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Your body requires specific vitamins and minerals to work properly and keep you healthy. We commonly hear about the big ones like calcium, potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin D, but magnesium is just as essential for overall health—and it’s a mineral that few people get enough of in their diet.

An Overview On Magnesium | Benefits | Uses | Side Effects & More
Food Rich in Magnesium

About Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral necessary for physiological function and is naturally found in both plant and animal foods.

Magnesium is an alkaline earth metal with the atomic number of 12 and is represented in the periodic table as Mg.

It is one of the most common elements on the planet, and it is required for the human body to execute over 300 chemical functions properly. [1]

Magnesium is a vital electrolyte that maintains proper neuron and muscle function, including involuntary muscles like the heart. It may help in the reduction of blood pressure.

The mineral is also required for bone growth and strength, a steady heart rhythm, normal blood pressure, and the proper functioning of the nervous and digestive systems.

Where Does It Come From?

Magnesium is a mineral that is found in supernovas and is transmitted to the earth after they explode. For the most part, this vital mineral can be found in the magnesium rich foods and beverages we consume.

To ensure that you obtain enough magnesium in your diet, many nutritional experts recommend eating high-fiber foods. The mineral can be present in hard water, some tobacco products, and even chocolate, in addition to high-fiber diets.

The typical amount of magnesium in your body is thought to be 25 grams, and it is not uncommon for adults to find that they are not getting enough magnesium in their diets.

Food Rich in Magnesium

Not everyone will need a supplement, and it may be best to start by increasing your magnesium intake through your food. Foods high in magnesium, after all, provide additional nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Magnesium-Rich Foods include

  • Almonds
  • Avocados
  • Bran cereal
  • Cashews
  • Cereal
  • Dark chocolate
  • Edamame
  • Kidney beans
  • Oatmeal
  • Peanuts and peanut butter
  • Pumpkin
  • Soy milk
  • Spinach

Health Benefits of Magnesium?

Magnesium may have several health benefits, but it’s essential to remember that the mineral is still being researched.

health benefits of magnesium

Health Benefits of Magnesium

1. It has the potential to strengthen bones and protect them from osteoporosis.

In both men and women, several studies have found a link between bone mineral density and magnesium intake. This is due to magnesium’s participation in bone production as a result of its influence on bone turnover and its role in vitamin D potentiation. [2]

Magnesium supplementation may also help keep our muscles strong and healthy, which is a key technique for minimizing falls and fractures in the elderly. [3]

2. May aid in the treatment of depression and anxiety.

Magnesium has been found to improve mood, with benefits obtained with or without antidepressant drugs. [4]

3. Has the potential to reduce blood pressure

Magnesium may help people with hypertension control their blood pressure. Magnesium supplementation has also been linked to a reduction in the risk of stroke. [5]

4. May help with headaches and migraines.

Magnesium deficiency appears to play a role in migraine and headache development. However, there is currently limited data to support the use of supplements to prevent or lessen symptoms. [6]

5. May improve sleep

Our sleep patterns change as we get older. According to a study on the effects of magnesium on a group of 60-80 years, the mineral may help reverse these changes. [7]

Magnesium may also be a good sleep aid for the rest of us since it helps soothe the nervous system, resulting in a peaceful and relaxed state of mind. [8]

6. May ease premenstrual syndrome (PMS)

The pressures of cyclical worry, stress, bloating, and mood swings, as well as menstrual migraine, have a substantial influence on the quality of life for many women of reproductive age. Magnesium, alone or in conjunction with vitamin B6, has been shown in various studies to help ease some of these symptoms. [9]

7. Cardiovascular health

Magnesium is required by the body to keep muscles, especially the heart, healthy. Magnesium has been discovered to play a vital function in heart health.

Other Magnesium Benefits

Magnesium is also showing promise in the treatment of high blood pressure in pregnant women and in lowering the risk of eclampsia. Magnesium should only be used for any health problem during pregnancy under the supervision of a health care provider.

It is also thought to help alleviate some of the symptoms of cerebral palsy and improve hearing loss and strengthen weak bones.

There are various health conditions that the mineral may help to treat and relieve, but it should only be used with your doctor’s approval.

Magnesium Deficiency

While many people do not get enough magnesium, symptoms of deficiency are uncommon in healthy persons. Hypomagnesemia is the medical term for magnesium deficiency.
Excessive alcohol use, a side effect of certain drugs, and certain health disorders, such as gastrointestinal disorders and diabetes, can cause magnesium deficiency. In older persons, deficiency is more common.

Magnesium deficiency causes the following symptoms:

  • a loss of appetite
  • fatigue or weakness
  • nausea or vomiting

Muscle cramps, seizures, tingling, personality changes, numbness, spasms, and heart rhythm changes are signs of advanced magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium deficiency has been linked to several health issues, including type 2 diabetes, migraine, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular disease.

Side Effects of Magnesium

Magnesium is almost always safe to take orally by adults, with the most common side effects being nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. [10]

In most situations, these magnesium side effects will only last a short time, but if the symptoms persist, a health care provider should be consulted.

Women who are pregnant or nursing should also consult with a health care professional.

The health condition determines the recommended dose and time for the mineral intake. In most cases, a treatment consisting of 3 grams of magnesium every six hours for a total of four doses is sufficient to alleviate any mineral deficiency.

It’s also crucial not to exceed the recommended dosage and to follow any healthcare professional’s advice. [11]

The Recommended Dose for Women

  • 360 mg/day for ages 14 – 18
  • 310 mg/day for ages 19 – 30
  • 320 mg/day for ages 31 and older

The Recommended Dose for Men

  • 410 mg/day for ages 14 – 18
  • 400 mg/day for ages 19 – 30
  • 420 mg/day for ages 31 and older

The Recommended Dose for Infants

  • 30 mg/day for up to 6 months old
  • 75 mg/day for 6 – 12 months

The Recommended Dose for Children

  • 80 mg/day for ages 1 – 3
  • 130 mg/day for ages 4 – 8
  • 240 mg/day for ages 9 – 13

Use of Magnesium in Supplements

This mineral is commonly used in supplements and injections, although it can also be found in ingredients with other compounds.

Magnesium and malic acid are thought to help with fibromyalgia pain relief, and when the mineral is mixed as chloride and an oxide, it can lower excessive cholesterol levels.

Many women also take magnesium and calcium supplements to help rebuild their bones, which have become brittle due to osteoporosis.

Magnesium Interactions

If you’re taking antibiotics, you shouldn’t take the natural mineral supplement, and you shouldn’t take it as a treatment for high blood pressure.

Magnesium should also be avoided if you’re doing muscular relaxation therapy.
A health care provider should be consulted to ensure that taking magnesium is safe for you. This will help you avoid any potentially dangerous interactions.

Magnesium FAQ’s

Q: Why is Magnesium Important?

A: Magnesium is required for a variety of bodily functions, including muscle and neuron function and energy production.

Q: Do I Need a Magnesium Supplement?

A: You may not require a supplement and can improve your intake by making dietary changes.
If you’re experiencing symptoms that could indicate a magnesium deficiency, such as regular headaches, muscle cramps at night or during activity, lethargy, or constipation, a magnesium supplement could help. Consult a healthcare expert to determine what is best for you.

Q: Why Do I Need Magnesium?

A: This mineral is found in enzymes, which are responsible for over 300 processes in the body. It supports the immune system by regulating blood pressure, calcium, blood glucose levels, and nerve conduction and muscle contraction. It’s also a crucial component of your teeth and bones.

Q: What Are the Symptoms of Low Magnesium?

A: In the absence of certain medical conditions, hypomagnesemia (low magnesium in the blood) is highly unusual. Reduced appetite, vomiting, exhaustion, nausea, and weakness are some of the mild symptoms. [12]

Q: How Do I Get Magnesium Supplements?

A: Magnesium supplements can be purchased online, but it’s ideal to get any vitamin or mineral through food because nutrients work better when combined with others.
To achieve daily magnesium requirements, it is better to focus on a healthy, balanced diet and supplement when needed, but only under medical supervision.

Final Verdict

The mineral is necessary for bone growth and strength and the efficient functioning of the nervous and digestive systems.

Adults frequently experience magnesium deficits due to the huge quantity of magnesium stored in the body. Even consuming high-fiber foods isn’t always enough to keep magnesium levels in check.

Magnesium supplements are generally considered safe and can aid in the treatment and prevention of several ailments. Although this mineral is required for optimal bodily function, it should not be taken without the advice of a health care practitioner.

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11 Sources

We review published medical research in respected scientific journals to arrive at our conclusions about a product or health topic. This ensures the highest standard of scientific accuracy.

[1] Schwalfenberg GK, Genuis SJ. The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare. Scientifica (Cairo). 2017;2017:4179326. doi: 10.1155/2017/4179326. Epub 2017 Sep 28. PMID: 29093983; PMCID: PMC5637834.
[2] Tucker KL. Osteoporosis prevention and nutrition. Curr Osteoporos Rep. 2009 Dec;7(4):111-7. doi: 10.1007/s11914-009-0020-5. PMID: 19968914.
[3] Welch, A.A.; Skinner, J.; Hickson, M. Dietary Magnesium May Be Protective for Aging of Bone and Skeletal Muscle in Middle and Younger Older Age Men and Women: Cross-Sectional Findings from the UK Biobank Cohort. Nutrients 2017, 9, 1189.
[4] Serefko A, Szopa A, Poleszak E. Magnesium and depression. Magnes Res. 2016 Mar 1;29(3):112-119. doi: 10.1684/mrh.2016.0407. PMID: 27910808.
[5] Guerrero-Romero F, Rodríguez-Morán M. The effect of lowering blood pressure by magnesium supplementation in diabetic hypertensive adults with low serum magnesium levels: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial. J Hum Hypertens. 2009 Apr;23(4):245-51. doi: 10.1038/jhh.2008.129. Epub 2008 Nov 20. PMID: 19020533.
[6] Sun-Edelstein C, Mauskop A. Role of magnesium in the pathogenesis and treatment of migraine. Expert Rev Neurother. 2009 Mar;9(3):369-79. doi: 10.1586/14737175.9.3.369. PMID: 19271946.
[7] Held K, Antonijevic IA, Künzel H, Uhr M, Wetter TC, Golly IC, 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. doi: 10.1055/s-2002-33195. PMID: 12163983.
[8] Wienecke E, Nolden C. Langzeit-HRV-Analyse zeigt Stressreduktion durch Magnesiumzufuhr [Long-term HRV analysis shows stress reduction by magnesium intake]. MMW Fortschr Med. 2016 Dec;158(Suppl 6):12-16. German. doi: 10.1007/s15006-016-9054-7. Epub 2016 Dec 8. PMID: 27933574.
[9] Parazzini F, Di Martino M, Pellegrino P. Magnesium in the gynecological practice: a literature review. Magnes Res. 2017 Feb 1;30(1):1-7. English. doi: 10.1684/mrh.2017.0419. PMID: 28392498.
[10] Magnesium in diet:
[11] Magnesium and your health:
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Evan Jensen, CPT

Evan Jensen is a renowned American Nutritionist, Diet Expert and health writer. He specializes in writing about health, fitness, nutrit