Your body requires magnesium in order to function properly. Magnesium is one of the five major electrolytes found in the nuclei of all living organisms. Magnesium is used by a living body’s cells to produce energy, synthesize enzymes, and initiate hundreds of chemical reactions.
Magnesium is an important component of muscle contraction and function in the human body. Calcium and potassium are transported through magnesium and phosphate, which helps the heart muscle maintain a stable rhythm.
In addition to its effects on blood sugar, magnesium also influences the kidneys’ filtering mechanism and the nerves’ neurotransmitters. Magnesium can also help with the absorption of calcium, strengthening your teeth and bones because it is one of the five key electrolytes.
What does this have to do with weight loss? Recent research shows that magnesium is essential to your body’s handling of fat and insulin, two of the most important factors in weight loss. Even so, it doesn’t necessarily mean the scale will shift once you start taking the supplement.
What is Magnesium Supplement?
Magnesium plays a role in over 300 enzyme reactions in the human body. Among its many functions are muscle and nerve function, blood pressure regulation, and immune system support.
An adult body contains 25 grams of magnesium, 50-60% of which is stored in the skeletal system. The rest is found in muscle, soft tissues, and bodily fluids.
It is estimated that many Americans are deficient in magnesium, even though deficiency symptoms are rare in otherwise healthy people.
Magnesium deficiency is linked to a variety of health complications, so it is important for people to consume the recommended amount of magnesium each day.
Among the foods highest in magnesium are almonds, spinach, and cashew nuts. It may be necessary for a person to take supplements if they are not able to get enough magnesium from food alone.
Does Magnesium Supplement Help With Weight Loss?
People who are overweight or obese may benefit from taking magnesium to control blood sugar and insulin levels. Higher magnesium intake leads to better insulin and glucose blood level control, according to a 2013 study.
According to the same study, magnesium also helps with bloating and water retention,” says Dr. Sherry Ross, OB-GYN and women’s health expert at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California.
Due to their ability to reduce bloating and water retention, magnesium supplements might be useful in reducing unpleasant menstrual symptoms in women.
In a 2016 study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, magnesium was found to help stabilize glucose levels in insulin-resistant participants.
The participants who took oral magnesium showed increased sensitivity to insulin hormones for weight loss, improved plasma glucose levels, and reduced water retention and bloating. Magnesium was found to reduce bloating to such a degree that researchers suggested it may help ease PMS symptoms.
As part of their weight loss program, participants also restricted their calorie intake and exercised regularly.
While magnesium has not been proven to be an effective weight loss supplement, Dr. Ross cautions that it is not safe for people to take it alone. To lose weight permanently, she recommends restricting calories, eating a healthy diet, and exercising regularly.
Health Benefits of Magnesium
Many health specialists suggest that magnesium, calcium and zinc are the three most important minerals required for a healthy body. Research confirms that magnesium alone is responsible for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the human body.
Formation of healthy bones and teeth, detoxification, regulation of body temperature, production of energy and transmission of nerve impulses are the body functions that largely benefit from magnesium.
Magnesium ions are important to all living cells, as they play a vital role in the functioning of enzymes within the human body. Magnesium compounds act as laxatives, antacids and reduce the gases in the human body.
Magnesium is also known to aid the absorption of calcium in the human body. In addition to its value in keeping osteoporosis at bay, it is immensely beneficial for women of all ages, and can also alleviate symptoms in menopausal women, or help to reduce the risk of premature labour.
Other benefits of magnesium may include the prevention of kidney stones, gallstones, insomnia, heart attacks, migraines, hypertension and even diabetes. It is proven to be beneficial in the treatment of muscle cramps, asthma, autism and ADD.
It may also provide protection against chronic ailments, especially those associated with ageing and stress. Pacification of abnormal nerve excitation and blood spasms is also possible with the help of magnesium.
Dosage of Magnesium Supplements
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the daily recommendations for magnesium is 400 to 800 milligrams daily. Some people will have diarrhea if over 600 milligrams a day are taken, and should take less than this amount.
Magnesium citrate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium gluconate, and magnesium lactate are more easily absorbed than magnesium oxide.
Magnesium Supplements Precautions and Side Effects
Magnesium overdose is unlikely through dietary sources because the body eliminates any excess magnesium through the urine.
Magnesium supplements, however, can result in gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea, nausea, or cramping.
Large doses may cause kidney damage, low blood pressure, urinary retention, nausea, lethargy, depression, loss of control of the central nervous system, and death.
Magnesium supplements should not be taken by people with kidney disorders unless they are recommended by their doctor.
Some drug interactions may also be caused by magnesium supplementation. Magnesium supplementation may interact with the following medications or affect magnesium levels:
- oral bisphosphonates that treat osteoporosis, such as alendronate (Fosamax)
- quinolone antibiotics, including levofloxacin (Levaquin) and ciprofloxacin (Cipro) diuretics, such as furosemide (Lasix)
- prescription proton pump inhibitors, including esomeprazole magnesium (Nexium)
- tetracycline antibiotics, including doxycycline (Vibramycin) and demeclocycline (Declomycin)
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Certain symptoms indicate low levels of magnesium in the body. These signs include subtle symptoms such as headaches, hyperactivity, muscle cramps, chronic pain, sleep problems, dizziness, weakness, tremors, anxiety, restlessness, difficulty in swallowing and poor memory.
Similarly, there are serious symptoms like high blood pressure, diabetes, calcium deficiency, respiratory issues and poor heart health.
Magnesium deficiency is often wrongly diagnosed, as it cannot be easily detected in a blood test. Most labs and tests don’t include magnesium level status in routine blood tests. Hence, most doctors are unaware that a patient is suffering from any kind of magnesium deficiency.
As per medical research, magnesium may be the most important element needed
by the human body after oxygen, water and basic food. In fact, it is more important than even calcium, potassium and sodium.
Magnesium plays a crucial role in maintaining a healthy balance between all bodily functions. It can also affect the nervous system of the human body— leading to numbness, tingling sensations and other abnormalities.
It can be concluded that the insufficiency of magnesium can virtually affect almost every organ of the human body.
Where Can You Buy Magnesium Supplements?
Many grocery and health food stores carry magnesium supplements. They can also be purchased online.
Many types of supplements are available, including:
- magnesium oxide
- magnesium orotate
- magnesium chloride
- magnesium citrate
- magnesium gluconate
Magnesium supplements absorb differently in the body depending on the type. Talk to your doctor about what form and dosage of magnesium supplements are best for you.
Magnesium Supplement Alternative: Food Source
Foods rich in magnesium include almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, boiled spinach, and bran breakfast cereal, as well as whole-grain cereals. Tap or mineral water can also be a source of magnesium, but the amount of its content varies with the source of the water.
There are certain conditions that occur in the body that act to prevent magnesium from assimilating properly. This can happen if the person regularly consumes alcohol, soda or caffeine.
Those who are on birth control pills, heart and asthma medications, or estrogen replacement therapy may be unable to absorb magnesium properly.
Similarly, its absorption is less in people suffering from digestive disorders or immense physical stress. Hence such patients need to take extra steps under medical supervision in order to compensate for the deficiency.
Many people experience poor magnesium tolerance, which may result in loose stools, constipation and other side effects.
Nowadays, alternative methods of therapy are used to avoid any ill effects of magnesium on the human body. This includes transdermal magnesium therapy, in which magnesium oil is directly applied to the skin in the form of lotion or cream.
Final Words: Should You Take Magnesium Supplement?
Magnesium plays an important role in your overall health, but it’s not a miracle weight loss solution. In the end, successful weight loss comes down to establishing healthy eating habits and exercising regularly.
You can get magnesium supplements online, but the best way to get any vitamin or mineral is through food because nutrients are more effective when combined with other nutrients.
The effects of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients are often synergistic. If taken together, they are more beneficial than if taken separately.
Rather than taking supplements as a backup, it is recommended that you eat a healthy, balanced diet to meet daily magnesium requirements.