Magnesium: Health Benefits, Sources, and Signs of Deficiency

Magnesium is one of the major essential minerals your body needs for healthy functioning. It is critical for various vital bodily functions, including your brain, mental, bone, muscle, and cardiovascular health.

Yet, magnesium deficiencies are common and may result in anxiety, depression, brain health symptoms, sleep issues, blood sugar imbalances, cardiovascular issues, and bone health problems, and other health issues. Optimizing your magnesium levels through diet and supplementation is critical for your health and well-being.

In this article, you will learn about the health benefits of magnesium. You will learn about the recommended daily intake and the signs and symptoms of a deficiency and the major causes.

I will go over the best food sources of magnesium. You will learn about the best forms of supplements, what to avoid, and how to select the right one. I will recommend my favorite magnesium supplement to improve your health.

Health Benefits

Magnesium is one of the major essential minerals your body needs for healthy functioning. It is critical for various vital bodily functions, including your brain, mental, bone, and cardiovascular health. This major mineral offers several major health benefits. Let’s look at them one by one.

Anxiety

Magnesium is important for your mental health. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems in our society today. A 2017 systematic review published in Nutrients has found that low magnesium levels may increase the risk of anxiety (1). Researchers found that magnesium may act on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. As a result, this key mineral may help to reduce stress and anxiety. 

A 2020 review published in Nutrients has also found that magnesium deficiency may contribute to stress, creating a vicious cycle of stress and anxiety. Addressing magnesium deficiency may reduce stress response and lower stress and anxiety.

Brain Health

Magnesium may also benefit other aspects of your brain health, not just mental health. Magnesium plays a role in synaptic transmission, neuronal plasticity, and neural activity. Thus, this key mineral may affect your learning and memory.

A 2010 study published in Neuron has found that this mineral may help to improve learning and memory, including short-term memory, long-term memory, working memory, and learning functions. According to a 2018 review published in Nutrients, magnesium may play a protective role in neurological issues, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, migraines, stroke, and chronic pain.

Blood Sugar

Magnesium is also good news if you want to improve your blood sugar (glucose) levels and reduce your risk of diabetes.  It plays a part in glucose control and insulin metabolism thus may help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

A 2015 review published in the World Journal of Diabetes has found that magnesium deficiency is common in people with diabetes. According to the researcher, supplementation may play a role in the management of diabetes. A 2017 systematic review published in Nutrition has found that magnesium may help to reduce insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity in those with a known deficiency.

Bone Health

Though most people talk about the importance of calcium for bone health, there are many other nutrients that play a role in healthy bones. Magnesium is necessary for healthy bone formation and is important for your bone health.

A 2013 study published in Nutrients has found that getting enough magnesium may be linked to improving bone crystal formation, higher bone density, and a decreased risk of osteoporosis. It may be particularly important for women in perimenopause and menopause and older people as they are at a higher risk of osteoporosis. According to a 2022 systematic review published in Bone, magnesium may be beneficial for the bone health of older individuals.

Cardiovascular Health

One of the major roles of magnesium is maintaining the health of your muscles. This is true for your health muscles as well. It is, thus, not surprising that magnesium plays an important role in your cardiovascular health.

According to a 2018 review published in BMJ, magnesium deficiency may increase the risk of cardiovascular issues. They found that low levels are common congestive heart failure and may compromise outcomes. According to a 2019 systematic review and meta-analysis published in Frontiers in Neurology, magnesium may reduce the risk of stroke.

Depression

You already know that magnesium is important for mental health and brain health. It’s beneficial for reducing stress and anxiety, but it may also be helpful for depression.

According to a 2018 review published in Nutrients, magnesium may play a protective role for depression and anxiety. A 2006 case study published in Medical Hypotheses found that magnesium may support the treatment and recovery from major depression because it may help to correct intraneuronal magnesium deficiency and improve neuronal activity . A 2017 randomized clinical trial published in PLoS One has also found that supplementation may help to improve mild-to-moderate depression within 6 weeks.

Headaches

You may want to consider improving your magnesium levels if you have migraines or headaches. As we’ve discussed earlier, a deficiency may affect your neurotransmitter. It may also restrict normal blood vessel constrictions. Both of these factors can play a role in migraines and headaches.

Moreover, according to a 2022 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditional Research, magnesium may help to relax your muscles and reduce muscle soreness. This may help with muscle pain and head pain associated with tension headaches.

According to a 2018 review published in Nutrients, magnesium may play a protective role in headaches and migraines. A 2017 review published in Headache has found that taking 600 mg of magnesium may help to reduce migraines. The American Migraine Foundation recommends about 400 to 500 mg of magnesium per day for migraineurs.

Sleep

Magnesium may help your body to relax. It can also calm your mind, reduce stress, and lower anxiety. But easing your mind and body, magnesium may help you to fall asleep easier and faster. It may also help to improve your actual sleep.

A 2016 study published in the Journal of Research in Medicine Science has found that supplementation may help to reduce primary insomnia in older people. A 2021 study published in Current Developments in Nutrition has found an association between magnesium intake and better sleep quality and increased sleep duration . Participants with a higher magnesium intake slept better and longer.

Recommended Daily Intake

Recommended dietary allowance (RDA), or the recommended average daily intake of magnesium for healthy individuals for magnesium is as follows:

  • Birth to 6 months: 30 mg for both female and male
  • 7 to 12 months: 75 mg for both female and male
  • 1 to 3 years: 80 mg for both female and male
  • 4 to 8 years: 130 mg for both female and male
  • 9 to 13 years: 240 mg for both female and male
  • 14 to 18 years: 360 mg for females, 410 mg for males, 400 mg if pregnant, 360 mg if breastfeeding
  • 19 to 30 years: 310 mg for females, 400 mg for males, 350 mg if pregnant, 310 mg if breastfeeding
  • 31 to 50 years: 320 mg for females, 420 mg for male, 360 mg if pregnant, 320 mg if breastfeeding
  • 51 + years: 320 mg for female, 420 mg for male

Signs & Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency

Signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency may include:

  • Fatigue and sleepiness
  • Weakness
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pins and needles feeling
  • Tingling
  • Numbness
  • Muscle spasm
  • Cramps 
  • Muscle contractions
  • Abnormal heart rhythm
  • High blood pressure
  • Hyperexcitability
  • Shaking
  • Seizures
  • Personality changes
  • Mood changes
  • Coronary spasms
  • Low potassium and/or calcium levels

Source: https://drjockers.com/magnesium-health-benefits/

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