated cortisol levels. The hormone your body releases in reaction to darkness, melatonin, is also naturally increased by magnesium. Melatonin makes us feel more at ease and rested, which improves the quality of our sleep.

Makes vitamin D active

Among the many advantages of vitamin D are enhanced immunity and bone strength, as well as improved heart and brain function.

But did you know that magnesium is necessary for the action of vitamin D?

According to this study, magnesium aids in the metabolization of vitamin D by enzymes, which helps to activate vitamin D.

Reduces the pain of migraine migraines

Magnesium helps to avoid migraine headaches and relieves their agony.

Studies have indicated that migraines may result from a magnesium shortage. A study found that magnesium sulfate, as opposed to a combination of prescription drugs metoclopramide and dexamethasone, considerably lessened the pain associated with migraine headaches. Magnesium also aids in the control of pain-transmitting molecules.
Auras, which occasionally accompany migraines, can also be lessened by magnesium. It accomplishes this by blocking the cortical spreading depression wave of brain communication, which causes changes in vision and sensation in the typical migraine aura forms.

You most likely lack enough magnesium

In today’s world, the great majority of individuals are susceptible to magnesium insufficiency. Most of the food we eat today was cultivated in soil depleted of minerals, therefore the majority of it tends to be poor in certain minerals like magnesium. In addition to our increased demand for the mineral, we are now at risk of magnesium insufficiency.

The fix for the issue is to take a magnesium supplement and try eating a diet higher in magnesium-rich foods.

Foods that are rich in magnesium

According to Schoffro Cook, some foods high in magnesium include:

  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Seeds, including chia, flax, and pumpkin seeds
  • Seafood, including fatty fish like halibut, mackerel, salmon, and tuna as well as oysters and scallops
  • Grass-fed meat
  • Organic dairy products
  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Organic corn

Your daily magnesium needs

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 400-420 mg for men, 310-320 mg for women, 350-360 mg for pregnant women, and 310-320 for breastfeeding women.

But that may not be enough. “The RDA for magnesium was established in 1997,” says Wong. “Since then, there has been much more research suggesting that magnesium levels need to be higher.”

So how do you know if you need more magnesium?

“Blood tests only measure the amount of magnesium in the blood, which is a small percentage of the total magnesium in the body, so it’s not an ideal way to determine magnesium levels in the body,” says Schoffro Cook. “Because the amount of magnesium in foods has declined by approximately 80 to 90% over the past century, the number of people deficient in the mineral tends to be high. If a person is suffering from hypertension, diabetes, or a neurological disorder, they may have a magnesium deficiency.”

Supplements containing magnesium

Since it’s possible that diet won’t provide you with enough magnesium, you might want to think about taking a supplement.

According to the CRN’s 2023 annual survey, magnesium is the supplement that is most frequently purchased, after multivitamins, vitamin D, vitamin C, and calcium.

Although there are many different kinds of magnesium supplements available, Schoffro Cook typically recommends magnesium aspartate, ascorbate, malate, or glycinate. According to her, these formulations “seem to be better absorbed by the brain and muscles and tend to have greater bioavailability.”

She advises choosing non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) kinds and choosing a brand with a track record of scientific backing that includes independent laboratory testing to ensure you’re actually getting what’s stated on the label.

Adverse consequences

According to Schoffro Cook, “magnesium tends to be fairly safe because it is a part of our bodies, but it’s still a good idea to consult with your doctor if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, have kidney disease, or another serious health condition.”

Because magnesium has a laxative effect, high doses may be harmful and can result in diarrhea or excessive bowel movements.

Lastly, she states that certain medications, such as some statins and antibiotics, interact with magnesium. “It’s best to see if any of the medications you take interact with this important mineral by speaking with your doctor or pharmacist,” advises Cook.

Sanchita Patil

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