Curious about the benefits of magnesium in your daily life? Then read on quickly! Magnesium is a mineral that is important for the proper functioning of your body. Your body can't make it on its own, so you have to get it from your diet.
To get enough of this essential nutrient, it is recommended that men and women consume 400–420 mg and 320–360 mg per day, respectively, depending on age. You can achieve this by eating magnesium-rich foods or by taking magnesium supplements.
This article takes a look at the benefits and recommended dosages of magnesium supplements.
What is magnesium?
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body. As a result, your body cannot function properly if there is a lack of magnesium. This nutrient is essential for hundreds of metabolic processes and many other important bodily functions – from producing energy to building important proteins, such as your DNA.
Foods that are naturally high in magnesium include legumes, nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables. Smaller amounts of magnesium are found in meat and fish. These foods can also be classified as high-protein foods, which have other health benefits. A real win-win situation!
However, despite the importance of this mineral, studies show that nearly 50% of people in Western countries in Europe and the United States are not getting enough of this essential nutrient. Therefore, when additional supplementation takes place, the benefits of magnesium are noticeable to many people.
In addition, low magnesium levels can be related to a number of health problems, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer's.
The 4 benefits of magnesium for your health
Consuming enough magnesium is therefore important for your body to function optimally.
While it is possible to get adequate amounts of this mineral from your diet, taking a dietary supplement can be helpful if you struggle to meet your daily requirement through food. In addition, magnesium supplements facilitate the necessary dosage if you are deficient.
Taking a magnesium supplement to prevent or combat a magnesium deficiency has been linked to health benefits. For example, these benefits of magnesium include a lower risk of conditions, such as heart disease. It also benefits your blood pressure, mood, and blood sugar.
1. This mineral can lower blood pressure – one of the benefits of magnesium
One of the other benefits of magnesium is that it can help lower blood pressure.
Studies show that people with high blood pressure can experience improvements when they supplement this mineral.
In fact, an analysis of 22 studies found that supplementation with an average of 410 mg of magnesium per day was associated with a 3-4 mm Hg decrease in systolic blood pressure (the top number) and a 2-3 mm Hg decrease in diastolic blood pressure (the bottom number).
Similarly, a recent review of 34 studies concluded that taking about 350 mg of magnesium per day for an average of 3 months significantly reduced systolic blood pressure by 2.00 mm Hg and diastolic blood pressure by 1.78 mm Hg.
2. Magnesium Can Improve Your Mood
According to some studies, there is a clear relationship between low magnesium levels and addiction.
According to scientists, too low a magnesium level can also result in depression.
This has led researchers to wonder if supplementing with this mineral could help treat these conditions.
A 12-week controlled study in older adults with type 2 diabetes, magnesium deficiency and depression showed that 450 mg of magnesium per day was as effective as a 50 mg dose of the antidepressant “Imipramine” in improving depressive symptoms.
Another 6-week study in 126 people with mild or moderate depression found that those who took 248 mg per day of the mineral reported significant improvement in depression scores in addition to their regular treatment.
3. This Mineral May Benefit Blood Sugar Control
Magnesium plays a crucial role in the metabolism of insulin and glucose. Many people with type 2 diabetes – a condition that affects blood sugar levels – are deficient in this nutrient.
In part, this is because both high blood sugar and high insulin can result in high levels of loss of this nutrient through your urine.
It is suggested that taking magnesium supplements may improve insulin resistance (a metabolic problem where your cells don't respond to insulin). Insulin is an important hormone that helps regulate your blood sugar. Thus, improving insulin resistance may promote better blood sugar control — especially in people with diabetes.
In a 3-month study, people with type 2 diabetes who took 300 mg of magnesium per day experienced significant reductions in fasting and post-meal blood sugar compared to the placebo group.
But the benefits of magnesium go further. In addition, research shows that taking magnesium supplements for longer than 4 months has a beneficial effect on insulin sensitivity.
Although more research is needed, magnesium supplements appear to be effective in helping to regulate blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
4. The mineral magnesium may reduce the risk of heart disease
Low magnesium levels are also associated with an increased risk of heart disease. This may be because low levels of this mineral negatively affect risk factors for heart disease, such as blood sugar and blood pressure.
An analysis of 28 studies concluded that magnesium supplements positively influenced some risk factors for heart disease in people with type 2 diabetes by lowering blood pressure, fasting blood sugar, and cholesterol levels.
This means that taking magnesium supplements can help reduce risk factors for heart disease — especially in people who are magnesium deficient.
While these results are promising, more studies in this area are needed. However, this concludes the list of magnesium benefits. But how much magnesium should you use daily? Read on quickly.
Magnesium Benefits: How Much Should You Use?
A magnesium-rich diet includes healthy, whole foods. You can think of whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes.
While it is possible to get the daily recommended amount of the mineral – 400-420 mg for men and 320-360 mg for women – through diet alone, most modern diets are low in magnesium-rich foods.
If you're not getting enough magnesium through your diet, you may want to take a supplement. The recommended doses of magnesium supplements are 200-400 mg per day. This partly depends on the brand. This means that a supplement can give you 100% or more of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
If you have a magnesium deficiency, you may need a higher dose to fully experience the benefits of magnesium. However, consult your doctor before taking a high dose of magnesium that exceeds the recommended daily allowance. It is important to be able to enjoy the benefits of magnesium in a safe way.
Which type of magnesium should I choose?
Magnesium supplements come in many different types, some of which your body can absorb better than others.
Types of this mineral that are better absorbed are as follows:
- Magnesium Citrate
- Magnesium lactate
- Magnesium Aspartate
- magnesium chloride
- Magnesium Malate
- Magnesium Taurate
The varieties described above ensure that you can experience the benefits of magnesium as best as possible.
However, other factors – such as your genes and whether you have a magnesium deficiency – can also influence absorption. While many studies show that certain types of magnesium supplements are more absorbable than others, some studies find no difference between the different formulations.
The content of this article is based on scientific publications and was written in collaboration with medical specialists/nutritionists.