10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Magnesium

10 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Magnesium

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Magnesium is a vital mineral for both your brain and body, from supporting cardiovascular health to regulating blood sugar levels. Furthermore, it’s essential for improving mood and boosting athletic performance. While you can find magnesium within multiple food sources—including leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and beans—unfortunately, many individuals don’t get sufficient quantities of this mineral through their diet.

One form of magnesium that has recently become popular is magnesium bicarbonate. This form of magnesium is a compound that contains both magnesium and bicarbonate ions. Studies have shown magnesium bicarbonate may be more easily absorbed by the body than other forms, making it an excellent choice for those looking to increase their intake.

Boost your health and well-being with these 10 science-supported advantages of magnesium.

1. Hundreds of biochemical reactions in your body depend on magnesium.

Magnesium is an essential mineral present throughout your body. It plays a crucial role in the natural functioning of every cell, with nearly 60% being stored in bones and the remaining finding residence in muscle tissues, soft tissue as well as fluids such as blood. (1)

As a cofactor, it helps enzymes carry out continuous biochemical reactions. It is involved in more than 600 biochemical reactions in your body, including: (2):

  • Creating energy from food
  • Making new proteins from amino acids
  • Maintaining DNA and RNA by creating and repairing them
  • Assisting in muscle contractions and relaxation
  • Regulating neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout the nervous system and brain

Despite the importance of magnesium, approximately 50% of U.S. adults intake less than the daily recommendation (1, 3).

2. Supports Heart Health and Healthy Blood Pressure

Our hearts contain the most magnesium throughout our entire bodies – particularly within the left ventricle. Magnesium and calcium act as companions to maintain optimal blood pressure and reduce the chances of hypertension.

Hypertension, more commonly known as high blood pressure, is a condition that plagues millions of people all over the globe. Your heart has to labor even harder when you have hypertension, and if not treated properly, it can drastically weaken your cardiovascular system, eventually leading to heart disease.

According to a 2018 review, inadequate magnesium levels can elevate the risk of various types of cardiovascular disease, including coronary artery disease and high blood pressure. (4)

Studies have demonstrated that magnesium supplementation can help reduce elevated blood pressure levels, which may lessen the risk of cardiovascular disease. (5).

Another review revealed that a high magnesium intake could reduce the risk of developing heart disease, stroke, and hypertension. Researchers found that “several lines of evidence have suggested a potential beneficial link between high dietary Mg and low blood pressure, particularly among those individuals with either preclinical or non-communicable diseases.” (6).

Moreover, one study determined that magnesium supplements were instrumental in reducing multiple risk factors related to heart disease. This includes triglyceride levels, LDL (bad) cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, and systolic blood pressure readings – particularly those among individuals with a magnesium deficiency. (7).

Another study corroborated this evidence, showing that supplementing with magnesium considerably reduced systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels for adults with high blood pressure. (8)

Remember that potassium is also essential for cardiovascular health and blood flow, as it increases the removal of sodium from our bodies. An optimal balance between magnesium, potassium, and sodium in our diet plays a key role in maintaining good overall health. Eating more foods packed with magnesium plus those high in potassium helps ensure healthier hearts and normal levels of blood pressure.

3. May help balance blood sugar levels and safeguard against metabolic syndrome.

Studies have implied that increasing your magnesium intake may be beneficial for blood sugar levels, potentially blocking insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. Additionally, research has revealed a connection between low levels of magnesium and chronic inflammation and metabolic syndrome. (9)

Research indicates that almost half of the individuals with type 2 diabetes suffer from magnesium deficiency, which can disrupt the body’s sugar regulation process. (1, 10).

Moreover, studies demonstrate that individuals who consume more magnesium are at a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (11, 12, 13).

One review suggests that magnesium supplementation can enhance insulin sensitivity, which is an essential part of controlling blood sugar levels. (14). A separate examination also discovered that magnesium supplements could improve blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity for those at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. (15).

Insulin is the hormone that aids in transporting sugar (glucose) from your bloodstream to be utilized as energy. When you continuously consume lots of carbs and refined sugar, the body must continually produce more insulin to keep up with this demand. The persistent development of high levels of insulin can lead to a condition known as ‘insulin resistance,’ diminishing its effectiveness at transferring glucose, thus resulting in higher blood sugars than usual.

An investigation published in the esteemed journal Diabetes Care revealed that magnesium supplementation taken orally offered significant improvement to insulin sensitivity and significantly decreased blood sugar levels amongst diabetic patients with low magnesium levels. (16)

Extensive research has revealed that the mineral could potentially defend against diabetes. A 20-year study that monitored 4,497 individuals found those with the highest intake rate were 47 percent less likely to develop diabetes. (17)

That said, the impact of magnesium might vary depending on how much you’re getting from your diet. For instance, an older study showed that supplements did not bring down blood sugar or insulin levels in people who weren’t deficient in magnesium. (18). This is why it is important to work with a practitioner with any condition to address the root cause of the problem rather than blindly supplementing and hoping for the best.

Optimal blood sugar levels can be maintained with strategic lifestyle decisions, such as engaging in physical activity and controlling stress. Additionally, eating fibrous food sources and proteins while watching your refined carb intake contributes to successful glycemic management.

4. May help exercise performance

When you break a sweat, your body’s magnesium needs shift compared to periods of rest. The more you exercise, the more your magnesium needs increase. (19). When participating in intense physical activity, it is believed that the body’s energy needs can elevate by up to 20%.

We need magnesium to relax our muscles and avoid aching or cramping. Without sufficient levels of this mineral, our muscles cannot relax fully. Magnesium helps transfer blood sugar into the muscles and get rid of lactic acid buildup, which can lead to fatigue. (20).

In a report from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 124 older women were studied to evaluate the impact of magnesium on performance. After a 12-week regimen that included daily doses of magnesium oxide, researchers discovered an improvement in physical performance among this group compared to control subjects. (21)

Other research also supports magnesium’s ability to improve exercise performance, showing that magnesium supplements can be advantageous for older individuals and those with an insufficient level of this nutrient (22).

An examination of 2,570 women uncovered a positive relationship between increased magnesium consumption and raised muscle mass and power. (23). Moreover, research has indicated that magnesium supplementation can be beneficial in shielding professional cyclists from various indicators of muscle damage. (24).

Magnesium contributes to muscle control by maintaining calcium balance in the body. Calcium taken in high doses can cause serious problems with muscles. It’s common for people to take calcium supplements in high doses, but magnesium can also play a crucial role in balancing minerals. Having high calcium and low magnesium can lead to muscle problems. Magnesium can improve muscle function, prevent spasms, and relieve aches and pains.

5. Helps with inflammation

Not surprisingly, many foods high in magnesium can be found on the list of top anti-inflammatory foods. In addition to containing generous amounts of magnesium, these foods also provide valuable antioxidants and phytonutrients, which help manage free radical damage.

When magnesium intake is insufficient, inflammation levels can significantly increase. This has dire consequences for both aging and the development of chronic illnesses. (25, 26).

In 2014, a study uncovered that people with low magnesium consumption and lower levels in the bloodstream had increased markers of long-term inflammation. This potentially is caused by heightened cytokine release and free radicals. (27)

Another study published in the Archives of Medical Research revealed that consuming magnesium chloride was able to reduce inflammation levels in 62 individuals with prediabetes. Remarkably, this could represent a potential preventative measure for those at risk of developing diabetes and other chronic illnesses caused by long-term inflammation. (28)

An overview of 11 studies revealed that individuals with chronic inflammation who take magnesium supplements could significantly reduce their C-reactive protein (CRP) levels, a marker for inflammation. (29).

Multiple studies have yielded similar results, claiming that magnesium supplements can reduce inflammation markers such as CRP levels and interleukin-6. (30, 31).

Not only that but there are studies to suggest a lack of magnesium can amplify oxidative stress in the body, leading to inflammation. (32).

6. May promote bone health

Magnesium plays an essential role in keeping your bones strong and healthy, with 50-60% of the body’s magnesium stored within them. (33).

Evidence suggests that inadequate levels of this mineral can profoundly increase the risk of osteoporosis, a medical condition in which bones become fragile and vulnerable. (34).

Studies show that magnesium is integral for the body’s metabolic process involving vitamin D. Vitamin D aids in calcium absorption into our bones and influences other important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K and phosphorus – all of which are essential to maintaining healthy bones. (35)

An extensive, 3-year study involving 358 individuals undergoing hemodialysis— a blood cleansing treatment that helps remove waste and water — revealed that those with the lowest magnesium consumption had an astonishingly higher risk of fractures compared to those taking in the most. Participants consuming less than adequate levels experienced three times more fractured bones. (36).

Furthermore, a comprehensive analysis of 12 studies demonstrated that consuming higher amounts of magnesium can lead to greater bone mineral density in the hip and femoral neck—both regions vulnerable to fracture. (37).

7. May combat depression and anxiety

Magnesium isn’t only beneficial for its mood-enhancing qualities. It can be a powerful weapon in the fight against depression and anxiety. Studies have found that an inadequate magnesium intake could lead to heightened rates of depression. Magnesium plays a crucial role in brain functionality and emotion – if levels are low, you’re at risk of developing depression. (38). Adding magnesium to your daily routine may assist you in reducing the effects of depression and anxiety further. (39).

An analysis of data from over 8,800 individuals demonstrated that those under 65 with the lowest magnesium consumption had a 22% higher risk of depression. (40)

Studies suggest that a magnesium deficiency can make your body more prone to stress and may intensify signs of anxiety. (41).

Some studies have determined that supplementation with this mineral could be as successful in treating depression as taking antidepressants. A comprehensive study of 3,172 adults demonstrated that a higher magnesium intake is linked to decreased risk factors for depression and anxiety. (42). Over six weeks, another study including 126 participants revealed that taking 248 mg of magnesium daily significantly reduced symptoms related to depression and anxiety – regardless of their initial levels. (43

A study featured in Magnesium Research took an intriguing approach to depression treatment – they tested the effectiveness of magnesium supplementation versus prescribed antidepressant medication and found that both were equally efficient among elderly patients with type 2 diabetes. (44)

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial conducted over an 8-week period found that consuming 500 mg of magnesium daily delivered considerable relief from signs of depression in individuals with a magnesium deficiency. (45).

One review suggested that magnesium supplements can help reduce low to moderate anxiety levels, though research on this topic is inconsistent. (46). However, a 2017 review revealed that the results of eighteen studies were in agreement: Magnesium has been proven to reduce anxiety levels in those prone to anxiousness. (47)

For a powerful, natural remedy to prevent or help with depression, pair this mineral with other treatments, such as consuming probiotic-rich foods for gut health and plenty of raw fats. Also, make sure you get plenty of vitamin D from sunlight or foods for well-balanced nutrition. Additionally, limit your intake of refined carbohydrates and sugar to maximize the effects. 

8. May prevent migraine attacks

Those suffering from migraines understand that they can be a horrible, relentless experience. Characterized by nausea, heightened sensitivity to light and sound, and intense throbbing pain in the head—this often debilitating disorder is surprisingly widespread. (48)

In 2012, approximately one in seven American adults experienced migraines over the span of three months. (49)

According to certain researchers, those who suffer from migraine may be prone to magnesium deficiency when compared with other individuals. (50) Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps regulate neurotransmitters and blood circulation. This can aid in reducing the occurrence of headaches, as it relaxes constricted blood vessels and releases pain-relieving hormones.

Multiple studies have concluded that magnesium supplementation could be beneficial in reducing the occurrence of migraine headaches and even preventing them. Taking a supplement may help mitigate this issue. Furthermore, numerous investigations point out that magnesium supplements may actually treat migraine headaches once they occur as well. (51, 52).

A study analyzing the effects of magnesium supplementation conducted on 86 children with migraines demonstrated positive outcomes. For 16 weeks, participants were administered either a magnesium oxide supplement or an inactive placebo. When evaluated at the end of the 16-week period, those who received the magnesium supplements experienced reduced headache frequency and intensity compared to those taking the placebo. (53)

Another study found that taking just 1 gram of magnesium was more effective and faster-acting in relieving acute migraine headaches than a widely used medication. (54).

By eating foods that are high in magnesium, you can assist in both the prevention and treatment of migraine symptoms. Moreover, a nutritious diet full of whole-food meals, plenty of raw fats, and minimal refined sugars or processed meats is also essential for preventing migraines. (55)

9. May alleviate PMS symptoms

PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, is one of the most common issues affecting women in their childbearing years. It usually presents itself between 1-2 weeks before menstruation. It can cause various symptoms, including mood swings, weight gain, food cravings, water retention, exhaustion, irritability, and digestive upset or tender breasts. (56)

Numerous studies suggest that magnesium may effectively reduce PMS symptoms. One specific study observed a remarkable decrease in the severity of these signs when taking both magnesium and vitamin B6, indicating superior results to those in a control group who did not take either supplement. (57)

Research has indicated that magnesium supplements are incredibly beneficial for those who suffer from PMS symptoms, with some studies suggesting it can help reduce menstrual cramps and migraine attacks too. (58).

A study published in the Journal of Women’s Health demonstrated that a daily dosage of 200 milligrams of magnesium could significantly reduce the intensity of PMS symptoms such as weight gain, bloating, swelling, and breast tenderness. (59)

A previous study demonstrated that taking 250mg of magnesium daily significantly reduced feelings of bloating, depression, and anxiety in 126 women with PMS when compared to a control group. (60).

Magnesium levels can rise and fall throughout the menstrual cycle, so women with a deficiency may suffer from particularly bad PMS symptoms. Fortunately, supplemental magnesium has been shown to lessen these uncomfortable issues – even those related to painful menstrual migraines. (61).

Despite the promising results, further high-quality research is required to determine if this mineral can alleviate symptoms regardless of one’s magnesium levels.

10. May support better sleep

If you’re struggling with insomnia, it may be beneficial to evaluate your magnesium levels. Studies have revealed a correlation between magnesium and sleep; in some cases, supplementing with more magnesium could help address sleeplessness.

Magnesium is widely utilized as a natural remedy for insomnia, primarily due to its role in regulating various neurotransmitters associated with sleep. Specifically, magnesium helps balance levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which can help induce feelings of calmness and relaxation – essential for sound, restful sleep. (47).

For a period of 8 weeks, researchers monitored 46 individuals to analyze the effect of magnesium supplementation on sleep regulation. Those who took this supplement experienced significant enhancements in terms of sleeping duration and falling asleep faster. Magnesium-influenced hormones are involved in controlling sleep; specifically, they cause higher melatonin levels and decreased cortisol concentrations as compared with those consuming placebo doses. (62)

An in-depth study of nearly 4,000 adults showed a strong correlation between increased consumption of magnesium and improved sleep quality and duration. (63).

An analysis of older adults with insomnia showed that, on average, magnesium supplementation decreased the amount of time needed to drift off by 17 minutes. (64).

Another study found that a magnesium, melatonin, and zinc supplement significantly improved the sleep quality among residents in a long-term care center. (65)

Additionally, another study found that women with higher magnesium consumption had a decreased chance of falling asleep during the day. (66).


Magnesium is an essential mineral for the body and plays a role in hundreds of biochemical reactions. From improved exercise performance to enhanced sleep quality, magnesium offers numerous benefits that can help improve overall well-being. With its ability to protect against metabolic syndrome, reduce inflammation, support heart health, and even prevent or treat migraine attacks, magnesium should be considered as part of your daily routine. Our magnesium bicarbonate supplement, the Master Mineral Drink, has been specially formulated with all these fantastic benefits in mind so you can get the most out of this essential nutrient!

While magnesium offers numerous benefits, it is important to consult with a doctor before taking any supplement. Everyone has different needs, and magnesium may interact with certain medications or conditions. It’s best to discuss magnesium supplementation with your healthcare practitioner to ensure you are consuming the right amount for optimal health results.


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All About Raw Fats: A Comprehensive Guide

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