Benefits and Properties of Magnesium – How to take it

Benefits and Properties of Magnesium – How to take it

Magnesium is involved in the production of more than 300 essential enzymes for the body. This shows how important it is for the performance and energy of the organism. Magnesium relaxes the muscles and prevents muscle cramps. It is a remedy against stress, it regulates the blood pressure and prevents cardiac insufficiency. Magnesium is the most valuable mineral for the human body.

Magnesium provides energy to people of all ages. It is essential for the cell metabolism, specially for the bones and muscle. This is why a deficiency of this mineral can have serious consequences for our health.

Magnesium is particularly important for those groups of people who need this mineral in higher amounts of this mineral, like pregnant or lactating women, sportspeople, and athletes, as well as those who suffer diabetes.[1][2]

As we age, its supply protects the bones and cardiovascular system.[3][4]

Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for human nutrition that we tend to overlook. It is indispensable for many biochemical reactions of the body, including those involved in the muscle function and protein synthesis, it helps to bind calcium and phosphorus in the teeth and bones, to preserve the nervous system, regulate the blood pressure, and the relaxation of muscle tissue.

What is magnesium?

It is one of the essential macrominerals, that is, we need to supply more than 100mg daily, along with Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Chloride, Sodium, and Sulfur. Coincidentally, magnesium is in charge of regulating the disposition of other minerals as well.

  • It is not only an alkali earth metal, but it is also a vital mineral for the human body.
  • It is necessary to consume magnesium regularly because the organism is not capable of producing it.
  • It plays a crucial role in the energy-yielding metabolism and, therefore, it is particularly important for active people.
  • It is also involved in the functioning of the nervous system, which means that is essential for muscle work.
  • It relaxes the muscles and guarantees the proper functioning of the muscle system, including the cardiovascular system.[5]
  • The experts warn about a chronic deficiency in developed countries. This deficiency can have serious consequences for pregnant women, sportspeople, and diabetic people.
  • The concentration of this element in food drops each year, and it drops even more when we wash or cook them.

What is Magnesium in the human body?


Effects of magnesium on active people

It plays a crucial role in providing energy to the metabolism which means that it is particularly important for active people. Magnesium also affects the nervous system and plays a basic role in muscle work. Magnesium helps to relax the muscles and guarantees a proper functioning of the entire muscle system, including the cardiovascular system.

Symptoms of a Magnesium Deficiency

What causes a Magnesium deficit? Nowadays, a great part of the population experiences a magnesium deficit. Some of the factors are:

  • A bad diet, lack of sources rich in magnesium, or the consumption of a lot of processed foods
  • Medicines that block its absorption
  • Alcoholism
  • Hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood)
  • Excessive sweating or doing exercise in an unfavorable climate
  • Having some kind of pathology related to the absorption of this mineral, such as the inflammation of the intestine or the celiac disease; as well as chronic diarrhea
  • Intense stress
  • Cultivation methods (surfaces that are poor in minerals), transport, and maintenance of the foods, lead to drastically low levels magnesium

What are the symptoms of a Magnesium deficiency? The main symptoms of a lack of this essential mineral for the human body are the following ones:

  • Muscle spams
  • Restlessness and nervousness
  • Hypertension[5]
  • Lack of concentration
  • Headaches and migraines[6][7]
  • Tachycardia, cardiac muscle spams, arrhythmia[5]
  • Stomach and intestinal problems, nausea, vomits, diarrhea, and convulsions
  • Dizziness, tremors, or cramps
  • Sleep disorders[8]
  • Premature labor
  • Fragile nails, caries in the teeth
  • Weakness
  • Lack of energy
  • Premature exhaustion during physical activities
  • Facial tics
  • Anxiety
  • Abnormal levels of calcium and/or potassium

Tiredness and a Magnesium Deficit

Learn why our organism can undergo a lack of Magnesium

What is Hypomagnesemia?

Hypomagnesemia is a clinical condition in which a person has lower levels of magnesium than what is considered to be normal. The causes include a inadequate intake and absorption or due to an increase of the excretion caused by a hypercalcemia (high levels of calcium in the blood plasma), hypopotassemia (low levels of potassium), or side effects of some drugs.

Effects of Magnesium

A muscle needs this mineral every time it moves. Magnesium is an important component in more than 300 enzymes and it is involved in almost all the metabolic processes of the cells.

Apart from stabilizing the cell walls and proteins, we also need magnesium for the conversion of substances that require a lot of energy, like glucose. Without magnesium, we would not be able to provide energy for the body.

Moreover, even the slightest transmission of stimuli between the nerves and the muscles can only happen with the intervention of magnesium. Magnesium is also indispensable to guarantee the strength of the bones and teeth.

What is the function of Magnesium in the human body?

Regulating Function

Magnesium promotes a normal functioning of the body: it helps to regulate a correct blood pressure, it strengthens the bones, the heartbeat, the nervous function, it contributes to a healthy immune system, and to balance the sugar levels in the blood.

Find out what magnesium is

The experts warn about a chronic deficiency in developed countries, which can have series consequences, specially for pregnant women, sportspeople, and diabetic people.

Magnesium in the Organism

The highest concentration of magnesium is found in the skeletal system, as well as in the muscle tissue, soft tissues (like cartilages), and body fluids.

Magnesium is advised for

It is advisable to take magnesium if you suffer any of these symptoms:

  • Cramps and tension (Click here to learn how it works against muscle cramps))
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Hypertension[5]
  • Pregnancy and lactation
  • Increased excretion of magnesium through laxatives
  • Stress
  • Thyroid disease
  • Poor diets in magnesium
  • If you practice sport activities
  • Migraines[6][7]
  • Depression[9][10][11][12]
  • If you are taking certain medications, like contraceptive pills
  • During the growth phase of adolescents
  • To prevent thrombosis, heart attacks, kidney stones, and high cholesterol

The symptoms of a magnesium deficiency go from mild spams to slightly displaced joints, hematoma on the skin, and spams that require stretching.

  • Unbalanced neuromuscular control
  • Overtraining
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dehydration
  • Electrolyte deficiency

Functions of Magnesium

Magnesium performs a fundamental task in practically all the cells (it is the second most abundant element) and it is vital in more than 300 chemical processes that support human health and its basic functions, which include:

  • Muscle contraction and relaxation,
  • Nervous function,
  • Heart activity,
  • Regulation of the blood pressure,
  • Hormone production and interaction,
  • Immune system function,
  • Bone health, and
  • Synthesis of proteins, fats, and nucleic acids,
  • Energy metabolism.

Magnesium is not produced by the organism, which is why it is so important to consume sources of this element or use supplementation in order to administer the recommended daily amount (the NRV is 375mg for adults, established in the Regulation (EU) 1169/2011 of the 25th of October 2011).

Sources of Magnesium

Different sources of magnesium
Those foods that have a higher concentration of magnesium tend to be those that also provide good quantities of fiber, therefore, foods that are rich in fiber are usually rich in magnesium as well.

Some of the main dietary sources of magnesium are:

  • Legumes,
  • Whole grain foods,
  • Vegetables,
  • Seeds and Nuts
  • Other sources include dairy products, meat, chocolate, and coffee.

*Water with a high mineral content is also a source of magnesium. Magnesium binds to food, improving the absorption of organic compounds.

Here you have more information about the Best Sources of Magnesium for our Organism..

Some examples of foods that are rich in magnesium are (amount of Magnesium per 100g):

  • Almonds (268mg)
  • Pumpkin seeds (262mg)
  • Black chocolate (228mg)
  • Chard (81mg)
  • Spinach (79mg)
  • Black beans (70mg)
  • Avocado (29mg)
  • Yogurt (19mg)

The concentration of magnesium in many foods has dropped over the years and it is reduced when we clean or cook them. Therefore, it is advisable to Cook with Steam to prevent the loss of properties, specially in vegetables

You can read this article if you want to learn about those Foods that are Rich in Magnesium and how much they provide.

What are the Properties of Magnesium?

Magnesium helps to build the bones, allows the functioning of the nerves, and it is essential to obtain energy from the nutrients. It has a series of properties that are truly important from a clinical point of view due to their therapeutic value to mitigate, relieve, and even suppress certain medical conditions such as pain or chronic fatigue (headaches), asthma, or sleep disorders among others.

Properties of Magnesium

Muscle Contraction

The muscles need magnesium to move. Magnesium is a component of more than 300 enzymes that is involved in almost all the metabolic functions of the cells.

Energy Supply

It helps to stabilize the cell membranes, proteins, and glucose, and it is also necessary to transform the substances into energy. Without magnesium, the body would lack energy. Even the transmission of nerve signals to the muscles and their fluid interaction occur thanks to magnesium.

Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium is also basic to provide vitality to the teeth and bones

Without a proper supply of this mineral, several essential and vital processes of our organism and the correct functioning of the entire system would be compromised:

  • Cell energy production
  • Control the contraction and relaxation of the muscles
  • Synthesis of hormones that control vital functions
  • Maintain a constant and regular heartbeat
  • Support and strengthen the immune system
  • Support the bone system
  • Regulate the sugar levels in the blood
  • Control the blood pressure
  • Protein synthesis

Benefits of Magnesium for Health

Magnesium and Stress

A lack of magnesium is the cause of many syndromes, symptoms, and diseases. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and it is closely related to stress. In fact, it is known as the “anti-stress mineral.”
Many specialists recommend magnesium for anxiety and stress, as well as to treat other diseases such as hypertension, heart diseases, and depression.

Half of the magnesium within our organism is located in the bone tissue, and the other half is involved in more than 300 essential metabolic reactions. Magnesium is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats to produce energy. It is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses, the contraction and relaxation of muscles, the transport of oxygen in the tissues, and in the energy-yielding metabolism.

Magnesium also helps to balance the central nervous system apart from having a light and effective sedative effect that helps to reduce nervousness considerably.

Stress is currently one of the main reasons that force people to go to a doctor. The “Time” magazine already warned in the early 1980s that stress had become the “epidemic of the 1980s.”

But nowadays, the situation is even worse. We have to cope with several jobs, we are continually keeping track of our digital devices, we face broken families, and the fact that we are living in an economic crisis. To this, we also have to count other risks, like an unbalanced diet, environmental threats, global dangers, and the saturation of information through the television and Internet. How can our body adapt to these continuous challenges?

The American Institute of Stress (AIS), founded by the famous Canadian researcher Hans Selye, MD, estimates that between a 75 and a 90 per cent of all the visits to primary care doctors are somehow related to stress problems.

The main reactions of our organism to stress, according to the American Institute of Stress

  • Sudden increase in the heartbeat and blood pressure. This results in an increased blood flow to the brain to improve our decision-making.
  • Increased blood sugar levels in order to provide the body with more energy. This results in a increase of the breakdown of glycogen, which results in the storage of fats and proteins due to the sudden increase in adrenaline.
  • The blood is withdrawn from the intestines, because it is not necessary for an immediate digestion process. It is transported to the muscles of the arms and legs to be ready to fight or flee as fast as we can when facing dangerous situations.
  • The blood coagulates faster than normal in order to prevent blood loss caused by internal wounds or bleeding.
  • When the blood pressure increases, the smooth muscles in the walls of the blood vessels can paralyze if there is a magnesium deficiency. This can lead to chronic hypertension.
  • When the sugar in the blood increases, magnesium is in charge of making sure that the insulin opens the cell membranes to release sugars inside the cells. If you have a magnesium deficiency, the sugar levels in the blood will keep on rising and the cells will not receive the glucose that they need.[13][2]
  • If the biggest muscles in the arms and legs do not have enough magnesium available, an increased blood flow ends up triggering muscle cramps, irritability, and the restless legs syndrome.
  • Without a proper magnesium supply, the coagulation process of the blood increases the risk of forming clots in the legs, lungs, and brain.

Reduce fatigue

Magnesium is used by the organism to produce energy, since it is directly related to the activation of the energy exchange that involves adenosine triphosphate (ATP) and which corresponds to the cell energy. In this way, a lack of this mineral can lead to tiredness and fatigue when performing any type of activity, apart from requiring more oxygen during the workout.

Magnesium and Panic Attacks

Panic attacks tend to lead us to an excessive use of multiple medicines. The doctors do not really know what they are or what causes them, so they end up treating them with anxiolytic drugs.

When these medicines do not work, they prescribe more, among which we can find serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), anti-depressants and even antipsychotics.

However, a panic attack is not a disease, rather, it is just a symptom. A magnesium deficiency can worsen panic attacks.

If our body lacks a natural ingredient that is absolutely necessary for its correct functioning, would it not be easier to supply this nutrient to suppress the symptoms, rather than resorting to medication?

Magnesium is a basic ingredient to treat panic attacks since it manages to calm the body in many different ways. It encourages muscle relaxation, balances the nervous system, promotes the adrenal function, and contributes to the production of normal levels of serotonin.

The importance of magnesium for health

If you suffer from a magnesium deficiency, your muscles will be narrower. Magnesium encourages the relaxation of the muscles and they look better.

When the body has an excess of calcium and a low magnesium content, the muscles become rigid and hard. It may even run the risk of developing calcium deposits, which is quite frequent in patients that suffer fibromyalgia. If the jaw muscles are tense this can cause teeth grinding and headaches.
The effect is similar to walking with completely tense muscles. Try to do it and you will realize how painful it is.

Other symptoms of a magnesium deficiency are anger, apathy, anxiety, confusion, spasms, fatigue, insomnia, muscle weakness, nervousness, lack of concentration, bad memory, palpitations, and tremors.

Panic attacks can be triggered by a drop in the levels of sugar

One of the main triggers of panic attacks is having low sugar levels in the blood. When you are late for work and you just have a quick coffee for breakfast, your sugar levels in the blood rise sharply and you feel active. However, they will drop on your way to work.

The adrenal glands produce adrenaline to break down the sugar stored in the liver. This process guarantees that your brain is nourished and that you do not faint. However, adrenaline will cause tachycardia and the palm of your hands start to sweat as a common response to a danger that will force you to fight or flee.

When you sit in the car, that thought is still in your head and it can trigger a state of panic or worry. If at that moment you have to cross a bridge, you could even develop a phobia toward bridges or heights.

If you go to the doctor he probably will not ask you what you had for breakfast, instead, he will diagnose a panic disorder and will prescribe you drugs.

If your doctor asks you if you have recently felt depressed, if you have difficulty to sleep, or if you feel too stressed (which corresponds to the typical symptoms of a magnesium deficiency) you may be prescribed with an antidepressant.

Unfortunately, antidepressants are prescribed too frequently. However, these drugs can be dangerous, since their chemical composition is very strong and they have a long list of side effects. The most recent clinical studies show that the antidepressants can make people feel better only in 40 per cent of the cases. This means that their effects are even lower than those of placebos.

If you are a very active person with a lot of adrenaline and you have to cope with the pressure of deadlines, timetables, and stress, you may have a great deficiency of magnesium. Most people who tend to be very active tend to suffer cardiovascular diseases, muscle cramps, irritability, and hypersensitivity.

However, this deficiency is not a genetic problem since it is also caused by the fact that stress consumes this mineral. This makes people who suffer stress more vulnerable to diseases related to stress.

Remedies for panic attacks

  • The best alternative if you suffer panic attacks is to go to a psychologist who will give you a custom therapy to mitigate the anxiety or fear that are caused by the attacks. During these therapies, you will address topics such as relationships with others, fears or problems that you have experienced during your childhood, if you have nightmares, etc. Most panic attacks are due to some emotion of fear or a variation of fear. Psychological help will help you to identify which emotions you feel when you are facing a panic attack, something essential to solve the problem.
  • Controlling your breathing is another of the best remedies for panic attacks. There are many exercises related to breathing that can help you relieve this disorder. It is necessary to stop the negative thoughts and to tell yourself that what you feel is just a mental issue.
  • Avoiding the consumption of substances like alcohol, tobacco, drugs, or antidepressants. You should also stop taking products with caffeine like coffee or soda.
  • It is essential to have a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and cereals that provide essential vitamins and minerals. It is also advisable to consume a multivitamin supplement, which specially contains a dose of group B vitamins and magnesium. These micronutrients are essential for the nervous system and help to mitigate the anxiety, emotional instability, apathy, fatigue, irritability, and restlessness that result from panic attacks.
  • Not very intense physical exercise. Exercise is one of the best therapies to deal with psychological disorders. We should carry out easy exercises, like walks or strolls, slow aerobic exercises, etc.
  • Combining physical exercise with relaxing techniques such as yoga or meditation, which are essential to relax the muscle tension that is caused by anxiety by controlling the mind itself. These therapies will help you enter a state of calmness that is necessary to overcome a panic attack.
  • Taking chamomile and valerian infusions can help to reduce the nervousness and other mild to moderate symptoms that happen with panic attacks.

Magnesium for Anxiety

There is a close connection between a magnesium deficit and a higher tendency to suffer from anxiety and depression, as well as mood disorders (apathy, sadness, mood swings, confusion, memory problems, etc).

Many people are unaware about the fact that a lack of magnesium or other vitamins can trigger these disorders and they decide to treat them with antidepressants or anxiolytic medicines, including sedatives.

Before taking these type of medication that is so harmful for our health, it is better to make changes in our diet and follow a healthier diet and lifestyle, because in most cases they are the best treatment for anxiety and depression.

Magnesium, a mineral that is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions, it is essential to regulate calcium, it is involved in the glucose metabolism, heart rate, muscle function, the transmission of nerve impulses, etc.

At a brain level, magnesium is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, including serotonin and dopamine, which regulate the mood. An imbalance of these neurotransmitters can trigger anxiety, stress, sleep problems, phobias, obsessive compulsive disorders, etc.

A magnesium supplement can be a good way to promote the proper functioning of the central nervous system and to regulate the levels of dopamine and serotonin.

Magnesium Calms and Relaxes

Magnesium is involved in the synthesis and regulation of certain neurotransmitters that are going to condition our behavior and mood, like the release of serotonin. In this way, it will provide a feeling of tranquillity and encourage relaxation. This is why it can relieve the anxiety.

Improve rest

Magnesium to improve sleep

Another relevant fact is that magnesium can help us to deal with stress since it helps to release the hormones that are related to a feeling of wellness. Specially when we have to face situations that produce nervousness, irritability, bad mood, among other symptoms, and which can cause worry even after they are over. In this case, it could potentially disturb our night sleep, resulting in a truly negative loop for our health. At the same time, magnesium regulates our biological clock, or circadian rhythms, which will help us to avoid insomnia.

Magnesium and Headaches

Magnesium and headaches

Headaches are one of the most frequent symptoms of stress. The shoulders curve, the muscles from the neck become stiff, and the pressure spreads to several muscles of the skull.

Magnesium helps to reduce muscle tension and encourages their relaxation. A deficiency does not only cause tension-related headaches, but also migraines, headaches, and premenstrual syndrome. Moreover, post-traumatic headaches are also affected by this mineral.[6][7]

Magnesium and migraine are two words that are more related than what we previously thought.

To give you an approximate idea of the importance of magnesium, we will name several of its benefits for the organism:

  • It relaxes the blood vessels and allows them to dilate, which avoids or reduces the cramps caused by migraines.
  • Magnesium regulates the functioning of the brain neurotransmitters and balances the substances that can cause the inflammation which ends up causing a headache or migraine.
  • It inhibits the excessive adhesion of platelets and prevents the formation of small clots that can block the blood vessels and cause pain.
  • Magnesium relaxes the muscles and prevents the accumulation of lactic acid, which only worsens the muscle tension and lead to headaches.

If you are wondering what are the triggers of a magnesium deficiency, you should know that there are many factors that can cause a magnesium deficit.

Most of the cases of a lack of magnesium are due to an inadequate diet.

They can also be due to a failure in the intestinal absorption of magnesium, a loss that is produced in the kidneys (in this case they are unable to retain the magnesium), or due to intense physical exercise.

Factors like drinking alcohol, diarrhea, vomiting, taking antibiotics, or the use of diuretics can cause a lack of magnesium.

You should consult your doctor before taking a magnesium supplement.

Magnesium and the Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Many women who take magnesium regularly have claimed that it helps them to reduce the symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome.

The premenstrual syndrome happens between the two to fourteen days before the menstrual bleeding, and nobody knows why. The symptoms can be diverse: feeling bloated, liquid retention, muscle tension, mood swings [12] and many other symptoms that appear and disappear periodically.
Those women who take magnesium report that taking this mineral relieves their premenstrual syndrome symptoms. Magnesium is a mild diuretic, it relaxes the muscles, and increases the serotonin levels (known as the neurotransmitter of happiness).

Magnesium and the Heart

A magnesium deficiency is quite frequent in people who suffer cardiovascular diseases such as chest angina, arrhythmia, palpitations, hypertension, blood clots, or poor circulation.

Magnesium and the heart

In some hospitals, where the doctors give this mineral the importance it deserves, magnesium is immediately given to patients who suffer severe myocardial infarction or arrhythmia.

The heart, like any other muscle, reaches a flexible and relaxed state when it has enough magnesium.

Magnesium should be used to treat any type of cardiac symptoms. However, there is still an ongoing debate in the medical community about the appropriateness of the administration of magnesium for the treatment of cardiovascular diseases.

Blood Tests and Magnesium

Only 1% of the magnesium of our body is present in the bloodstream, where this amount is being constantly regulated. It is crucial for many bodily functions, like the beating of the heart, which is why the organism tries to keep a constant level of magnesium in the blood.

This means that when the body needs to balance its levels in the blood it is released from the bones and tissues. In contrast, if the level is too high, the magnesium is eliminated through the intestinal tract and excreted through the urine.[16]

This is the reason why when a doctor performs a blood test to examine the levels of magnesium, the results seem to be constant, which gives a false appearance of the levels of this mineral. For this reason it is not included in a routine test in most hospitals.

  • A more reliable test consists on analyzing the magnesium levels in the red cells, which may give a closer indication of the amount of magnesium at a cell level. However, the cells have only about 40% of the total magnesium in the body.
  • A more precise test is to perform an ExaTest. In this test, the tissue under the tongue is scraped and examined under a microscope. It is painless and it it usually available at naturopathic and chiropractic centers.
  • However, even this test is not as accurate as the ionized magnesium blood test, which is used only for research. This test measures the amount of pure magnesium in the blood, free of other minerals or proteins to which it is usually bound. We can only hope that this test will be available for physicians as soon as possible so that they can diagnose the lack of magnesium with more precision.

If the doctors do not study magnesium thoroughly, the worst can happen, like not being able to avoid the death or serious diseases in patients whose heart arrhythmias and heart attacks are related to their magnesium levels.

Many doctors do not give enough importance to the benefits of magnesium for the heart. It is undoubtedly an essential mineral for the health of the heart muscles and blood vessels. While it is unrealistic to expect magnesium to give life back to the dead, it can be a good ally for the treatment of heart diseases and even more beneficial than other treatments with medicines.

The role of magnesium in the heart is undeniable. Therefore, it is advisable to take a magnesium supplement daily to avoid suffering a magnesium deficiency and to protect our cardiovascular system and health overall.

Magnesium and Hypertension

The most common medicines used against hypertension are diuretics. The irony is that when diuretics remove the liquids they also remove the magnesium from the body.

Here is an example of a common medical history:
Irene is 58 years old. She was diagnosed with hypertension during her annual medical examination. Her mother has just died and Sarah is undergoing a lot of stress. But her doctor does not ask her about her personal problems and the visit is too short to delve into the problem.

As you may already know, stress reduces the levels of magnesium. But the doctor believes that she is suffering hypertension (high blood pressure) related to age and he immediately prescribes a diuretic medication, even though in this case the age is not the cause of the hypertension.

Magnesium and hypertension

When Irene visits her doctor one month later to see how she has reacted to the treatment, they find that her blood pressure has increased even more. Her doctor does not understand why, but if you know how magnesium works you will realize that these diuretics have caused a decrease of her magnesium levels.

However, Irene’s doctor thinks that this new increase in the blood pressure requires an even more aggressive treatment, so he prescribes a second medicine against the hypertension.

A few weeks later, of course, Irene’s cholesterol levels increase dramatically. Again, the reason is probably related to the low levels of magnesium. But instead of prescribing a magnesium dietary supplement, her doctor says that she must take statins to reduce her cholesterol.
A month later, Irene’s glucose levels in the blood have increased. The doctor, who is now alarmed by these results, prescribes a medicine for diabetes. Having low levels of magnesium is known to be a cause of diabetes. But the doctor does not even consider this option.

So now Irene takes four different medicines to treat the symptoms caused mainly by a magnesium deficiency. All these medicines reduce the amount of magnesium in the body. Psychologically, Irene is more anxious than before, thinking that she suffers from a severe heart disease, because her doctor has prescribed all these medications.

Over the course of these six months, Irene’s magnesium concentrations have not been analyzed once.

As we have previously mentioned, the magnesium content is essential. It has to be checked even though the levels tend to be normal, since very low levels can be very dangerous for the organism.[5]

It improves the Digestive System

Another interesting aspect of magnesium is its effect on the digestive system, more specifically, it helps to relax the muscles of the digestive tract, including the gastrointestinal walls that have the “ability” to move the feces, which favors their regular excretion.

It contributes to a good Bone Health

Magnesium can prevent osteoporosis, since it is involved in the activity of the osteoblasts and osteoclasts, in order to maintain a proper bone density. It also plays a role in the balance of the concentrations of vitamin D in the blood, which is an important regulator of the bone homeostasis. A higher intake of magnesium is related to an increase of mineral bone density in both men and women.

Magnesium for bone health

Magnesium and Cholesterol

Magnesium is necessary for the correct activity of an enzyme called LDL. This enzyme reduces the “bad” cholesterol and triglycerides and it increases the HDL, or “good cholesterol”.

Another magnesium-dependent enzyme is responsible for transforming the essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, into prostaglandins which are necessary for the health of the heart.

Magnesium controls cholesterol naturally if it reaches high levels in the organism. On the contrary, statins have been designed to block the metabolism of cholesterol completely.

Magnesium and cholesterol

If the body has enough magnesium, it will properly regulate the cholesterol so that it can perform its necessary functions (the production of hormones and the maintenance of the cell membranes) which usually does not increase the cholesterol levels.

Most of the cholesterol is produced by the body itself through the liver. Therefore, most of it does not come from the food we eat. A specific enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase is necessary to produce cholesterol.

If the body has enough cholesterol, magnesium hinders the performance of this enzyme. When the body needs more cholesterol to produce hormones or to coat the cells with a layer of fat, magnesium increases its production.

The clinical studies have proven the effects of magnesium on the level of cholesterol

At least eighteen studies with humans have proven that magnesium supplements have extremely beneficial effects on the lipids.

  • In these studies, the cholesterol levels were reduced between a 6 to a 23 per cent.
  • LDL (bad cholesterol) was reduced between a 10 to a 18 per cent. The triglycerides dropped from a 10 to 42 per cent, and HDL (good cholesterol) increased from a 4 to 11 per cent.

Additionally, these studies have shown that low magnesium levels are related to higher “bad” cholesterol, and that high magnesium levels result in an increase in “good” cholesterol.

Statins are the medicines that have been designed by pharmaceutical companies to inhibit the function of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase completely. However, this can cause serious side effects, since cholesterol is necessary for many functions of the body.

Magnesium Chloride and Cholesterol

There is a close connection between magnesium chloride and cholesterol.
Many experts claim that a magnesium chloride supplement can help to:

  • Reduce the high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL).
  • Reduce the triglycerides.
  • Increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).

The body requires the intervention of an enzyme known as HMG-CoA reductase in order to produce cholesterol.

Magnesium helps to regulate the activity of this enzyme, which helps to maintain proper cholesterol levels.

An amount of 430mg of magnesium chloride daily helps to reduce bad cholesterol levels and increase HDL levels.

Magnesium and the levels of sugar in the blood

A magnesium deficiency is a risk factor for diabetes.[14] This appears in the main diagnosis manuals of doctors. However, unfortunately, many doctor do not pay enough attention to this fact.

Magnesium increases the production of insulin and helps insulin to transport glucose to the cells. [15]

A good a diet and the intake of magnesium are the first steps to treat diabetes and a more effective solution than using anti-diabetic medicines.

Magnesium and Sport

If you regularly practice sports you have a higher risk of suffering a mineral deficiency, specially of magnesium. This is due to the fact that magnesium is lost mainly though sweat.

Magnesium and the Muscles

Magnesium relaxes the muscles while calcium tenses them. As we have already explained before, magnesium lets a small (but necessary) amount of calcium inside each cell and it eliminates it later on.

It is a simple dynamic that is performed every thousandth of a second of every minute. But when this process fails, most people suffer from an imbalance between calcium and magnesium.

A deficiency of magnesium triggers muscle contractions and cramps. That contraction causes pain and muscles harden when they are stretched. It is very difficult to live with these conditions.

If you practice some kind of sport, cramps can be a serious problem since they can cause injuries and they can become an impediment to participate in competitions.

Magnesium for an optimal performance

If you are informed about the importance of magnesium you can use magnesium salts when bathing or add magnesium citrate to your drinks. You will notice that your muscles are faster and relaxed.

Clinical studies with animals have shown that a decrease of the performance during physical exercise is a sign of a magnesium deficiency in the body. After taking magnesium, we recover the ability and resistance to do physical exercise.

Most studies in humans confirm that any type of physical exercise involves consuming magnesium. Moreover, we also lose magnesium when we sweat, when we suffer stress, and to neutralize lactic acid.

Magnesium is the most important nutrient for those athletes who want to increase their physical performance, prevent the accumulation of lactic acid, and shorten the recovery time.

Most doctors and trainers do not know much about magnesium because the blood tests do not measure its levels accurately. To assess a magnesium deficiency we have to analyze its triggers. It is advisable to start taking a magnesium dietary supplement and wait until the symptoms improve if you suffer a symptom that is related to its deficiency.

Even those athletes who are no longer active and who have been the stars of their disciplines can experience panic attacks after they stop doing sport. This happens because their body develops a level of tension and of irritability that they cannot control.

When they go to the doctor, they are usually prescribed the typical medicines to reduce depression and anxiety.
Magnesium is a simple mineral that usually goes unnoticed. Usually, sportspeople take more expensive supplements. However, magnesium should definitely be included in the basic diet of all athletes, regardless of the supplements they use.

David Pascal, DC, won a gold medal at the 1983 World Championships in the 1.500-meter race and has worked as a private chiropractor since 1987. His regular clients include athletes who have participated in two Olympic games, three world championships and 25 United States skating championships. In 2009 the athletes trained by Dr. Pascal won 20 medals: 10 gold, 5 silver, and 5 bronze.

Dr. Pascal’s secret weapon is to include a good dose of magnesium in their diet. Although his program is adapted to each individual, the key nutrient he always advises is magnesium. Pascal stated:

“Magnesium is actually the ‘anti-stress mineral’ and it is necessary for approximately 325 different chemical processes of the organism. By naming it the anti-stress mineral I mean to say that the body consumes a lot of magnesium to cope with physical stress, mental stress and chemical stress. Equally, athletes and sportspeople suffer a lot of stress… so it should be emphasized that the consumption of magnesium is an absolute necessity to obtain a better performance”.

When should I take Magnesium?

There are certain protocols within dietetics and supplementation that give a lot of importance to the “Timing”, which consists on finding the best moment of the day to use supplementation. Under this premise, when we try to optimize the mode of administration, in the case of magnesium we can try:

Due to its calming effect on the nervous system and the muscles, the experts suggest taking magnesium one hour or two before going to sleep. Another reason to support magnesium supplementation at night is due to the fact that the body could benefit from this mineral for several recovery and regeneration processes that our body performs during night rest.

However, from my point of view, and due to the importance of this mineral to guarantee the maintenance of our health, I think that the most convenient thing would be to take it at night regularly, but you should not worry if you forget to use it one day, because you can take it with your breakfast or lunch.

How can we combine Magnesium?

Magnesium and ZMA

In fact, ZMA is a supplement that has Zinc + Magnesium + Absorption cofactor (vitamin B6), which optimizes the hormone capacity by increasing the presence of these two essential minerals. Said combination strengthens the immune system, avoids deficiencies, improves the function of the thyroid gland, and even encourages a better rest.

With Melatonin

Melatonin is a hormone that our body produces naturally, but sometimes its synthesis tends to be reduced due to the exposure of a source of light before going to sleep. The combination of this element with magnesium will notably improve night rest, achieving a deeper and restful sleep.

Collagen and Magnesium

Collagen is a protein that is present in most of the tissues of the body, and within its numerous tasks, we highlight the fact that it supports the bone and joint system, as well as the tendons, ligaments, and soft tissues. It is one of the products that can improve the regeneration of cartilage, and which will work in synergy with magnesium.

Who can specially benefit from taking magnesium?

  • Pregnant and lactating women
  • Children and adolescents
  • People over the age of 60
  • Sportspeople and athletes
  • Diabetic people[1][2]
  • Those who need more magnesium because due to the use of some medicines, alcohol, or stress.
  • Those who have an intake disorder or a deficiency
  • Patients that suffer migraines and headaches[6][7]

The Importance of Magnesium during Pregnancy

Magnesium is very important to have a good pregnancy and to have a healthy labor. Providing enough magnesium during pregnancy can improve the health of the baby from the very first day.

The need for magnesium arises even before birth. Many studies suggest that magnesium can prevent many problems during pregnancy, such as preterm birth, eclampsia, the risk of cerebral palsy in children, and the sudden infant death syndrome


Therefore, in effective doses, it could be similar to folic acid, that is, an important dietary supplement for pregnant women.

Many symptoms that occur during pregnancy, such as constipation, leg cramps, back pain, fluid retention, irritability, and insomnia, are actually due to a magnesium deficiency. [8]

Magnesium can also help women with fertility problems to become pregnant by reducing the spasms of the fallopian tubes that prevent the sperm from reaching the ovule.

Children needs Magnesium

The deficiency affects children just as much as adults. However, the symptoms of magnesium deficiency are often attributed to other things.

Children who suffer from autism and ADHD experience favorable changes, both physically and behaviorally, after a warm bath with magnesium salts. In these cases, constipation disappears, skin texture, mood and social relationships improve, while irritability decreases. The diet, of course, is also important.

All this shows that the need arises during the gestation and it is maintained throughout our lives.

The Importance of Magnesium for the Elderly

Age is one of the causes of a magnesium deficiency and there are several reasons that explain why this happen, like the fact that part of the population that belongs to the elderly does not follow an healthy diet, or there can be a problem with the absorption of magnesium, like reduced levels of gastric acid in the digestive system.

Magnesium for adults

Therefore, maintaining an proper intake of magnesium will be key to face this period and to maintain an optimal state of health

There are several reasons why magnesium is almost indispensable for adults, otherwise the low levels of magnesium could lead to the following situations:
  • Affect the production of cell energy and cause structural and functional damage to proteins, limiting the ability to synthesize new tissues
  • Cause structural damage to the muscle cells, due to an increase of the oxidative stress and the alteration of the calcium homeostasis (calcium balance)
  • Inducing an inflammatory state, which is one of the main causes of the fragility of the bone system in old people

The Importance of Magnesium for Sportspeople

Everyone knows that those who follow an active or very active lifestyle, like those who train and specially sportspeople and athletes, have higher requirements than the rest of the population.

Apart from being involved in the production of energy, magnesium could also help with the performance by reducing the accumulation of lactic acid and reducing the perception of fatigue during extenuating exercise through its effect on the nervous system.

Magnesium for sportspeople and athletes

Magnesium is also lost through the sweat, which is why those athletes who train in hot and humid environments will need more than others

Demanding physical activities require an immediate energy supply to support muscle contractions. The ATP cycle is involved in this aspect, since it is the energy exchange coin that allows the release of the necessary energy. Magnesium is also present in this task, which is why a lack of this element can result in the limitation of this energy production, leading to premature fatigue, lethargy, lower performance, and it can even compromise our health, with the onset of muscle cramps.

A chronic magnesium deficiency in sportspeople can also involve a decrease of bone mineral density and an increase of the risk of suffering osteoporosis, as well as anemia, depression, and an irregular heartbeat. Each system of the body can exhibit this symptoms because they somehow depend on the levels of magnesium.

This is why a lack of magnesium in athletes would explain:

  • Why they are prone to the onset of fatigue of muscle cramps
  • Why they relapse during the flu or colds
  • Why they suffer alterations of the heartbeat

The experts opinion about Magnesium:

  • 1. The cells age faster if there is a deficiency

The cells are faster when there is a deficiency. Therefore, a chronic deficiency can also increase the risk of suffering diseases related to age, like diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, and osteoporosis (as it was proven by David Killilea in the Bruce Ames report from the University of California in Berkeley).

  • 2. It reduces the cramps during pregnancy

As it was proven in the study “Magpie”, the regular treatment during pregnancy significantly reduces the risk of suffering a dangerous eclampsia. The results of this study were including in the guidelines of the German Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Studies and References

  • 1. de Valk HW, Verkaaik R, HJ van Rijn, Geerdink RA, STRUYVENBERG A. Oral magnesium supplementation in insulin-requiring Type 2 diabetic patients. Diabet Med. 1998 Jun; 15 (6): 503-7.
  • 2. Rodríguez-Morán M, Guerrero-Romero F. Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Diabetes Care, abril de 2003; 26 (4): 1147-52.
  • 3. Liana C Del Gobbo, Fumiaki Imamura, Jason Wu HY, Marcia C. de Oliveira Otto, Stephanie E Chiuve, Dariush Mozaffarian. Circulating and dietary magnesium and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. En el J Clin Nutr. 2013 Jul; 98 (1): 160-173.
  • 4. Aydin H, Deyneli O, Yavuz D, Gozu H, Mutlu N, Kaygusuz I, Akalin S. Short-term oral magnesium supplementation suppresses bone turnover in postmenopausal osteoporotic women. Biol Trace Elem Res. 2010 Feb; 133 (2): 136-43. doi: 10.1007 / s12011-009-8416-8. Epub 2009 2 de junio.
  • 5. Alberto Ascherio, Charles Hennekens, Walter C. Willett, Frank Sacks, Bernard Rosner, JoAnn Manson, Jacqueline Witteman, Meir J. Stampfer. Prospective Study of Nutritional Factors, Blood Pressure, and Hypertension Among US Women 1996; 27: 1065-72
  • 6. Pfaffen Rath V, Wessely P, Meyer C, Isler HR, Evers S, Grotemeyer KH, Taneri Z, D Soyka, Gobel H, Fischer M. Magnesium in the prophylaxis of migraine–a double-blind placebo-controlled study. 1996 Oct; 16 (6): 436-40.
  • 7. Facchinetti F, Sances G, Borella P, Genazzani AR, Nappi G. Magnesium prophylaxis of menstrual migraine: effects on intracellular magnesium. 1991 may; 31 (5): 298-301.
  • 8. Behnood Abbasi, Masud Kimiagar, Khosro Sadeghniiat, Minoo M. Shirazi, Mehdi Hedayati y Bahram Rashidkhani. The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Res Med Sci. 2012 diciembre; 17 (12): 1161 – 1169.
  • 9. Tarleton EK, Littenberg B. Magnesium intake and depression in adults. J a bordo Fam Med. 2015 Mar-Abr; 28 (2): 249-56. doi: 10.3122 / jabfm.2015.02.140176.
  • 10. Eby GA 3rd, Eby KL. Magnesium for treatment-resistant depression: a review and hypothesis. Hipótesis Med. 2010 de abril; 74 (4): 649-60. doi: 10.1016 / j.mehy.2009.10.051. Epub 2009 27 de noviembre.
  • 11. Bernadeta Szewczyk y cols. Antidepressant activity of zinc and magnesium in view of the current hypotheses of antidepressant action. 60, 588-599 ISSN 1734-1140.
  • 12. Held K, Antonijevic IA, Künzel H, M pm, TC tiempo, IC Golly, Steiger A, Murck H. Oral Mg(2+) supplementation reverses age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes in humans. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2002 Jul; 35 (4): 135-43.
  • 13. Garfinkel D, Garfinkel L. Magnesium and regulation of carbohydrate metabolism at the molecular level. 1988; 7 (5-6): 249-61.
  • 14. Ruy López-Ridaura, MD et al. Magnesium Intake and Risk of Type 2 Diabetes in Men and Women. 2004 Ene; 27 (1): 134-140.
  • 15. Moors FC, Kruger K, Naciones K, Campo de SW, Wadepuhl M, Kraus A. Oral magnesium supplementation reduces insulin resistance in non-diabetic subjects – a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial. Obes Metab. 2011 Mar; 13 (3): 281-4. doi: 10.1111 / j.1463-1326.2010.01332.x.
  • 16.Doyle L, Flynn A, Cashman K. The effect of magnesium supplementation on biochemical markers of bone metabolism or blood pressure in healthy young adult females. Eur J Clin Nutr. 1999 abr; 53 (4): 255-61.
Magnesium Review

Low daily fatigue - 100%

Improved physical resistance - 100%

Reduced joint pain - 100%

Reduced spams and muscle cramps - 100%

Improved blood pressure - 100%

Improved constipation - 100%

Better sleep - 100%

Reduced stress - 100%

Less nervousness - 100%

Relieved menstrual pain - 100%


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About Javier Colomer
Javier Colomer
"Knowledge Makes Stronger", Javier Colomer's motto, sets out his clearest statement of intentions expressing his knowledge and fitness experience.
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