- All our cells contain magnesium, and this macro-mineral plays an important role in over 600 enzymatic reactions.
- A large number of people are not getting sufficient amounts, which is why it’s important to supplement with magnesium.
- We’ve rounded up some of its benefits and the reasons why it is essential to supplement with magnesium.
Magnesium plays an important role in energy creation, protein synthesis and in over 600 other enzymatic reactions. In short, it’s essential for your body (1). Adult men need at least 400 mg of magnesium a day while adult women require at least 310 mg (2).
Sadly, a large part of the population is not getting enough of it (3). Foods like spinach and kale, nuts and seeds and a variety of other fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of magnesium. However, many of us have poor food choices and an imbalanced diet, often a result of our fast-paced culture and busy schedules. Thus, a lot of people find it hard to consume sufficient amounts of this macro-mineral.
So, if you cannot eat enough magnesium-rich foods, then it’s best to supplement with magnesium. Here are the reasons why.
Why You Should Supplement With Magnesium
Your Body Needs Magnesium to Function
Firstly, every cell in your body contains magnesium. This macro-mineral is involved in a lot of your body’s major processes. This includes converting the food you eat into energy, repairing and creating DNA and RNA, and regulating your nervous system’s neurotransmitters. Additionally, it helps in managing your muscle movements — including your heart muscle cells — converting amino acids to proteins and so much more.
It May Help Improve Mood
Second, studies seem to show a significant connection between magnesium intake and depression. Low magnesium intake is associated with higher depression symptoms. Therefore, the role of magnesium in the functions of the nervous system highlights its potential role in neurological disorders (4, 5, 6, 11).
Magnesium May Improve Migraine Symptoms
Third, there might be a connection between magnesium and migraines.
Migraines are painful and aggravating. Plus, they can cause vomiting and other awful side effects that stop you from living your best life. Research has suggested low magnesium intake is associated with an increased risk of migraine. Consumption of magnesium is considered a potentially safe and inexpensive option for reducing the risk of headaches (5, 9, 10, 11). Always be sure to talk to your physician when it comes to managing migraines.
It Offers Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Fourth, magnesium deficiency is linked to excessive production of free radicals. Thus, taking a supplement with magnesium provides your body with antioxidants that can help fight against these free radicals. It enables your body to manage inflammation and oxidative stress. Furthermore, magnesium can aid in promoting nerve regeneration (7, 8).
Magnesium May Help Promote Healthy Metabolism
Metabolic syndrome — an umbrella term for conditions like high blood pressure and abnormal cholesterol levels — can increase the risk of developing certain health complications. Although further studies are still being conducted, initial evidence suggests that taking a supplement with magnesium helps reduce insulin resistance. This is one of the main causes of metabolic syndrome (12).
Additionally, other clinical trials reaffirm magnesium’s effect in improving metabolic syndrome by reducing blood pressure, hyperglycemia and hypertriglyceridemia (13).
It May Help Enhance Exercise Performance
Magnesium plays an essential role in managing the body’s creation of energy and muscle function. Indeed, studies show that as activity level rises, the need for this macro-mineral also increases. Findings reveal that a supplement with magnesium has the potential to improve physical performance (14).
It Helps Improve Bone Health
Sufficient magnesium intake is essential for strong bones. Yes, they need calcium too. However, they require more than just that.
First, your body needs vitamin D to properly absorb the calcium that you consume. You can get vitamin D from the sun, supplements and even from foods like tuna and salmon. However, the sunshine vitamin requires sufficient amounts of magnesium to be properly metabolized. Therefore, you need magnesium for healthy bones. Otherwise, your body will not be able to absorb the calcium that your bones need (15).
It May Improve Your Monthly Cycle
Finally, evidence suggests a connection between magnesium deficiency and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Also, it shows a positive response after magnesium supplementation. Therefore, this indicates that it may be an effective way to relieve PMS (16).
So, do you think supplementing with magnesium might be right for you? Clearly, it could provide a number of health benefits. Remember, it’s always best to talk to your doctor before starting any new supplements.
- “Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease”, de Baaij, JH, et al., (2015).
- “The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare”, Schwalfenberg, GK, et al., (2017).
- “Magnesium and depression: a systematic review”, Derom, ML, et al., (2016).
- “Magnesium in depression”, Serefko, A, et al., (2013).
- “Magnesium intake and depression in adults”, Tarleton, EK, et al., (2015).
- “Magnesium and aging”, Barbagallo, M, et al., (2010).
- “Magnesium supplement promotes sciatic nerve regeneration and down-regulates inflammatory response”, Pan, HC, et al., (2011).
- “Magnesium in headache”, Yablon, LA, et al., (2011).
- “Preventive Therapy of Migraine”, Schwedt, TJ, (2018).
- “The Role of Magnesium in Neurological Disorders”, Kirkland, AE, et al., (2018).
- “Effect of magnesium supplementation on insulin resistance in humans: A systematic review”, Morais, JBS, et al., (2017).
- “Oral Magnesium Supplementation and Metabolic Syndrome: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial”, Rodriguez-Moran, M, et al., (2018).
- “Can Magnesium Enhance Exercise Performance?”, Zhang, Y, et al., (2017).
- “Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function”, Uwitonze, AM, et al., (2018).
- “Magnesium in the gynecological practice: a literature review”, Parazzini, F, et al., (2017).