In this article I will elaborate on the many wonderful health benefits of magnesium.
You will also learn about the problems associated with magnesium deficiency and how magnesium supplementation can help you fix your hormonal health.
CAUTION: Medical Disclaimer
Table of Contents
My experience with Magnesium
Magnesium is an amazing mineral. If you can get only 1 supplement this should be it. It can help with insulin and leptin sensitivity, improve testosterone and DHEA levels, aid with relaxation, sleep and stress. It is also a muscle relaxant, can optimize muscle gain and promote fat loss.
Magnesium can be found in food sources that are usually high in fiber such as:
- Legumes and whole grains,
- Veggies like broccoli and dark leafy greens,
- Seeds and nuts (especially almonds),
- Dairy products,
- Chocolate and coffee.
Hard water also contains magnesium, as it is high in minerals. However hard water also contains other metals that you should not be exposing yourself to like lead and arsenic.
While we can take magnesium from a lot of food sources, there are a lot of people who are deficient in this mineral, which makes magnesium supplementation an absolute must for optimal hormonal health and a better quality of life.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential mineral and electrolyte (the second most important electrolyte) found in all organs in the body. It helps the body by making healthy bones and teeth and is required for optimal function of inner organs and muscles. It is also responsible for enzyme and energy production, regulates calcium levels and also adjusts mineral levels and hormones in the body.
Stress, sugars, salt, alcohol and coffee can deplete magnesium levels in the body. The same can be said about certain diseases such as diabetes, pancreatitis, gastrointestinal diseases (IBS, colitis etc.) and also diuretics and certain drugs.
Magnesium deficiencies can cause:
- Hormonal problems,
- Muscle loss and weakness,
- Low energy levels,
- Sleep and thyroid problems,
- Insulin resistance,
- Fat gain,
- Low testosterone.
Magnesium has an endless list of benefits, the most important of which are:
- Protecting neural functions when neurons are not firing and therefore can protect against excitotoxicity. (A condition where the neurons are fired without reason until they die)
- Improving sleep quality due to its mild sedative properties and muscle relaxing qualities.
- Improving insulin and leptin sensitivity as well as protecting against fat gain and diabetes.
- Improving mood and protecting against depression and stress. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to depressive behaviors and stress can diminish magnesium levels.
- Increasing testosterone levels and helping with healthy GH production.
- Improving muscle mass uptake and sports performance as a result of optimal hormone levels.
- Protecting against magnesium deficiency which can cause muscle problems
- (weakness and cramps), heart problems (irregular heartbeat and angina), digestive problems (IBS, colitis), hormonal problems (thyroid, low GH and low testosterone) and sleep problems (relaxation and insomnia).
- Protecting against high blood pressure (in people with hypotension) and high cholesterol levels (by raising HDL cholesterol levels).
When and how to take it
Magnesium comes in the following forms:
- Magnesium Glycinate (recommended),
- Magnesium Citrate (recommended),
- Magnesium Chelated (recommended),
- Transdermal Magnesium (recommended),
- Magnesium Aspartate (excitotoxic – avoid) ,
- Magnesium Oxide (low quality – avoid),
- Magnesium Chloride (low quality – avoid),
- Magnesium L-threonate(low quality – avoid).
Some are better than others, while there are a couple that are dangerous and should be avoided.
Magnesium Glycinate or Magnesium Citrate are highly recommended forms of magnesium. Chelated forms are equally good. For me personally, the citrate form works just fine while I know people that cannot handle it (digestive problems). If you are one of those people and cannot handle citrate forms, use glycinate or chelated Magnesium.
The best absorbed form however, is transdermal Magnesium which is absorbed through the skin and bypasses the GI tract (which means maximum absorption). It also has the added benefit of raising DHEA levels that none of the other delivery forms can provide.
You want to avoid Magnesium Aspartate as it is deemed as an excitotoxic. These forms of Aspartate simulate the action of brain chemicals that cause the neurons to fire off. By firing off too often, they are actually stimulated until death. Not only that, but this happens at a faster rate than normal and leads to Excitotoxicity (a condition where neuronal damage is caused by excessive excitatory signaling).
Make sure you also avoid Magnesium Oxide, Magnesium Chloride and Magnesium L-threonate as they have the poorest forms of delivery and can cause gastrointestinal problems.
Safety and side effects
Magnesium is considered to be LIKELY SAFE for most healthy adults when taken orally or via the skin in recommended doses. According to WebMD, doses under 350mg are completely safe.
Reported side effects of magnesium are rare and include:
- Stomach upset,
- Vomiting and diarrhea (usually caused by poor forms of magnesium)
According to WebMD, very large amounts of magnesium have been deemed as POSSIBLY UNSAFE since they can cause magnesium build up in the body, causing serious side effects such as:
- Irregular heartbeat,
- Low blood pressure,
- Slowed breathing,
Consult with your doctor before you take any dose over 350mg
Special Precautions & Warnings:
According to WebMD, Magnesium has been deemed as LIKELY SAFE for pregnant women or breastfeeding women when taken orally in recommended doses (these depend on age and weight). Check with your doctor if you are unsure. Also do not give this product to children without consulting your doctor first.
Contraindications or interactions with other medication/substances:
Consult with your doctor before using this supplement especially if you have any of the following conditions or take the following medication/substances:
- Unhealthy kidneys or kidney failure: Magnesium is cleared out the body through the kidneys. When the kidneys are not working properly, magnesium levels can build up to dangerous levels and cause health problems and even death. Do not take magnesium if you have unhealthy kidneys.
- Heart problems such as heart block: High doses of magnesium can make the heart work irregularly. Do not take magnesium if you have such problems.
- Calcium: Avoid taking magnesium with calcium as it can bind magnesium and reduce its absorption (and effectiveness) in the body.
- Antibiotics that contain Aminoglycoside: Because magnesium is inside the muscle cells and can influence these cells and their function, this combination can lead to muscle problems such as neuromuscular weakness and paralysis.
- Antibiotics that contain Quinolone and/or Tetracycline: Magnesium can decrease their effectiveness.
- Bisphosphonates. Magnesium can decrease the effectiveness of these medications.
- High blood pressure medication: Magnesium can lower blood pressure and taken along with these drugs can cause your blood pressure to drop too low.
- Muscle relaxants: Magnesium has a muscle relaxing effect and when taken along with muscle relaxants it can increase their effect.
- Diuretics. Magnesium can already put stress on kidneys. Diuretics also go through the kidneys so this means that the stress on them will multiply significantly. Also diuretics taken with magnesium can raise the levels of magnesium in the body to a dangerous level.
- Hormone Replacement Therapy: Women tend to lose a lot of magnesium during menopause so while magnesium supplementation might appear necessary, women on hormone replacement therapy should check with their doctor before starting any magnesium supplement.
- Any kind of hormone treatment: Magnesium can influence hormonal balance so if you are taking any kind of hormones make sure you check with your doctor before taking magnesium.
Do I need to cycle off?
Even though magnesium levels can be depleted easily under serious stress, you need to cycle it off especially if you are taking a high dose of magnesium (while not deficient).
Use it for up to 3 months, following by a month off.
For those who are seriously deficient in magnesium, you can use up to 6 months and then take 1 month off.
The best way to determine if you are deficient in magnesium and also to keep track of your magnesium levels (to avoid build up) is to get tested for magnesium.
Over the past 20 years I have experimented with literally hundreds of herbs, supplements (and other natural products) and was finally able to discover the right doses for amazing results.
If you wish to learn more about the dosages that I use with my clients for different purposes (better health, hormonal balance, stress management, testosterone boost and more) or how I combine this herb/supp with others, leave a comment below or reach out to me for a consultation through the “Hire me” link.
Also make sure you subscribe to my newsletter and receive the latest website updates and articles directly to your email!
Magnesium is an important mineral for your hormonal and overall health. Supplementation with this mineral is very inexpensive and wilI increase the quality of your life while minimizing the destructive effects of help so I definately recommend it.
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Also if you have any comments or questions, feel free to leave a comment and I will get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks!
by Nick Sigma
CWC, EH, E-YRT200
Magnesium Studies and sources:
- Furukawa Y, Kasai N, Torimitsu K Effect of Mg2+ on neural activity of rat cortical and hippocampal neurons in vitro . Magnes Res. (2009)
- Mark LP, et al Pictorial review of glutamate excitotoxicity: fundamental concepts for neuroimaging . AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. (2001)
- McMenimen KA, et al Probing the Mg2+ blockade site of an N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) receptor with unnatural amino acid mutagenesis. ACS Chem Biol. (2006)
- Arundine M, Tymianski M Molecular mechanisms of calcium-dependent neurodegeneration in excitotoxicity . Cell Calcium. (2003)
- Reynolds IJ Intracellular calcium and magnesium: critical determinants of excitotoxicity. Prog Brain Res. (1998)
- Sato-Mito N, et al The midpoint of sleep is associated with dietary intake and dietary behavior among young Japanese women . Sleep Med. (2011)
- Takase B, et al Effect of chronic stress and sleep deprivation on both flow-mediated dilation in the brachial artery and the intracellular magnesium level in humans . Clin Cardiol. (2004)
- Held K, et al Oral Mg(2+) supplementation reverses age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes in humans . Pharmacopsychiatry. (2002)
- Dietary Reference Intakes: Applications in Dietary Assessment
- Nielsen FH, Johnson LK, Zeng H Magnesium supplementation improves indicators of low magnesium status and inflammatory stress in adults older than 51 years with poor quality sleep . Magnes Res. (2010)
- Garland HO New experimental data on the relationship between diabetes mellitus and magnesium . Magnes Res. (1992)
- Tosiello L Hypomagnesemia and diabetes mellitus. A review of clinical implications . Arch Intern Med. (1996) Engelen W, et al Are low magnesium levels in type 1 diabetes associated with electromyographical signs of polyneuropathy . Magnes Res. (2000)
- De Leeuw I, et al Long term magnesium supplementation influences favourably the natural evolution of neuropathy in Mg-depleted type 1 diabetic patients (T1dm) . Magnes Res. (2004)
- Kishimoto Y, et al Effects of magnesium on postprandial serum lipid responses in healthy human subjects . Br J Nutr. (2010)
- Eby GA 3rd, Eby KL Magnesium for treatment-resistant depression: a review and hypothesis . Med Hypotheses. (2010)
- Barragán-Rodríguez L, Rodríguez-Morán M, Guerrero-Romero F Efficacy and safety of oral magnesium supplementation in the treatment of depression in the elderly with type 2 diabetes: a randomized, equivalent trial . Magnes Res. (2008)
- Poleszak E, et al Immobility stress induces depression-like behavior in the forced swim test in mice: effect of magnesium and imipramine . Pharmacol Rep. (2006)
- Poleszak E, et al NMDA/glutamate mechanism of antidepressant-like action of magnesium in forced swim test in mice. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. (2007)
- Poleszak E, et al Antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like activity of magnesium in mice . Pharmacol Biochem Behav. (2004)
- Poleszak E, et al Effects of acute and chronic treatment with magnesium in the forced swim test in rats . Pharmacol Rep. (2005)
- Cinar V, et al Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion . Biol Trace Elem Res. (2011)
- Brilla LR, Haley TF Effect of magnesium supplementation on strength training in humans . J Am Coll Nutr. (1992)
- Golf SW, Bender S, Grüttner J On the significance of magnesium in extreme physical stress . Cardiovasc Drugs Ther. (1998)
- Finstad EW, et al The effects of magnesium supplementation on exercise performance . Med Sci Sports Exerc. (2001)
- Triger DR, Joekes AM Severe muscle cramp due to acute hypomagnesaemia in haemodialysis . Br Med J. (1969) Bilbey DL, Prabhakaran VM Muscle cramps and magnesium deficiency: case reports . Can Fam Physician. (1996)
- de Valk HW, et al Oral magnesium supplementation in insulin-requiring Type 2 diabetic patients. Diabet Med. (1998) Guerrero-Romero F, Rodríguez-Morán M Magnesium improves the beta-cell function to compensate variation of insulin sensitivity: double-blind, randomized clinical trial . Eur J Clin Invest. (2011)
- Sacks FM, et al Effect on blood pressure of potassium, calcium, and magnesium in women with low habitual intake . Hypertension. (1998)
- Guerrero-Romero F, Rodríguez-Morán M The effect of lowering blood pressure by magnesium supplementation in diabetic hypertensive adults with low serum magnesium levels: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial . J Hum Hypertens. (2009)
- Rodríguez-Morán M, Guerrero-Romero F Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized double-blind controlled trial . Diabetes Care. (2003)
- Guerrero-Romero F, et al Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity in non-diabetic subjects with insulin resistance. A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial . Diabetes Metab. (2004)
- De Leeuw I, et al Effect of intensive magnesium supplementation on the in vitro oxidizability of LDL and VLDL in Mg-depleted type 1 diabetic patients . Magnes Res. (1998)
- Mike Mahler’s hormone optimization course.
- Book: “The Magnesium Miracle” by Dr Dean -Paperback – December 26, 2006.