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Magnesium Supplements: Health Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms, Types of Magnesium, and More

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    I have seen whole food magnesium supplement help more people in my twenty years as a physician than any other dietary supplement. Often, the results of magnesium supplementation appear quickly, improving the quality of life of many who take it.

    Common ailments that magnesium can help with include:

    • Muscle spasms and leg cramps
    • Facial cramps and teeth grinding
    • Heart palpitations and heart disease
    • Anxiety and depression
    • High blood pressure
    • Migraine and tension headaches
    • Smooth muscles make up the bladder, which has an overactive bladder and spasms.
    • constipation
    • Poor glucose control

    Why does the body need magnesium?

    The body uses magnesium for over 350 chemical reactions. On average, 25 g (about 6 teaspoons) of magnesium is distributed in the human body. One percent of this magnesium is found in the blood and red blood cells, and 99 percent is found in the bones and muscles, where it is most needed.

    Whole food magnesium supplement is required for the production of DNA and RNA, as well as the synthesis of minerals for protein. Without magnesium, our muscles would not be able to contract and relax, including the heart muscle, which performs 100,000 heartbeats daily. Blood vessels and nerves also need magnesium to improve cell-to-cell communication.

    A low magnesium level in the blood indicates that the body lacks magnesium. The amount of magnesium consumed by up to 75% of people in the world is insufficient for optimal body function.

    The whole food magnesium supplement content of green leafy vegetables is important to consume in adequate quantities. Often the diet cannot provide the right amount of this mineral and supplementation is required. 

    Can medications lower magnesium levels?

    Certain drugs increase the risk of magnesium deficiency, including acid-reducing drugs (omeprazole, pantoprazole, ranitidine, famotidine, etc.) and diuretics (furosemide, triamterene, hydrochlorothiazide, chlorthalidone). More than one hundred million people around the world take acid-reducing drugs and more than two hundred million take diuretics because they are affordable and effective for treating high blood pressure. Most people taking these drugs are deficient in magnesium on a daily basis.

    Common Causes of Magnesium Deficiency

    • Insufficient dietary intake of magnesium (diet low in leafy vegetables)
    • Bariatric surgeries (gastric bypass, sleeve gastroplasty, etc.)
    • Malabsorption syndrome
    • Intestinal diseases
    • Chronic stress (when we are stressed, the body burns magnesium reserves)
    • High consumption of processed foods and sugars

    Whole Food Magnesium Supplement Sources

    • Seeds from pumpkins
    • Seeds of almonds
    • Vegetables with green leaves (spinach, kale, etc.)
    • Cashew nuts
    • edamame
    • Hyacinth beans
    • Dark chocolate
    • Peanut butter
    • Avocado
    • Soy milk

    What are some common symptoms of magnesium deficiency?

    1. Leg cramps and muscle spasms

    Muscle cramps, especially in the legs, are one of the most common reasons I recommend magnesium supplements. Patients who come to me with this type of spasm usually take medications such as diuretics and deacidifiers that deplete the body’s magnesium stores.

    Several scientific studies have confirmed what I have personally noticed in my clinical practice. A 2021 double-blind, randomized trial demonstrated the benefit of magnesium supplementation in patients with leg cramps, while results from a 2002 study suggested that magnesium may help prevent them. However, a newer study in pregnant women suffering from leg cramps in 2008 found no reduction in cramp episodes with magnesium supplementation. However, no negative side effects were noted in the study.

    I have been recommending magnesium for leg cramps for almost 20 years, and in most patients, this treatment has shown a positive effect. Sometimes low potassium levels and chronic dehydration can also lead to leg cramps, so if magnesium doesn’t work, consider other options and discuss them with your doctor.

    2. Facial cramps and teeth grinding

    Over the years, I have noticed that those who develop eyelid twitching and cheek muscle spasms usually also have low magnesium levels. Although I have not been able to find any scientific papers on this subject, the results of my patients have been encouraging. One 1990 paper documented that doctors saw positive results when patients with nighttime teeth grinding, a condition called bruxism, received magnesium replacement. And this is understandable, since stress and tension are also common causes of bruxism.

    3. Rapid heart rate and heart disease

    Although there are many causes of heart palpitations, such as heart disease, people who are chronically deficient in magnesium will experience this phenomenon more often than others. In any case, if you have heart palpitations, you should check with your doctor to make sure nothing serious is happening.

    A 2019 study found that patients with atrial fibrillation (a type of irregular heart rhythm that increases the risk of stroke) who were given intravenous magnesium had better treatment outcomes than those who did not receive magnesium. The researchers concluded that magnesium showed a synergistic effect when combined with the patients’ conventional heart medications.

    A 2005 study also found that magnesium is helpful in controlling heart rate and rhythm in people with atrial fibrillation and mitral valve prolapse (MVP), as well as a leaky heart valve, a condition that is accompanied by symptoms such as dizziness, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, and fatigue. . According to a 1986 study, patients with MVP had positive results with magnesium supplementation. Another 2005 study also showed that magnesium could be helpful for people with MVP.

    4. Anxiety and depression

    According to a 2016 study, magnesium had a positive effect on patients taking antidepressants when they added it to their usual regimen. Perhaps the mechanism of this effect lies in the positive effect of magnesium on the intestinal microbiome. The authors of a 2015 study suggested that a magnesium-poor diet negatively impacts gut-brain interactions.

    The 2015 study also looked at the link between low magnesium levels and anxiety. This connection probably explains why panic attack sufferers also often have palpitations and muscle spasms.

    In addition to regular physical activity, optimizing your diet is important to improve mental and physical health, and magnesium supplements should be considered.

    5. High blood pressure

    As we age, high blood pressure becomes common, and there are many reasons why a person can develop hypertension. Low magnesium levels are common in people with high blood pressure, and regular intake of magnesium-rich foods, as well as magnesium supplements, may be beneficial.

    The results of a 2016 meta-analysis showed “…a causal relationship between magnesium supplementation and blood pressure (BP) reduction in adults.” Similarly, the 2021 study concluded that “average dietary magnesium intakes are below recommended levels, and magnesium supplementation to prevent and treat hypertension may be warranted.”

    Those taking medication for high blood pressure should not stop taking it unless directed to do so by a doctor. Many of my patients have added magnesium to their regular treatment program and have better blood pressure control as a result.

    6. Migraine

    Migraine often presents as a severe, throbbing headache that can cause nausea and photophobia and affects one billion people worldwide. Some studies show that one in seven people will experience a migraine at some point in their lives—almost one in five women and one in fifteen men. In the United States, migraine treatment costs the healthcare system $78 billion a year.

    I have been recommending magnesium to migraine patients for over a decade. In my experience, magnesium is effective in preventing migraines in four out of five patients. Scientific studies confirm my observations.

    The authors of a 2017 study published in The Journal of Head and Face Pain concluded that magnesium may prevent migraines. Other studies show similar results, including evidence that women suffering from menstrual migraines can also benefit from magnesium supplements. The reason for magnesium’s effectiveness in migraine may be due to its ability to improve mitochondrial function and energy production.

    7. Spasms of the bladder

    Magnesium is effective for many patients with bladder spasms or overactive bladders. In particular, I had one patient who reported that magnesium worked better than prescription drugs – as a result, we stopped taking the medication.

    The bladder is made up of smooth muscle. When muscles are deficient in magnesium, they contract, causing the urge to urinate more frequently. A 2020 study found that patients who received magnesium were half as likely to experience spasms after having their bladder tumor removed compared to those who did not supplement with the mineral.

    Magnesium dosage recommendations

    The main types of  magnesium  supplements are

    magnesium chelate

    This form of magnesium is better absorbed, as it is usually associated with easily digestible metabolites. Magnesium chelates include magnesium citrate, magnesium L-threonate, magnesium bisglycinate, magnesium taurate, magnesium malate, magnesium fumarate and others.

    For most people, a dose of 100 to 500 mg is fine. If too much is taken, a laxative effect may occur. Magnesium can be consumed in powder, capsule or tablet form. I regularly add a scoop of magnesium citrate powder to a refillable water bottle.

    magnesium oxide

    Magnesium oxide is also a good option and is generally less precious than magnesium chelate. still, this species is slightly lower absorbed by the body.

    As a result, it may have a more pronounced laxative effect if taken in quantities in excess of the” recommended cure” listed on the marker. Most frequently, magnesium oxide is available in a lozenge of 250, 400 or 500 mg.

    Author: Croaker Eric Madrid

    This article was written by croaker Eric Madrid, a member of the American Board of Integrative and Holistic drug and is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine and the American Board of Integrative and Holistic drug. He’s the author of the book Vitamin D Prescribing, The Healing Energy of the Sun. Eric Madrid graduated from medical academy at Ohio State University. He’s a mate at Rancho Family Medical Group and has an appointment in Menifee, California.

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