The Benefits of Magnesium
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium's role in the body is plentiful, from regulating muscle contractions and blood pressure to energy production, blood sugar balance, weight management and mood disorders. It is the fourth-most abundant mineral in the body and is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions. Approximately 99 percent of our body's total Magnesium is stored in our bones, muscles and soft tissues, while only about 1 percent is concentrated in the blood.
Magnesium is involved in more than 300 reactions in the body and is required for many critical bodily functions. Magnesium benefits include supporting:
- DNA synthesis
- Muscle contractions
- Blood pressure regulation
- Protein synthesis
- Insulin metabolism
- Nerve transmission
Magnesium plays a critical role in the body and is required for hundreds of different processes. Some scientists believe it plays a part in everything from healthy teeth and bones to muscle function and general well-being. It is found primarily in the cells and skeleton of the body, and due to its far-reaching influences, magnesium deficiencies can impact a wide range of systems.
Magnesium is present in various foods, and it is possible to consume enough magnesium in the diet. Interestingly, studies suggest that many of us may not consume the optimum amount of magnesium in our diets. Due to the risks of deficiencies, many health-conscious individuals take magnesium supplements to ensure they meet their body’s needs.
What forms of Magnesium are there?
There are several forms of Magnesium, including carbonate, chloride, hydroxide, oxide and sulfate, glycinate, lactate, malate, citrate and orotate.
Each form of Magnesium varies concerning its bioavailability and use; for instance, magnesium forms that dissolve more easily in water tend to be more easily absorbed and digested in the gut. Magnesium in citrate, lactate and chloride is more completely absorbed than the oxide equivalent.
Where can I get Magnesium from the food I eat?
Although Magnesium can be found in several foods, including leafy green vegetables, seeds and nuts, unless you're eating a varied diet, it may not be possible for you to have your recommended daily magnesium intake. Various nutritional surveys support this, with reports of low magnesium levels among young adults in their 20s. High intakes of caffeine and zinc supplementation also affect how we can quickly and efficiently absorb Magnesium.
When looking at your Magnesium levels, ensure you're getting adequate amounts of Magnesium from various sources, including supplementation.
What about Magnesium supplements?
Suppose you've been advised to take a supplement. In that case, selecting a high-quality product that supplies the form of Magnesium best quipped to benefit the condition you want to address is essential. The magnesium supplement you choose may also be influenced by the dose you'll need and how many capsules you're willing to take.
Typical forms of Magnesium you will see on a product label will likely include magnesium citrate, oxide, glycinate or malate.
- Suggested uses Occasional constipation, depression and anxiety
- A smaller dose of elemental Magnesium per capsule. Hence, a daily dose is more likely to involve multiple capsules.
- is Suggested for Heartburn and indigestion, constipation, and migraine (including pre-menstrual)
- Magnesium oxide is helpful for people who want to take as few capsules as possible because the small oxide molecule delivers more Magnesium per dose.
- is Suggested for Heartburn and severe constipation
- Magnesium chloride is added to topical applications to ease muscle soreness.
- is suggested using stress and anxiety
- Magnesium lactate is very gentle on the digestive system, so it is a useful option if you need to take higher doses.
- Suggested uses: Heartburn and fatigue
- Magnesium malate is gentler on the digestive system and less likely to cause laxative effects or issues.
- Suggested uses: Heart arrhythmia, brain function, and regulating blood sugar
- Suggested uses: Depression, memory loss (including age-related)
- Magnesium L-threonate may help with alleviating mild forms of depression
Magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts)
- Suggested uses: Bath and foot soak to ease muscle aches, relaxation and stress relief, constipation
- Magnesium sulfate may also assist with gentle body detox.
- Suggested uses: Heartburn, sleep, mental calm and relaxation, anxiety and depression
- Magnesium Glycinate is one of the most easily absorbed forms of Magnesium.
- Suggested uses: Heart health, energy support
Generally, magnesium supplements are well-tolerated by most people, but some people experience symptoms such as nausea and diarrhoea. High doses (more than 400mg) are likely to cause digestive upset, and there is insufficient evidence to support what effects high doses may have over time.
What are the Health Benefits of Magnesium?
1. Magnesium May Support Healthy Blood Pressure and Heart Health
High blood pressure, or hypertension, commonly affects millions worldwide. It forces your heart to work harder, which can strain the heart muscle and lead to heart disease.
According to a 2018 review from Pubmed Central states, “Subclinical magnesium deficiency increases the risk of numerous types of cardiovascular disease,” including coronary artery disease and hypertension.
Ensuring our diets are filled with magnesium-rich foods, and those high in potassium may help promote better heart health and healthy blood pressure levels. One study even found evidence that magnesium-supplemented reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure in adults with hypertension.
Potassium is another crucial electrolyte for heart health and circulation because it increases the excretion of sodium through the urine.
2. Magnesium Can Help With PMS Symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome or PMS (Premenstrual syndrome) is a set of symptoms that women experience one to two weeks before menstruation. PMS symptoms can vary per person but typically include mood swings, weight gain, water retention, fatigue (lethargy), food cravings, irritability, sore breasts and digestive issues or discomfort.
Some studies have shown that magnesium can be effective in helping to reduce PMS symptoms. Studies suggest that a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 significantly decreased PMS symptoms compared to a control group. Another study published in the Journal of Women’s Health showed that just 200 mg of magnesium daily helped to reduce the severity of several PMS symptoms, including weight gain, swelling, bloating and breast tenderness in women.
3. Magnesium May Help Boost Physical Performance
Magnesium plays an essential role in muscle function and energy production, and this electrolyte is believed to impact exercise performance significantly. It is recommended for athletes and anyone who exercises often.
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published a study that researched the effects of magnesium on performance in over 100 older women. After just 12 weeks, daily supplementation with magnesium oxide improved physical performance compared to a control group.
Another study demonstrated that triathletes tested with magnesium supplements improved their swimming, cycling and running times. Besides, eating plenty of magnesium-rich foods, including some of the other best foods for athletes, enhances physical performance even more.
4. Magnesium May Help To Control Inflammation
Several studies connect low magnesium levels to higher levels of inflammation in the body. A 2014 study found that both low magnesium intake and low levels in the blood were associated with higher levels of low-grade chronic inflammation, which is believed to be due to the increased release of cytokines and free radicals.
The Archives of Medical Research published a study that showed that taking magnesium chloride could reduce levels of inflammation in 62 adults with prediabetes. Many foods high in magnesium are listed as top anti-inflammatory foods and contain beneficial antioxidants and phytonutrients that can help keep free radical damage under control.
5. Magnesium May Prevent Migraines
Migraines are headache disorders characterised by nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, and severe throbbing pain. This debilitating condition is also widespread. In 2012, an estimated 14 per cent of American adults reported suffering from migraines in the past three months.
"Low magnesium levels have been seen to contribute to migraines, and some studies have found that supplementation could even reduce migraine frequency. One published study on the topic measured the effects of magnesium supplementation in 86 children with frequent migraines. Children received either a magnesium oxide supplement or a placebo for 16 weeks. At the end of the study, those who took the supplement had significantly less headache frequency and lower headache severity compared to the placebo group. Another study found that it was more effective and fast-acting in providing migraine relief than a common medication."
6. Magnesium Can Help Normalize Blood Sugar and Protect Against Metabolic Syndrome
Evidence suggests that higher magnesium intake can benefit blood sugar levels and may help prevent insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Studies confirmed that there is a link to its effectiveness in lowering levels of chronic inflammation and metabolic syndrome.
7. Magnesium May Be Helpful For Depression and Anxiety
Magnesium has potent mood-boosting properties, and research has confirmed that it can help fight against low levels of depression and anxiety.
A study suggests that young adults with deficient magnesium intake were found to have an estimated 22 per cent greater risk of developing depression. More research suggests that magnesium can be as effective in treating depression as some anti-depressants. One study published in Magnesium Research compared the effects of magnesium supplementation with antidepressant medication observing that magnesium supplements were equally effective in treating forms of depression.
A 2017 study found that magnesium supplementation significantly improved symptoms of depression and anxiety in a brief period, with another study suggesting magnesium's positive benefits on anxiety.
8. Magnesium Can Help Enhance Sleep Quality
If you experience insomnia, you may consider increasing your magnesium-rich foods and supplementing with the correct form of magnesium. Studies confirm that there is a connection between magnesium and sleep. Magnesium supplementation has been shown to increase sleep time and reduce insomnia severely.
9. Magnesium Plays a Vital Role in Vitamin D Metabolism
Research suggests magnesium plays a vital role in the body’s metabolism of the essential and life-enhancing vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a role in calcium absorption into the bones and affects other essential vitamins and minerals.
People with vitamin D deficiency are thought to be at risk of
- heart disease
- high blood pressure
- and other diseases and conditions
10. Magnesium May Support Healthy Cognitive Function
Magnesium is essential in nerve transmission and neuromuscular conduction in the human body. Magnesium seems to have a protective role against excessive excitation that can lead to neuronal cell death.
Low magnesium levels have been associated with neurological disorders due to dysfunctions within the nervous system. Research is ongoing regarding its effects in treating chronic pain, epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and stroke.
11. Magnesium May Help Curb Asthma Symptoms
There is growing evidence that magnesium may play a role in managing asthma in children and adults. Magnesium has dual effects as an anti-inflammatory and broncho-dilating agent. Magnesium isn’t intended to replace other asthma treatments; some doctors recommend it as an adjunct treatment that is low-cost and low-risk.
Magnesium Dosage Recommendations
The recommended daily magnesium intake for men is about 310–320 mg per day for women and about 400–420 mg per day.
According to the National Institutes of Health, below are the current recommended daily allowances for magnesium intake:
- Infants–6 months: 30 mg
- Children 7–12 months: 75 mg
- Children 1–3 yrs: 80 mg
- Children 4–8 yrs: 130 mg
- Adolescents 9–13 yrs: 240 mg
- Adolescents 14–18 yrs: 410 mg for men; 360 mg for women
- Adults 19–30 yrs: 400 mg for men; 310 mg for women
- Adults 31 yrs plus: 420 mg for men; 320 mg for women
- Pregnant women: 350–360 mg
- Breastfeeding woken: 310–320 mg
As stated above, several magnesium supplements are available in good health stores like The Good Stuff. These include magnesium glycinate, magnesium citrate, magnesium orotate, magnesium oxide, magnesium lactate, magnesium malate, magnesium sulfate, magnesium L-threonate and magnesium chloride.
Transdermal magnesium supplementation through magnesium oil or magnesium chloride is another way to utilise the mineral topically to help it absorb the skin when mixed with water.
Risks and Side Effects of Magnesium
Whilst there are many magnesium benefits, getting too much of this mineral can be problematic, and supplementation should always be considered.
Suppose you’re getting enough magnesium from food sources. In that case, you don’t need to worry about side effects from overeating, as excess magnesium from food is filtered by the kidneys and excreted through the urine.
The body can tolerate upper intake levels from supplements of 350 milligrams per day for those above nine years old. However, high magnesium supplements can cause adverse side effects like diarrhoea, nausea and abdominal cramping. Very high doses can lead to a magnesium overdose and toxicity.
- Magnesium is an essential mineral in many aspects of our health. Low levels can cause serious health concerns, including hypertension, liver damage, impotence and insomnia.
- Getting our daily intake, preferably through foods high in magnesium, offers several health benefits to our overall well-being and optimal health.
- Some of the best sources of magnesium are foods high in magnesium, including avocados, bananas, leafy greens, cocoa, potatoes, beans, grains and nuts.
- Supplementing can also be beneficial if you’re an athlete or suffer from malabsorption issues by getting your daily intake of magnesium is best sourced from foods.
A Deeper Dive into the Health Benefits of Magnesium
Whilst Calcium is the most common mineral in the body; magnesium plays a crucial role in maintaining healthy bones and teeth. It is essential for the body’s absorption and metabolism of calcium from the diet and is necessary for converting vitamin D into its active form.
Getting enough magnesium is crucial if you want your bones in the best state possible. Studies suggest that higher intakes of magnesium consumption were associated with a smaller decline in bone density in older individuals. Interestingly, another study found similar results in much younger individuals and concluded that “magnesium supplementation may have beneficial effects in reducing bone loss”.
Optimal Heart Function
The cells in our heart require a steady supply of magnesium to maintain smooth muscle function to keep a steady rhythm. There is also evidence that magnesium supplements can prevent high blood pressure in people experiencing hypertension. Magnesium supplementation studies indicated that magnesium might play a part in the fight against coronary heart disease (CHD), currently one of the highest sources of mortality rates in the western world.
A study that included over 7,000 men in Hawaii compared magnesium levels in the body with the risk of suffering from heart disease. Scientists found that individuals with the lowest magnesium levels in their bodies were roughly twice as likely to suffer from heart disease than those with higher mineral levels. They concluded that “the intake of dietary magnesium is associated with a reduced risk of CHD”.
Magnesium is a popular relaxation mineral that helps calm the nerves and muscles and regulates the production of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin. Low magnesium levels can cause nervousness, making falling asleep very challenging. Some people find that adding Epsom salts to an evening bath or taking a nightly magnesium supplement helps them to drift off to sleep more easily.
Optimal Muscle Function
Magnesium is essential to produce insulin-like growth factor (IGF-1), improving muscles' strength and integrity. This essential mineral also helps to refuel the muscles and relieve any muscle spasms or cramps.
Magnesium plays an essential role in maintaining a normal, healthy metabolism - the process of breaking down the foods we ingest. This process provides us with the energy we need to keep up with our daily lifestyle demands.
Magnesium’s role in creating and utilising enzymes in the body means sufficient magnesium can help support natural energy levels and optimal health.
Lower levels of magnesium intake can cause feelings of irritability, anxiety, low mood and fatigue. Scientific evidence confirms that magnesium can help increase recovery from depression and boost your mood.
Magnesium has also been suggested to impact all manner of other bodily processes, including:
- Restless leg syndrome
- The nervous system
- Headaches and migraines
What are the Dangers of Magnesium Deficiency?
We have become a mineral-deficient race due to overfarming and pesticides being sprayed over our foods. Over the past seventy years, have reduced mineral levels in the soil.
Some common causes of magnesium deficiency include:
- The use of certain prescription drugs
- Excessive consumption of caffeine and alcohol
- High-stress levels
- Athletes with demanding training sessions
- Poor diet
- Crohn’s disease and celiac disease
- Older Age
- Type 2 diabetes
Magnesium deficiency can manifest itself in many ways, and common symptoms of magnesium deficiency include:
- Irritability and nervousness
- Mood swings
- Severe PMS symptoms
- Muscle weakness and cramps
- Loss of appetite
- Numbness or tingling
The Good Stuff Recommends
Biomax Magnesium Optimal Delivery is a highly absorbable and bioavailable magnesium supplement. This powerful product delivers fast-acting and long-lasting results by containing magnesium citrate (more readily absorbed than other magnesium) and liposomal magnesium (which provides sustained time release).
The Optimal Delivery formulation is available in Unflavoured or Natural (sugar-free) Berry Flavour varieties.
Magnesium is a mineral found in human tissue and one of our body's most essential minerals. It is involved in almost every central metabolic process and is crucial in more than 300 enzyme reactions. It operates 24 hours throughout the body, from the brain to the toenails. An adequate intake is, therefore, something one’s body must be able to rely on at any time. Supplemental magnesium may help combat deficiency — but not all supplements are created equal. Many conventional products may not allow optimal absorption, so they don’t deliver optimal benefits.
Biomax® Magnesium is made with magnesium citrate, which is known to be more readily absorbed than some other magnesium salts. The formulation also uses liposomal magnesium, which offers a sustained time release. This two-part approach to supplementation means one gets results that are both fast-acting and long-lasting.
Every single-serve sachet (30 per pack) delivers 250 mg of elemental magnesium, 100 mg of phosphatidylcholine, plus 5 000 mg of prebiotic fibre (isomalto-oligosaccharide) to balance intestinal flora and support digestive health. Biomax® Magnesium sachets are convenient and easy to use – simply mix them with water or juice and give yourself an effective daily magnesium boost.
The first of its kind in South Africa:
- Truly innovative magnesium supplement
- Superior bioavailability
- 250 mg of elemental magnesium per dose
- 5 000 mg of prebiotics per dose
- Rapid uptake and sustained time release
- Innovative formulation combines magnesium citrate with liposomal magnesium
- Optimal delivery formulation includes a prebiotic fibre to optimise gut health
- Provides phosphatidylcholine for added health benefits
- Suitable for people with diabetes & vegetarians
- Gluten-free & GMO-free
- No sugar, soy or artificial additives
- Suitable for vegans and vegetarians
- Eco-friendly packaging
Indications: To maintain healthy magnesium levels.
Biomax Magnesium benefits
- Deliver 250mg of elemental magnesium per serving.
- Magnesium complex of magnesium citrate + liposome entrapped magnesium.
- Rapid uptake with sustained release.
- 5000mg of Prebiotic fibre per serving.
- It can be added to water, juices, smoothies, recovery drinks, and protein shakes.
- No artificial additives, sugar or colourant.
- Available in a neutral unflavoured, as well as a natural berry flavour.
- 30 Servings per carton