Magnesium is, without doubt, one of the most critical minerals (along with potassium) in the human body and deficiencies are associated with a wide array of health conditions including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, hypertension and atherosclerosis. There are many different forms of this essential mineral and some types are more effective than others when addressing certain conditions.
- Increased Energy Levels
Magnesium is responsible for over 300 cellular functions in the body. The form I generally recommend to further improve energy levels is magnesium malate as both components are required co-factors in the production of ATP – the cells energy currency. Magnesium malate is a form of magnesium where the mineral is bound to malic acid which is found naturally in fruits especially apples and pears. The malate component aids the transportation of nutrients in and out of the cell.
My fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome clients often report a marked decrease in symptoms of pain and increased energy levels at doses in excess of 500mg daily.
- Calms Nerves
Magnesium acts as a natural sedative or relaxation mineral. If you feel anxious and stressed out, simply by taking magnesium you will help balance the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems and helping to improve tolerance to stressors. Magnesium Taurate is my preferred choice as it supports the nervous system by optimising levels of the calming neurotransmitter GABA.
- Improves Sleep and insomnia
If you have difficulty staying or falling asleep, I always recommend clients try magnesium first before resorting to medications which can often be addictive and become less effective over time. Magnesium L-Threonate has been proven in research to improve sleep quality and is the form I recommend for insomnia. This form also promotes age-related memory health and memory recall – added benefits for my more mature clients.
- Helps Ease Constipation.
Magnesium preferably in citrate form at a dose of 500mg twice daily helps relax the smooth muscles that line the bowels as well as having the osmotic effect of pulling water into the intestines. This dual-action helps to soften the stool which makes it easier to eliminate.
- Relieves Muscle Cramping
Twitches, tremors and muscle cramps can be signs of magnesium deficiency. These symptoms are thought to be caused by an influx of calcium into nerves cells which cause them to be overstimulated. Under these circumstances magnesium acts to regulate other minerals and as such can help alleviate symptoms. I would choose magnesium in glycinate form and consider the addition of some potassium or potassium-rich foods.
- Supports the Heart
Due to the fact that magnesium relaxes smooth muscles, this mineral can be helpful in lowering blood pressure as the muscles surrounding the blood vessels relax and dilate reducing systemic pressure. Elevated levels of magnesium may also protect from irregular heartbeats and arrhythmias. For these symptoms, I recommend Magnesium Taurate. The taurate can be converted into taurine, which is an amino acid. Taurine helps the heart pump blood throughout the body, improves blood flow to the heart and protects the heart from damage due to poor blood flow. As a result, these two compounds, taken in combination as Magnesium Taurate, could interact to protect against cardiovascular disease.
Although I am referring to certain forms of supplemental magnesium, we can all most-likely benefit from many of these positive effects by increasing the amount of magnesium-rich foods in the diet such as;
Green leafy vegetables (e.g. spinach and kale)
Fruit (figs, avocado, banana and raspberries)
Nuts and seeds.
Legumes (black beans, chickpeas and kidney beans)
Vegetables (peas, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, artichokes, asparagus, brussels sprouts)
Seafood (salmon, mackerel, tuna)