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The Marvels of Magnesium: A Comprehensive Guide to Its Myriad Benefits

In the realm of health and wellness, there exists a mineral often overshadowed by its more prominent counterparts. Yet, its significance cannot be overstated. Magnesium, the unsung hero of nutrition, plays a pivotal role in numerous bodily functions, exerting a profound influence on our overall well-being. I have been recommending Magnesium for decades, for support with muscle relaxation, including the heart, to alliviate cramps, and to help sleep. However, while researching magnesium more recently, I was surprised to find several different types of magnesium. As with all minerals, vitamins and herbs they work in a complex synergistic way within us. Magnesium  is involved in over 300 enzymatic processes within the human body, ranging from energy metabolism to muscle contraction and relaxation.

  1. Magnesium L-Threonate: Recognized for its ability to cross the blood-brain barrier, magnesium L-threonate exhibits promising cognitive benefits. It may be supportive if you experience hormonal migraines.

  2. Magnesium Oxide: its bioavailability is relatively low compared to other forms.

  3. Magnesium Chloride: Often utilized in topical formulations

  4. Magnesium Sulfate, commonly known as Epsom salt, is a compound consisting of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen.

  5. Magnesium Citrate: The Bowel Buddy

  6. Magnesium Glycinate: The Relaxation Expert.

I am going to focus on the last two, Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Glycinate as these are the two in most comman usage. Although they both have the overlapping benefits of magnesium as a whole, you may after reading this, prefer one over the other.

Magnesium Citrate: The Bowel Buddy Magnesium citrate, a blend of magnesium and citric acid, stands out for its high solubility and effective laxative properties. It works by drawing water into the intestines, promoting bowel movements and relieving occasional constipation. (While magnesium citrate is renowned for its efficacy as a laxative, it may cause gastrointestinal discomfort in some individuals.) Despite its bowel-moving prowess, magnesium citrate also offers benefits beyond digestive health. Its good bioavailability ensures adequate magnesium absorption, supporting overall magnesium intake and all magnesium benefits.

Magnesium Glycinate: The Relaxation Expert Magnesium glycinate, chelated with glycine, an amino acid, boasts exceptional bioavailability and gentle effects on the stomach. This is the preferred choice for those seeking relaxation and stress relief. Due to its muscle-relaxing properties, magnesium glycinate is particularly beneficial for alleviating muscle tension, cramps, and spasms. Moreover, its calming effect on the nervous system makes it an excellent option for promoting relaxation and supporting mood balance. Individuals with sensitive digestive systems often gravitate towards magnesium glycinate due to its gentle nature, experiencing fewer gastrointestinal side effects compared to other forms.

More benefits of Marvelous Magnesium-

  1. Regulates Blood Sugar Levels: Magnesium plays a vital role in insulin secretion and glucose metabolism, contributing to stable blood sugar levels. Adequate magnesium intake has been linked to a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes and improved insulin sensitivity.

  2. Neurotransmitter Regulation: Magnesium is involved in the synthesis and function of neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers that transmit signals between nerve cells in the brain. It helps regulate the activity of neurotransmitter receptors, including those for gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), a neurotransmitter known for its calming effects. By supporting neurotransmitter balance, magnesium contributes to mood stability and mental well-being.

  3. Brain Health: Magnesium plays a role in maintaining brain health and cognitive function. It supports neuronal signaling, neural plasticity (the brain's ability to adapt and change), and the production of energy within brain cells. Adequate magnesium levels may help protect against age-related cognitive decline and support overall brain function.

  4. Mood Regulation: Magnesium influences mood through its interactions with neurotransmitters, hormones, and cellular signaling pathways. Low magnesium levels have been associated with an increased risk of depression and anxiety disorders. Supplementing with magnesium may help alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety by supporting neurotransmitter balance and reducing stress levels.

  5. Brain Blood Flow: Magnesium helps regulate vascular tone and blood flow in the brain. Optimal blood flow is crucial for delivering oxygen and nutrients to brain cells, supporting cognitive function, and maintaining mental clarity. By promoting healthy blood circulation, magnesium may enhance brain performance and cognitive abilities.

  6. Cardiovascular Support: Magnesium aids in regulating heart rhythm and maintaining healthy blood pressure levels, essential for cardiovascular health.

  7. Improving Lipid Profile: Magnesium supplementation has been shown to improve lipid profile parameters, including lowering levels of LDL cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) and triglycerides, while increasing levels of HDL cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol). These improvements in lipid profile contribute to a lower risk of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events.

  8. Vascular Health: Magnesium supports endothelial function, the lining of blood vessels, by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. This helps maintain vascular tone and flexibility, preventing the development of atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries) and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes.

  9. Thyroid function: low Magnesium levels are linked to Thyroid function issues. * Caution- important see end notes

  10. Additionally, this mineral is involved in energy production, protein synthesis, and DNA stability.

 Despite its indispensability, many individuals fail to meet their daily magnesium requirements, leading to various health concerns. Several factors impact magnesium absorption, including dietary sources, nutrient interactions, gastrointestinal health, age, gender, medications, smoking, alcohol. caffeine and overall health status.  Processed foods and cooking methods can remove valuable minerals.. Chronic stress can deplete magnesium levels in the body.

When under stress, the body may excrete more magnesium through urine, leading to increased magnesium requirements. Unfortunately, this creates a vicious cycle, as magnesium deficiency can exacerbate stress and anxiety symptoms.  

By addressing these factors and incorporating magnesium-rich foods into the diet, optimizing nutrient interactions, and managing underlying health conditions, individuals can support optimal magnesium absorption and maintain adequate magnesium levels for overall health and well-being.

Foods that are rich in magnesium include leafy green vegetables (such as spinach and kale), nuts and seeds (such as almonds and pumpkin seeds), whole grains (such as brown rice and quinoa), legumes (such as beans and lentils), and certain types of fish (such as salmon and mackerel).

Certain nutrients and substances can either enhance or inhibit magnesium absorption. For example:

  • Vitamin D: Adequate vitamin D levels are essential for optimal magnesium absorption. Vitamin D helps regulate the transport of magnesium across the intestinal membrane.

  • Calcium: High doses of calcium supplements can interfere with magnesium absorption when taken simultaneously. However, the impact of dietary calcium on magnesium absorption appears to be minimal.

  • Zinc: Deficiencies in either zinc or magnesium can impact the absorption and utilization of the other mineral. For instance, zinc deficiency has been associated with impaired magnesium absorption and retention in animal studies. Conversely, correcting zinc deficiency may improve magnesium status and vice versa.

From supporting heart health and bone density to alleviating muscle cramps and enhancing mood, magnesium emerges as a versatile mineral with an array of health benefits. By incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your diet or supplementing with appropriate forms of magnesium, you can optimize your well-being and unlock the full potential of this remarkable mineral. Remember, maintaining adequate magnesium levels is key to nurturing a thriving body and mind.

There are so many choices out there, and these are just a small handful of recommendations that I have had from very good sources. I had no idea there were so many variables to Magnesium. I hope this has helped.

Magnesium Gluconate

High quality Epsom Bath salts

Magnesium Citrate

Magnesium Chloride

Medications affecting magnesium uptake.

*Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): PPIs, commonly used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and peptic ulcers, can reduce magnesium absorption by altering stomach acid levels and impairing the dissolution of magnesium-containing supplements.

  • Diuretics: Some diuretic medications can increase urinary excretion of magnesium, leading to magnesium depletion over time.

  • Other supplements: Certain minerals, such as calcium and zinc, may compete with magnesium for absorption when taken concurrently in high doses. It's important to consider potential interactions when combining multiple supplements.

Caution- Magnesium can also impact on the uptake of drugs, noteably tetracyclines and quinolones, Statins, ACEinhibitors, blood pressure medication, Diabetic medications.

* Magnesium and Thyroid medication can be an issue. And that’s because Magnesium can interfere with how well your body absorbs Levothyroxine or Synthroid pills. You may have the best intentions of balancing your body by taking Thyroid-loving supplements alongside your medication. But, in actual fact, you may be doing the opposite. The same goes for Iron and Calcium. See article linked above.

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Great article. Thank you! 😊👍❤


Allison Tonge
Allison Tonge
Feb 15

H heather. Very spooky as i was just reading up on magnesium after you talking about it this morning. Will click on the link. Very informative. Thanks allison

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