Magnesium has so many incredible health benefits, though so many people seem to be deficient in this amazing mineral.
From the Australian Health Survey, 1 in 3 Australians did not meet the daily requirements for magnesium. In males aged 14 – 18 years, 61% and 72% of females of the same age consumed less than their requirements (1).
Magnesium is an essential mineral involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions in the body, including protein production, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control and bone development.
Good food sources of magnesium include nuts, seeds, salads and leafy green vegetables.
Our bones act as a storage facility for magnesium, with 53% of magnesium found in our bones (5).
Signs of magnesium deficiency
Muscle cramps, eye twitches, fatigue, trouble sleeping are all common signs of a magnesium deficiency. Premenstrual stress, anxiety, depression and recurring stress can also be associated with poor body stores of magnesium.
Magnesium helps regulate the body’s stress response system and we need more magnesium when under stress. A deficiency in magnesium can heighten stress and anxiety. Though your body dumps magnesium when under stress. It’s a vicious cycle and eating more leafy greens may not give you enough magnesium.
Low levels of magnesium are associated with insomnia, restless sleep and waking during the night. Magnesium increases GABA, which helps you feel more relaxed.
Migraines are severe headaches that can last from 4 hours till a few days. They are disabling and can lead to days off work.
Studies have shown that supplementation with magnesium resulted in a decrease in the frequency, duration and severity of migraines (8).
Magnesium can be beneficial for dysmenorrhoea (painful periods especially with abdominal cramping).
Magnesium is also great for PMS as it helps boost progesterone (your feel-good hormone), as well as helping to regulate cortisol and reducing inflammation (4).
In postmenopausal women, low magnesium intake is associated with more rapid bone loss or lower bone mineral density (5).
Magnesium can help reduce the occurrence of atherosclerosis. The higher the concentration of magnesium in the body, the lower the risk of any form of coronary heart disease. (5).
The higher the daily magnesium intake, the lower the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
A magnesium deficiency has also been identified in type 2 diabetes patients (2).
Restoring the balance
When there is a magnesium deficiency, it can take time to restore our body's levels. If our bones are severely depleted, a significant increase in plasma magnesium concentration will only occur after some weeks of supplementation.
Bioavailability of magnesium
Not all magnesium has the same bioavailability and different forms can be better suited to different conditions. It is best to talk to a health care professional before supplementing with magnesium.
Have a great day.
Australian Bureau of Statistics. Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes, 2011-12. (2019). Retrieved from https://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.008~2011-12~Main%20Features~Calcium~401
Barbagallo, M., & Dominguez, L. (2015). Magnesium and type 2 diabetes. World Journal Of Diabetes, 6(10), 1152. doi: 10.4239/wjd.v6.i10.1152
Beckstrand, R., & Pickens, J. (2011). Beneficial Effects of Magnesium Supplementation. Journal Of Evidence-Based Complementary & Alternative Medicine, 16(3), 181-189. doi: 10.1177/2156587211401746
Briden, L. (2015). Period Repair Manual. Createspace Independent Publishing.
Ochsenham, P., & Vormann, J. (2015). The magnesium deficiency crisis. Madhouse MEDIA.
Orchard, T., Larson, J., Alghothani, N., Bout-Tabaku, S., Cauley, J., & Chen, Z. et al. (2014). Magnesium intake, bone mineral density, and fractures: results from the Women’s Health Initiative Observational Study. The American Journal Of Clinical Nutrition, 99(4), 926-933. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.067488
Schwalfenberg, G., & Genuis, S. (2017). The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare. Scientifica, 2017, 1-14. doi: 10.1155/2017/4179326