Health Benefits of Magnesium
By: Michelle Balint
PharmD, IHP, RCPC
Magnesium has been recommended for a number of health concerns like migraines, anxiety, ADD, restless leg, menstrual cramps, chronic pain, insomnia, and blood pressure. Let’s take a deeper look into this health supplement. Our bodies run on energy and that energy, ATP, is bonded to magnesium to function. When we don’t have magnesium, our energy levels can become affected. Our bodies also use a number of enzymes which are proteins responsible for speeding up reactions in our bodies. It is estimated that 42% of the more than 5,000 enzymatic processes in our bodies use magnesium.
Magnesium is also needed for vitamin D absorption in our bodies. Oftentimes, people think they are deficient in vitamin D but really it is magnesium they don’t have enough of which will show up as low vitamin D. Some sources say that as many as 50-80% of Americans do not consume enough magnesium.
According to a meta-analysis using 40 different studies, Dr Fudi Wang found that people who consumed the most dietary magnesium had a 10% lower risk of coronary heart disease, 12% lower risk of stroke and a 26% lower risk of type-2 diabetes compared to those who consumed the least.
As with all vitamins and supplements, it is recommended we use our diet first to achieve healthy levels. However, with magnesium our soil has been depleted over the years making it difficult to consume enough of it. Oftentimes, it is necessary to supplement magnesium. The answer seems simple enough until it’s time to pick a type of magnesium. Not all magnesium is created equal. Magnesium citrate is not absorbed well in our bodies and is used in bowel preps for colonoscopies and for occasional constipation due to the relaxing of the bowels. Magnesium oxide is the one typically seen in most pharmacies but is also not absorbed very well on its own.
Magnesium l-threonate is commonly used to help prevent migraines. Magnesium glycinate and malate are good all-around forms, which is the one I personally recommend. Magnesium is absorbed well topically so using a magnesium spray or magnesium flake baths can also help increase magnesium.
Remember to discuss any new medications or supplements with your doctor or pharmacist. Stop in to Ehardt’s Almont to discuss magnesium and pick up your magnesium supplements and sprays!