February 19, 2024 2 min read

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential dietary nutrient that is one of the most abundant minerals found within the body. Magnesium is needed to create energy (ATP), DNA and protein synthesis, glucose metabolism, nerve conduction, cardiovascular function, and bone health.

Where is Magnesium found?
Magnesium is found in several different foods. Some main dietary sources include nuts and seeds, dark leafy greens, whole grains, and meat such as chicken, beef, and salmon.

Why is Magnesium consumption important?
More than half of adults may not meet the recommended daily magnesium intake, likely because Western diets tend to be very low in magnesium-rich foods and high in processed foods and refined grains, which are magnesium-poor. As such, magnesium deficiency — which elevates the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis — is a major public health concern, especially for older adults.

Benefits of Magnesium
Magnesium has been shown to reduce blood glucose and improve insulin sensitivity. Magnesium has been shown to lower blood pressure in populations who are deficient in magnesium and have high blood pressure. Magnesium has been shown to improve overall sleep quality.

Different forms of Magnesium
  1. Magnesium Citrate - is often used as a laxative.
  2. Magnesium Oxide - can be used for digestive symptoms but is not very bioavailable.
  3. Magnesium Chloride - is often used in topical form for soothing sore muscles, little evidence to support increased magnesium levels.
  4. Magnesium Lactate - is often used as a food additive, some research has reported fewer digestive side effects and the potential for helping treat stress and anxiety.
  5. Magnesium Malate - naturally occurs in fruit and wine, some evidence to support treating fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms.
  6. Magnesium Taurate - researchers suggest that it may aid in supporting both healthy blood pressure, and sugar, but more research is needed for humans.
  7. *Magnesium Threonate - research notes it may be the most effective form of magnesium to improve magnesium levels in the brain. It also shows the potential for helping treat, depression, Alzhemier's, and age-related memory loss.
  8. *Magnesium Sulfate - often known as “Epsom salt”, is frequently dissolved in water to treat stress and sore muscles, but more research is needed.
  9. *Magnesium Glycinate - animal studies suggest that glycine on its own can help improve sleep. Magnesium glycinate is bioavailable and may have calming properties. Thus, may health with mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and other stressors.

Authors note:
My personal favorites, which I use regularly are noted with a *

 

References

  1. ^Office of Dietary Supplements - Magnesium
  2. ^Jeroen H F de Baaij, Joost G J Hoenderop, René J M Bindels Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease Physiol Rev.(2015 Jan)
  3. ^James J DiNicolantonio, James H O'Keefe, William Wilson Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis Open Heart.(2018 Jan 13)