Updated: Nov 13, 2022
Magnesium benefits can include reduced symptoms from conditions such as chronic pain, fatigue and insomnia. Magnesium benefits may also include protection from a number of chronic diseases, especially those associated with aging and stress.
In addition to exercise and eating right, the role magnesium plays was recently re-discovered as an overlooked key to good health. A number of medical researchers know the benefits of taking magnesium and are recommending increases to the RDA for magnesium — sometimes suggesting as much as double the current recommendations — to ensure protection from diseases such as osteoporosis and hypertension.
Is magnesium good for you? Essential to life, necessary for good health, and a vital component within our cells, magnesium’s benefits help our bodies maintain balance, avoid illness, perform well under stress, and maintain a general state of good health.
What Does Magnesium Do for the Body?
Magnesium is known to reduce muscle tension, lessen pain associated with migraine headaches, improve sleep, and address neurological disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Conditions linked to magnesium levels include:
Muscle Spasms and Muscle Cramps
Mental Health and Sleep:
Autism and ADD
Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
Psoriasis, Acne and Eczema
Magnesium works within our cells — the powerhouses, factories and regulators of the body’s systems.
Because it is a necessary part of hundreds of biochemical reactions occurring constantly inside our cells, magnesium’s presence or absence affects the brain, the muscles, and the heart and blood vessels.
Magnesium is an important factor in muscle relaxation and heart health
Allows nerves to send messages in the brain and nervous system
Aids and regulates the body’s use of calcium and other minerals
Assists in bone and teeth formation
Regulates the metabolism of nutrients such as protein, nucleic acids, fats and carbohydrates
Regulates cholesterol production and helps modulate insulin sensitivity 3
Assists in energy production, DNA transcription and protein synthesis4
Maintains the structural health of cell membranes throughout the body
Why take magnesium? Healthy magnesium levels have been linked to lowered blood pressure, reduced incidence of type II diabetes, reduced heart disease, emergency migraine treatment, reduced symptoms of asthma, and improved memory.
Magnesium is also a healthy part of bone and a necessary element in healthy calcium regulation. Increased magnesium has been linked to reduced bone loss in older adults.
Magnesium and other minerals absorbed into the body are utilized as “ions” and circulated throughout the body via the blood. There, magnesium is used by our cells in order to perform routine functions such as creating energy, building hormones, maintaining cells, and bodily movement. Once circulated through the body, magnesium is filtered by our kidneys and excreted on a regular basis.
Magnesium must be continually supplied to the body as it is needed on an ongoing daily basis. When we don’t take in adequate magnesium daily, our bodies will either remove magnesium from our bones, where it is needed, or function in deficiency.
Though some amount of magnesium is stored within the bones and can be accessed for future use, magnesium turnover tends to contribute to unhealthy bone loss and the release of calcium from the bone into the blood stream.
Operating in magnesium deficiency disrupts the balance of not only magnesium but other minerals in the body, causing problems that reverberate throughout the body’s systems.
Low magnesium intake has been linked to risk factors for:
High blood pressure
Issues of heart health
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps or tremors, irregular heart beat, fatigue, confusion, and irritability.
References: Rubin H. Central role for magnesium in coordinate control of metabolism and growth in animal cells. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA. 1975 Sep;72(9):3551-5.2.↑Hartwig A. Role of magnesium in genomic stability. Mutation Research [serial online]. April 18, 2001;475(1-2):113-121. Available from: MEDLINE with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 14, 2009.3.↑Seelig M, Rosanoff A. The Magnesium Factor. New York: Avery; 2003.(3-44.↑Hartwig A. Role of magnesium in genomic stability. Mutation Research [serial online]. April 18, 2001;475(1-2):113-121. Available from: MEDLINE with Full Text, Ipswich, MA. Accessed October 14, 2009.5.↑Magnesium. Dietary Supplement Fact Sheets, Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health. 2009. Available at: http://dietary-supplements.info.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium.asp. Accessed January 27, 2010.6.↑Jing MA, Folsom AR, Melnick SL, et al. Associations of serum and dietary magnesium with cardiovascular disease, hypertension, diabetes, insulin, and carotid arterial wall thickness: the ARIC study. J Clin Epidemiol. 1995;48:927-940.7.↑Ascherio A, Rimm EB, Giovannucci EL, Colditz GA, Rosner B, Willett WC, Sacks FM, Stampfer MJ. A prospective study of nutritional factors and hypertension among US men. Circulation. 1992;86:1475-84.8.↑Monarca S, Donato F, Zerbini I, Calderon RL, Craun GF. Review of epidemiological studies on drinking water hardness and cardiovascular diseases. European journal of cardiovascular prevention and rehabilitation. 2006; 13:495-506.9.↑Lopez-Ridaura R, Willett WC, Rimm EB, Liu S, Stampfer MJ, Manson JE, Hu FB. Magnesium intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in men and women. Diabetes Care. 2004;27:134-40.10.↑Murakami K, Okubo H, Sasaki S. Effect of dietary factors on incidence of type 2 diabetes: a systematic review of cohort studies. Journal of nutritional science and vitaminology. (Tokyo) 2005; 51: 292-310.11.↑World Health Organization. Calcium and Magnesium in Drinking Water: Public health significance. Geneva: World Health Organization Press; 2009.12.↑U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Department of Agriculture. Adequate Nutrients Within Calorie Needs. In: Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2005. 2005. Available at: http://www.health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2005/document/pdf/DGA2005.pdf. Accessed January 28, 2010.13.↑Robert K.RudeaHelen E.GruberbScience Direct. Magnesium deficiency and osteoporosis: animal and human observations14.↑J. E. Sojka, V.M.D.,Oxford Academic Group. Magnesium supplementation and osteoporosis Nutrition Reviews, Volume 53, Issue 3, March 1995, Pages 71–7415.↑Neil Bernard Boyle, Clare Lawton, Louise Dye,MDPI Nutrients Journal. The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress—A Systematic Review Nutrition Reviews, Volume 53, Issue 3, March 1995, Pages 71–7416.↑Marcello Maggio, Francesca De Vita, Fulvio Lauretani, Antonio Nouvenne, Tiziana Meschi, Andrea Ticinesi, Ligia J. Dominguez, Mario Barbagallo, Elisabetta Dall’Aglio, Gian Paolo Ceda Int J Endocrinol. 2014; 2014: 525249. The Interplay between Magnesium and Testosterone in Modulating Physical Function in Men Published online 2014 Mar 3. doi: 10.1155/2014/52524917.↑Cinar, V., Polat, Y., Baltaci, A.K. et al.Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Testosterone Levels of Athletes and Sedentary Subjects at Rest and after Exhaustion. Biol Trace Elem Res140, 18–23 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12011-010-8676-3
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