Magnesium: A Mighty Mineral

Magnesium has by no means been a dietary celebrity, however lately, analysis has confirmed its many essential roles within the physique and uncovered new potential advantages. Notably, it’s concerned in power manufacturing, cell progress, blood strain, bone well being and the functioning of the center, nerves and muscle tissue.

There’s little doubt that magnesium-rich meals are among the finest decisions round—however dietary supplements are one other matter.

Coronary heart and blood strain

Inadequate magnesium consumption will increase cardiovascular threat. Magnesium is crucial for the exercise of the center muscle and the nerves that provoke the heartbeat, and it helps regulate blood strain. An sufficient consumption helps stop arrhythmias, cut back cardiac injury from oxidative stress, hold blood vessels wholesome, stop spasms of coronary arteries that may trigger angina, and enhance HDL (“good”) levels of cholesterol.

So it is sensible that many observational research have discovered that folks with a excessive dietary consumption of magnesium have a decrease threat of coronary heart illness and stroke—or that individuals who reside in areas with onerous water (which is excessive in magnesium) have a decrease coronary dying fee.

However whereas a number of scientific trials have discovered that folks with sure coronary heart issues, coronary coronary heart illness or hypertension might profit from elevated magnesium consumption (generally from meals, generally from dietary supplements or injections), others haven’t. General, research on magnesium dietary supplements for coronary heart well being or blood strain management have had inconsistent outcomes.

Magnesium-rich meals are an enormous a part of the anti-hypertension DASH weight loss program. Nevertheless, meals wealthy in magnesium are additionally wealthy in different heart-healthy vitamins (reminiscent of potassium) and fiber, so it’s onerous to separate out the impact of this single mineral.


Magnesium can also be important for the physique’s use of insulin and the burning of carbohydrates. Observational research have linked low magnesium ranges to elevated threat of diabetes and insulin resistance (which frequently results in kind 2 diabetes), in addition to poor blood sugar management in individuals with the illness. A number of small research of magnesium dietary supplements in individuals with diabetes have had constructive outcomes. Analysis is constant.

Bone well being

Working intently with calcium and vitamin D, magnesium helps kind and preserve bones and enamel. Researchers have discovered that folks with excessive magnesium intakes have better bone density, and that ladies with osteoporosis are inclined to have low magnesium ranges.

Nevertheless it’s not identified if dietary supplements make a distinction. The research which have proven that supplemental calcium and/or vitamin D cut back the chance of fractures haven’t included magnesium. Whereas a magnesium deficiency can impair the usage of calcium and vitamin D, doubling or tripling an sufficient magnesium consumption doesn’t enhance calcium absorption.

Colon most cancers

A number of research have discovered that individuals who devour essentially the most magnesium from meals are much less more likely to develop colon most cancers and maybe rectal most cancers. The research didn’t contain dietary supplements, nonetheless.


Researchers have discovered that folks with migraines are inclined to have low mind magnesium ranges throughout an assault and usually tend to have low magnesium total. Two research from the 1990s discovered that dietary supplements assist cut back the frequency of assaults, although one didn’t.

Magnesium milligrams
Halibut or mackerel, cooked, four ounces 120
Sunflower seeds, dried, 1 ounce 100
Spinach/chard, cooked, half cup 80
Almonds or cashews, 1 ounce 77
Flounder or sole, cooked, four ounces 75
Wheat germ, 1 ounce 70
Beans, cooked, half cup 50
Oatmeal, cooked, 1 cup 55
Peanuts, 1 ounce 50
Potato, baked with pores and skin, medium 50
Tofu, three ounces 50
Avocado, four ounces 50
Yogurt, plain, 1 cup 45
Corn kernels, cooked, 1 cup 45
Pasta, whole-wheat, cooked, 1 cup 42
Rice, brown, cooked, half cup 40
Darkish chocolate, 1 ounce 30
Milk, 1 cup 25
Bread, whole-wheat, 1 slice 25

What you want

Most Individuals don’t devour the really useful each day consumption of magnesium, which is 320 milligrams a day for girls, 420 for males. Older individuals typically have low ranges as a result of they have an inclination to devour and take up much less of the mineral. Since there’s no good technique to measure complete magnesium within the physique, nonetheless, it’s onerous to know precisely how many individuals are actually poor.

As a result of magnesium performs so many roles, the signs of deficiency can range broadly. Many signs contain modifications in nerve and muscle perform, reminiscent of muscle weak spot, cramps and spasms. Cardiac signs embody arrhythmias. Poor blood sugar management, elevated blood strain and nausea might also outcome.

Backside line: Eat meals wealthy in magnesium—complete grains, nuts, beans, seeds, fish, avocados and leafy greens reminiscent of spinach—which occur to be among the many most nutritious meals. About 80 p.c of the magnesium in grains is within the bran and germ, that are eliminated in milling, so refined grain merchandise (reminiscent of white bread and white rice) are poor sources. In case your ingesting water is difficult, you’ll get a good quantity of magnesium from it.

For older individuals, or anybody not consuming a balanced weight loss program, a primary multivitamin/mineral is an effective technique to get supplemental magnesium (normally 50 to 100 milligrams). Some calcium dietary supplements additionally include magnesium.

Don’t take a separate magnesium complement until you’re at excessive threat for a deficiency since you drink closely, have uncontrolled diabetes or take a medicine (reminiscent of a proton pump inhibitor for reflux illness) or have a dysfunction (reminiscent of Crohn’s illness) that may have an effect on absorption.

However discuss along with your physician first. You’ll be able to’t get an excessive amount of magnesium from meals. In distinction, dietary supplements and extreme use of sure magnesium-containing antacids or laxatives could cause diarrhea, nausea and cramps. Individuals with kidney illness are in danger for extra critical issues from extra magnesium.

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