Benefits of Magnesium

Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is used to help regulate biochemical reactions in the body. It is vital for generating cellular energy and creating genetic substances and has a strong role in muscle contraction and blood sugar management.
Typically, people have been able to obtain all the magnesium they require from food. Good sources of magnesium include vegetables (especially spinach and chard), seeds (pumpkin seeds) nuts (almonds, cashews), legumes, and seafoods, and deficiencies have rarely been seen in people with a normal diet.  However due to soil contamination and erosion, micronutrients such as magnesium and iodine are not entering our food chain in normal amounts. Refining processes also strip food of magnesium, leaving enough there so people are not completely deficient, but not enough for optimal health.

It has been shown that supplemental magnesium:

  • Helps fight inflammation (it reduces C-Reactive Protein, an inflammatory biomarker)1
  • Improves symptoms of Premenstrual Syndrome2
  • Improves insulin resistance in people with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes3

While there is mixed evidence and ongoing research, supplemental magnesium may:

  • Help with exercise performance and muscle cramps
  • Lower type 2 diabetes risk
  • Lower blood pressure in those with high blood pressure
  • Provide migraine relief

The Recommended Dietary Intake for magnesium is 420 mg for men and 320 mg for women (pregnant and breastfeeding women need an additional 30-60 mg) per day. 

Magnesium supplements are widely available and are safe for most people. However always speak to your GP before taking magnesium, especially if you are taking certain diuretics, heart medications or antibiotics.

 1Simental- Mendia, L. E., Sahebkar, A., Rodriguez-Moran, M., Zambrano-Galvan, G., & Guerrero-Romero, F. (2017). Effect of magnesium supplementation on plasma c-reactive protein concentrations: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Current pharmaceutical design. 23(31): 4678-86

2Facchinetti, F., Borella, P., Sances, G., Fioroni, L., Nappi, R. E., & Genazzani, A. R. (1991). Oral magnesium successfully relieves premenstrual mood changes. Obstet Gynecol. 78(2):177-181

3Rodriguez-Moran, M., & Guerrero-Romero, F. (2003). Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomised double-blind controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 26(4):1147-52.