7 Surprising Benefits of Taking Magnesium Every Day
You might not realize how important this mineral is to your overall health.
It's important to introduce vitamins and minerals into your daily routine if you happen to be deficient. Magnesium is just one mineral you could be lacking, especially if your diet doesn't include many green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, or whole grains. However, you're certainly not alone if you have low magnesium levels, as research shows that almost half of the U.S. population doesn't get enough of this vital mineral. Your healthcare provider can help you decide if you need a magnesium supplement, as well as the right type—and if you do end up adding one, you might notice several improvements to your mental and physical health. Read on for seven surprising benefits of taking magnesium every day.
It can improve your sleep.
If you have a magnesium deficiency, you may notice difficulty getting quality shut-eye, Ana Reisdorf, MS, registered dietitian (RD) and founder of The Food Trends, tells Best Life. So, adding a supplement can also help improve your sleep.
Illustrating this, an April 2022 study published in Sleep found that people who had a higher magnesium intake were more likely to get the recommended amount of rest each night. The study explains that the mineral "may influence sleep duration via regulation of the circadian clock," as well as via "the production of melatonin, a key hormone involved in the regulation of the sleep-wake cycle."
It can reduce signs of anxiety and depression.
If you struggle with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, you might be surprised to learn that magnesium is beneficial in improving them, Reisdorf says.
A 2017 study published in PLoS One found that magnesium was an effective approach for treating mild-to-moderate depression in adults. In the study, researchers found that supplementation led to "a significant decrease in depression and anxiety symptoms regardless of age, gender, baseline severity of depression, or use of antidepressant medications."
It can reduce constipation.
Magnesium can also help improve mobility in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract, Yelena Wheeler, registered dietitian nutritionist and nutrition writer for the National Coalition on Health Care (NCHC), tells Best Life.
According to the University of Michigan, magnesium does this by helping to increase the amount of water in your intestines, which then assists with bowel movements.
It can maintain bone health.
Another magnesium benefit has to do with your bone health, as it's "essential to bone formation and enamel," Wheeler says.
According to American Bone Health, people with higher magnesium intake have a higher bone mineral density—an important factor in preventing fractures and osteoporosis.
To this point, a 2013 study published in the journal Nutrients found that "Magnesium deficiency contributes to osteoporosis directly by acting on crystal formation and on bone cells and indirectly by impacting on the secretion and the activity of parathyroid hormone and by promoting low-grade inflammation."
Likewise, a 2021 study published in Biometals concluded that "there was a benefit both in terms of bone mineral density and fracture risk" when taking magnesium supplements.
It can reduce migraines.
If you struggle with migraines, healthcare professionals say magnesium can be helpful there, too.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, evidence suggests that magnesium oxide is helpful in patients who have migraines with aura (sensory disturbances that sometimes act as a warning sign for an oncoming migraine). Per the foundation, magnesium may prevent brain signaling that produces these sensory changes.
It can reduce your risk of cardiovascular events.
With heart disease being the leading cause of death in the U.S., many of us are looking for ways to reduce our risk. Interestingly enough, experts say magnesium supplementation may help.
Per a Feb. 2018 study published in Nutrients, evidence suggests that higher magnesium intake is associated with lower chances of developing cardiovascular diseases, including heart disease and coronary heart disease. Some of the reasons they observed for this are improved glucose and insulin metabolism and antihypertensive and anti-inflammatory properties.
It can help you regulate your blood sugar—and lose weight.
According to Heather Sandison, a leading expert in Alzheimer's Disease and Related Dementia (ADRD) care, operator of ADRD treatment clinic Solcere, and founder of the Marama Experience facility, a particularly surprising benefit of magnesium is its positive effect on your blood sugar.
"Many people don't realize magnesium helps with blood sugar management and insulin production," Sandison tells Best Life.
Eva De Angelis, licensed dietitian nutritionist and health and nutrition writer at Healthcanal.com, says magnesium does this by improving insulin cell sensitivity.
"Insulin regulates blood glucose levels after eating, preventing excess glucose from being converted into fat," she explains. "Furthermore, because insulin is a fat-burning hormone, it allows you to burn more fat, resulting in weight loss."
De Angelis adds that, on the flip side, low magnesium levels are also linked to insulin resistance and weight gain. This can be particularly important for people with diabetes.
Consult your doctor before adding a supplement.
Before you add magnesium to your routine, speak to your doctor to see whether it's a good idea.
"Too much magnesium from supplements often leads to diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain, so if you have digestive issues, [it] is always best to talk with your healthcare provider before taking any magnesium supplements," De Angelis cautions. "Moreover, people with kidney problems need to be very careful as magnesium toxicity increases when we have lower renal function."
Wheeler adds that magnesium can also interact with other medications that you're on, so check with your provider about that as well.
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Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.
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