Here at AIM, we believe in making individualized supplement recommendations. Every individual has different needs! But, if there’s one supplement that we feel almost everyone can benefit from, it’s magnesium. Magnesium has countless benefits; it’s crucial for the brain and the body. While it’s found in foods such as leafy greens, nuts, and seeds, most Americans don’t get enough magnesium through diet alone.
Magnesium is involved in more than 600 reactions in the body. One of its main roles is to act as a cofactor, or a helper molecule, in the biochemical reactions within the body.
So what can magnesium do, exactly? The better question might be what can’t it do – read on to find out!
- Magnesium calms the nervous system and can reduce stress. Magnesium slows down the activity of the HPA axis, which is our body’s central stress hormonal system. This decreases cortisol, which can lead to decreased anxiety and helps all of our hormones function optimally!
- Magnesium helps promote balanced blood sugar. Research shows that those who consume more magnesium have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Magnesium supplementation can reduce blood sugar and normalize insulin response, and this is an important part of managing many different health conditions.
- Magnesium can help alleviate PMS symptoms and may prevent period pain. Magnesium decreases the number of prostaglandins circulating throughout the body, which are responsible for menstrual cramps. Magnesium also calms the nervous system, which helps to balance the effect of our hormones on the body, and helps to alleviate PMS symptoms that occur as a result of hormonal shifts and imbalances.
- Magnesium is anti-inflammatory. Research shows that supplementing with magnesium may reduce levels of C-reactive protein (CRP,) a marker of inflammation, in people with chronic inflammation. Magnesium deficiency is also linked to oxidative stress.
- Magnesium may help prevent headaches and migraines. Several studies suggest that magnesium supplements may prevent and treat migraine headaches. In one study, supplementing with 1 gram of magnesium provided relief from acute migraine attacks more quickly and effectively than a common medication.
- Magnesium may offer constipation relief. Magnesium citrate is an osmotic laxative, which means it relaxes your bowels and pulls water into your intestines. The water helps soften and bulk up your stool, which makes it easier to pass. Magnesium citrate is relatively gentle and shouldn’t cause urgency or emergency bathroom trips, unless you take too much of it.
- Magnesium may offer relief from restless legs. There is strong evidence that magnesium deficiency contributes to Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS.) Supplementing may bring relief and better sleep.
- Magnesium supports bone health. Magnesium is crucial for maintaining bone health and protecting against bone loss. In fact, 50–60% of your body’s magnesium is found in your bones. Some studies associate lower levels of this mineral with a higher risk of osteoporosis.
- Magnesium supports better sleep. Countless studies link magnesium supplementation to improved sleep quality and duration.
One way we can ensure we are keeping our magnesium levels up is by incorporating magnesium-rich foods in our diet. The best dietary sources of magnesium are nuts and seeds, legumes, fiber-rich whole grains such as quinoa, greens, and dark chocolate. If you’ve always wanted an excuse to eat more chocolate, this may be it. We recommend choosing 70% dark chocolate or higher. Dark chocolate is packed full of minerals including magnesium, but we want to make sure to choose high-quality chocolate that is low in added sugar such as the Maverick chocolate we sell in our Lifestyle Store.
Since most magnesium lives inside of our cells, a serum (blood) test isn’t helpful in testing for deficiency. Often, the best way to test for magnesium deficiency is to try supplementing with some and to see how you feel. Magnesium toxicity, or hypermagnesemia, is rare, because the kidneys work to get rid of excess magnesium.
Choosing a good quality magnesium supplement is also vital. Our Fundamental Magnesium is a great option and one that we strongly believe in. It contains three highly absorbable forms of magnesium, while most magnesium supplements contain only a single form, decreasing absorption and lessening the positive effect on the body. Some forms of magnesium can cause looser stools, but the unique combination in Fundamental Magnesium doesn’t typically cause this side effect. You can schedule with qualified AIM provider to make sure you are taking the correct form and dose of magnesium for you through a discovery call.
Check out our online store to find Fundamental Magnesium and other high quality supplements.
Please remember it’s always a good idea to talk to your provider before supplementing.