Little Known Benefits of Magnesium
It’s probably not fair for a doctor who owns a supplement company to have a list of favorite nutrients.
I mean, aren’t all nutrients justifiably “favorites” since they help to keep us healthy?
Well…maybe, but also maybe not.
One of the reasons I like magnesium so much is because of how effective it is at supporting various bodily processes that are essential to excellent health.
For instance, if you want to sleep well, magnesium helps, if you want to experience better muscle tone, and great cardiovascular health, magnesium is essential.
And of course, the fact that magnesium is used in 300+ enzymatic processes means it’s just super important to never go deficient.
The bottom line is magnesium is essential to human flourishing and many, many people live lives that are less than stellar because of magnesium deficiencies.
Consider the following:
“Magnesium is the fourth most common mineral in the human body after calcium, sodium, and potassium. The average adult has around 25g of magnesium stored in their body, with approximately 53% in bone tissue, 27% in muscle, 19% in soft tissues and less than 1% in the blood (Schwalfenboerg and Genuis, 2017). “
It’s that important.
So, the aim of this article isn’t necessarily for you to buy a supplement from us. Though we have one that is great for helping to restore magnesium levels…
No, the goal of this article is to make sure you’re aware of how important this mineral is and to do all you can to never become deficient in it whether that’s through dietary intake (food, the preferred method) or supplementation (topically or orally).
A Few, Little Known Benefits of Magnesium
Again, because magnesium plays a role in so many processes in the body it’s hard to say magnesium does this or that incredibly well.
But, if your magnesium levels start to dip, you’ll be sure to notice the effects.
I’m going to lead off with my most significant, and little-known benefit.
One way magnesium helps with health is by managing how your body responds to insulin and regulates blood sugar.
1 - Magnesium Can Help People With Prediabetes:
Most people aren’t aware that magnesium assists your body in carbohydrate metabolization. Magnesium will help you become more sensitive to insulin as well as help assist insulin secretion from beta cells inside the pancreas.
Doing this supports how insulin functions in the body, causing your fat, muscle, and liver cells to absorb excess glucose from the blood and helping to keep blood sugar in the healthy range.
If magnesium levels fall then you won’t necessarily be able to keep blood sugar balanced and your insulin sensitivity will fall.
Even worse there’s a cascading effect of low levels of magnesium and blood sugar regulation that affects how much glutathione you make (this is your body’s master antioxidant).
A glutathione deficiency can result in abnormal flare-ups of inflammation which further compounds blood sugar issues.
Now, when it comes to prediabetes and magnesium, there’s a good reason to suspect that supplementing (or eating enough) magnesium can help to manage this issue.
If you’re not familiar with prediabetes, let me give you a more formal definition of this condition.
“Prediabetes occurs when blood glucose levels are higher than normal but are not high enough to be classified as type 2 diabetes. And it tends to arise in people with insulin resistance or those whose pancreas doesn’t produce enough insulin to maintain normal blood glucose levels. Once cells lose insulin sensitivity, glucose levels in the blood remain elevated, leading to type 2 diabetes over time.”
A Rotterdam study investigated the link between blood magnesium levels and prediabetes risk in 8555 individuals (Kieboom et al., 2017). The mean age of the participants was 64 years, and 57.8% were women. Of 7209 participants with normal blood glucose at the start of the study, 1120 developed prediabetes after a median of 5.7 years.
The researchers found that a 0.1 mmol/l decrease in blood magnesium levels was associated with a 12% increased risk of prediabetes even after accounting for confounding factors. They also found a significant link between insulin resistance and magnesium levels.
Notably, insulin resistance accounted for 13% of the effect of low magnesium levels on prediabetes risk.
The good news is there are studies to show taking magnesium can help support prediabetics and give them the ability to manage blood sugar.
A meta-analysis of 2979 people who were diagnosed with prediabetes was compared to 10,476 healthy controls. They discovered that the prediabetics had lower levels of magnesium and benefited from supplementation (Mousavi et al., 2021).
This study has been corroborated by other studies and shows that aiming to maintain normal magnesium levels is essential for healthy blood sugar control.
2 - It Can Help With Restless Legs
If you read the reviews on our magnesium products online, you will see that many people attest to magnesium supplementation helping to relieve them of temporary bouts of restless leg syndrome.
Why is it helpful?
Magnesium is essential for helping our muscles contract and the reason why is pretty interesting.
As you’ve heard me say before, we’re electrical beings. The way our muscles move is thanks to tiny electrical impulses being sent as signals from our brain, through nerve fibers, and into our muscles.
If there’s a disruption in the supply of magnesium in the body those signals don’t make it or can be corrupted.
And temporary bouts of RSL can be (though are not always) a result of a magnesium deficiency. There’s research to support this claim, too.
Another way magnesium may help is through calcium blocking:
“Researchers think that magnesium makes it easier for muscles to relax. This may be because of its calcium-blocking abilities, which help regulate the nerves and muscles instead of letting calcium “activate” the nerves. If magnesium is low, calcium isn’t blocked and nerves become overactive and trigger muscle contractions.”
Whichever theory is correct, there’s more than enough evidence to show magnesium can support temporary relief of this condition.
3 - It Will Help You Sleep:
Ok, I’ve written on this before, but likely not enough, so I’m touching on it again because it’s such a big deal.
Magnesium is a game changer for sleep.
As mentioned above, magnesium helps our muscles to relax.
If you go to bed with tightness in your muscles you will feel that (though subconsciously) you can’t go to sleep. Your body is wound up and wired, ready for movement and you’re trying to calm down and go to sleep.
This is why taking magnesium directly before bed can have some solid benefits for better sleep.
Consider what the National Sleep Foundation wrote about taking magnesium for better sleep:
“Some evidence shows that magnesium can have a positive effect on sleep. Small studies have found that magnesium supplements may help elderly people fall asleep faster and can also help those with restless legs syndrome log more sleep time. Other research shows that magnesium increases the neurotransmitter GABA in the brain, which is responsible for slowing your thinking down.”
The truth is if you’re not getting good sleep, and you’re deficient in magnesium, then getting more in your diet could help tremendously with sleep.
4 - It’s Essential for Bone Health:
I’m big on bone health, that’s why I created a K2 and extra-strength D3 supplement.
As it happens, magnesium is also instrumental in helping to keep your bones healthy.
“Several studies in adults have found that individuals who consume higher amounts of magnesium through their diet or supplements have better bone mass density than those consuming low amounts.”
One of the ways it helps with bone health is by influencing how the 2 cells responsible for bone growth and maintenance (osteoblasts and osteoclasts) work.
When you have a magnesium deficiency it makes it so either cell doesn’t adequately build the correct bone structure and the size of bone crystals may be less than desirable.
Get More Magnesium
The bottom line is you should strive to get more magnesium in your body, either through dietary means or supplementation.
If you want to achieve higher levels through diet, consider adding these foods in (as your body tolerates that is):
- Black beans
- Brown rice
- Pumpkin seeds
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Sweet corn
Gluten-free whole grains.