Magnesium: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Magnesium: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits


Magnesium is one of the six essential macro-minerals that comprise 99% of the body’s mineral content.

It is necessary to maintain a good health and especially good for brain functions.

However, even when you involve in a healthy diet, that does not mean you get enough magnesium.

Following are top 10 health benefits of magnesium which are proved by scientific-based evidences.

Nutrition Facts

Magnesium - Nutrition Facts

The human body contains approximately 20-28 grams of magnesium (1).

Over 50% of this amount is stored in the skeletal system while the rest in found in muscle, soft tissues and bodily fluids.

Magnesium plays a key role in over 300 enzymatic reactions within the body including the metabolism of food as well as synthesis of fatty acids anvd proteins (2).

It also plays a part in neuromuscular transmission and muscle relaxations.

Therefore, magnesium deficiency can lead to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome or heart disease.

However, facts have shown that nearly 50% of people in US consume less than the necessary daily amount of magnesium (3).

Bottom line: Magnesium is a vital mineral for our health.  Unfortunately, many people consume less than they need.

Health Benefits of Magnesium

Here are top 10 Benefits of Magnesium which you may not know.

1. PMS Symptoms

It has been speculated that one of mechanisms behind benefits of magnesium is its ability to fight PMS symptoms.

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is one of the most common issues which happen in women of child-bearing age (4).

This problem usually accompanies with fluid retention, exhaustion, irritability and abdominal cramps.

Several studies have supported that magnesium consumption can lead to reduction in these above symptoms (5, 6, 7, 8).

Bottom line: One of the biggest magnesium benefits is to improve PMS symptoms in women.

2. Insulin Resistance

The massive benefits of magnesium makes it good for insulin resistance regulation.

Undeniably, insulin resistance is one of the major causes for type 2 diabetes (9).

In general, insulin resistance may cause poor function of muscle and liver cells to take in sugar from the blood stream.

Moreover, high insulin level which is responsible for insulin resistance usually results in magnesium loss in the urine (10).
Interestingly, increase in magnesium consumption may help with insulin resistance (11, 12, 13).

More importantly, magnesium supplementation can not only lower insulin resistance but also blood sugar levels, even in people who have normal blood level (14).

Bottom line: Magnesium supplements show great improvement in the state of insulin resistance in people.

3. Migraines

Magnesium - Migraines

Among many benefits of magnesium, people usually mention its ability to help with migraines.

It is clear that migraine is so painful that it prevents people from working and studying effectively.

Commonly, migraines cause people annoyed because its symptoms include nausea, vomit, sensitivity to light and sound (15).

When investigating the reasons which are blamed for migraine, some scientists have found out that the lack of magnesium may be one (16).

In fact, several studies have suggested that magnesium consumption may contribute to the prevention as well as the treatment of migraines (16, 17, 18).

Another research even concluded that magnesium supplementation even relieved migraine quicker than a common medication did (19).

In addition, foods which are rich in magnesium are able to bring away migraine symptoms (20).

Bottom line: Because magnesium deficiency may lead to migraine, it is reasonable to use magnesium supplementation as a way to treat this problem.

4. Inflammation

When it comes to benefits of inflammation, many people refer to anti-inflammatory effect.

Inflammation may foster aging process, obesity as well as many chronic disease (21).

Among many factors which can cause inflammation, insufficient intake of magnesium may be the main one (22, 23).
Result of a  study has revealed that children who experienced the lowest level of blood magnesium suffered from the biggest threat of inflammation.

They also faced higher blood sugar level (24).

Magnesium intake can reduce symptoms of inflammation in many objectives including the old, overweight people (25, 26).

Bottom line: Magnesium can be beneficial for the treatment of inflammation.

5. High Blood Pressure

Magnesium - High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is one of the most common health problems in people.

This phenomenon can trigger higher risk of heart disease or mental problems.

In fact,  people carried out several studies to investigate the link between magnesium intake and high blood pressure.

Interestingly, they concluded that magnesium supplementation can reduce blood pressure well (27, 28, 29, 30).
However, another study has said that magnesium had no impacts on normal people (31).

6. Diabetes

Benefits of magnesium also contain its positive changes on diabetes condition.

Magnesium can be beneficial for type-2 diabetes.

48% of diabetic patients are found to have low magnesium level.

Also, a study has said that low magnesium level may develop into diabetes (32, 33, 34).

In another research, diabetic patients took high doses of magnesium daily and they gained positive  changes in blood sugar level (35).

However, the effectiveness of magnesium intake depends on its amount of consumption.

A different study has shown that magnesium supplementation did not improve the state of insulin level in people (36).

Bottom line: People may limit the risk of type- 2 diabetes thanks to enough amount of magnesium.

7. Depression

It would be such a big mistake if we didnt mention anti-depression effect when learning benefits of magnesium.

Magnesium makes a great contribution to brain function and mood (37).

In a study, those under 65 years old with the low intake of magnesium suffered from greater danger of depression (38).

Also, moderate content of magnesium in foods could trigger depression as well as mental illness (39).

Interestingly, magnesium supplementation can provide relief from symptoms of depression (40).

Bottom line: Magnesium deficiency may lead to depression. In some people, magnesium supplementation can help reduce symptoms of this problem.

8. Exercise Performance

Another benefits of magnesium is improvement in exercise performance.

When doing exercise, you are in need of 10-20% more magnesium than when you do nothing (41).

Magnesium can assist the movement of blood sugar into the muscles as well as release lactic acid – an element which can cause pain in muscle during exercise (42).

Also, magnesium supplements could act as energy booster for exercise performance of athletes, the old as well as people who suffer from chronic disease (43, 44, 45).

Another study concluded that volleyball players who took 250mg of magnesium per day performed better (46).

9. Bone Health

Magnesium is essential because it can assimilate calcium into bone.

Also, magnesium can play a role in activating vitamin D – a beneficial nutrient for healthy bones (47).

Optimal magnesium intake is likely to support greater bone density and improved bone crystal formation.

Plus, it may reduce the danger of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women (48).

10. Constipation

Magnesium - Constipation

Magnesium provides quick relief from constipation (49).

A high dose of water-soluble magnesium may possibly bring sound relief for even the most severe constipated state.

This laxative property of magnesium relaxes the intestinal muscles, thereby helping to establish a smoother rhythm while passing bowels.

Magnesium also has another property of attracting water, which in turn softens the stool and helps it pass easily.

Take Home Message

In addition to these above effect, benefits of magnesium consist of many other positive impacts.

Magnesium is essential for a good health.

To stay away from magnesium side effects, men can consume 400-420 mg of magnesium per day, 310-320 mg is highly recommended for women.

In fact, sea vegetables, leafy vegetables including spinach or whole grains are foods rich in magnesium (50).

Moreover, other kinds of food with magnesium can be listed as tomatoes, lima beans, artichokes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds, wheat flour, barley, chocolate, etc (51).

In case you experience medical condition, you should consult doctor before using a supplement.

Despite the fact that these supplements are quite well-tolerated, they may bring danger for those who suffer from heart medications or antibiotics.

Disclaim: The effectiveness from using these foods on certain problems and diseases will be depended on the body condition of the applicant.

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Magnesium: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
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