Frequently Asked Questions About Magnesium
Most every individual can benefit from magnesium supplementation. Magnesium is generally recognized as safe, and is a vital macronutrient by many of the body's systems.
How Do I Know if I Need a Magnesium Supplement?
Considering the fact that nearly 75% of Americans1 are not even getting the recommended daily amount of magnesium, you should consider the possibility that you are deficient. Causes of magnesium deficiency vary, but many people don’t get adequate amounts of this vital mineral through their diets.
You can learn if you suffer from magnesium deficiency is through a blood test. However, most people can determine if they’re not getting enough magnesium by evaluating their symptoms.
If you suffer from the following ailments, you could have a magnesium deficiency:
- Muscle cramps/twitches
- Muscle weakness
- Weak immune system
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Nerve pain
While the majority of these symptoms may not be more than a day-to-day hindrance, an irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia can be upsetting and could lead to more serious complications. Arrhythmia increases the chance of stroke or heart failure, so it’s important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing symptoms.
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is a mineral that is an important constituent of every cell in your body, especially the mitochondria. We know it's essential to your well-being. Your body is constantly using up magnesium and if it's not replaced, you can easily become depleted. In fact, magnesium is used in more than three hundred biochemical reactions in your body. More recent papers reference 80% of known metabolic functions and one thousand biochemical reactions2. Magnesium is vital to nerve transmission, muscle relaxation, regulating the heartbeat and keeping your bones strong.
Among the magnesium facts we share, you will learn about using this vital mineral to restore health to your body. We will discuss how magnesium can help with sleep, muscle cramps, migraines and more. In the end, you should have a better understanding of what magnesium can do and if a supplement is the right choice for you.
Will Magnesium Help Me Sleep?
This is one of the most common questions about magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is associated with high levels of stress, difficulty relaxing, and anxiety, which are all key reasons people have trouble sleeping. In a small study, magnesium for sleep was used on 43 older adults. Of those that took the supplement, the majority fell asleep faster and also spent more time asleep.
Another study showed that restless leg syndrome, another reason some people have trouble sleeping, could be controlled with magnesium supplements. It would appear that the proper amount of magnesium causes relaxation and helps people take advantage of natural sleep rhythms for better rest.
Does Magnesium Help With Muscle Cramps?
While there haven’t been a lot of studies on using magnesium for muscle cramps, we do know that this element is essential for regulating muscle contractions and allowing them to relax. If there is an imbalance in the body, it would naturally become more difficult for the muscles to perform as intended, thereby leading to cramping.
Some people suffer from leg spasms while sleeping, but those most vulnerable are pregnant women and the elderly. In both situations, it’s possible that taking magnesium might alleviate some of the pain and discomfort of muscle spasms.
Is Magnesium Good For Your Brain?
Magnesium plays a vital role in neuromuscular relaxation and nerve transmission. It has also been linked to protecting against excessive nerve stimulation that leads to neuronal cell death. Top health professionals believe that magnesium deficiency can lead to multiple neurological disorders.
There is strong research that suggests a pivotal role for magnesium in depression, migraine pain, as well as stroke prevention, alleviating anxiety, and reducing chronic pain. There are ongoing studies being performed to determine if taking magnesium for brain functionality is effective at treating other neurological conditions, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and epilepsy. Since we do know how important magnesium is for the brain, it makes sense that supplements would help alleviate many neurological problems.
Does Magnesium Help Migraines?
Migraines are another condition that has been linked to magnesium deficiency. One study showed that taking magnesium can dramatically decrease migraine pain. Plus, taking regular magnesium supplements might help prevent the attacks in the first place, especially if the migraines occur premenstrually.
Taking magnesium for migraines is a safer method for treatment than many migraine prescription medications that can cause severe side effects. If you regularly suffer from these headaches, it’s possible that you are battling a magnesium deficiency. Adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet and supplementing with ReMag® might be just what you need.
Can Magnesium Help With Nerve Pain?
Studies show that magnesium is vital to preventing central sensitization and pain hypersensitivity, as it works among the voltage-gated NMDA receptors. Magnesium is regularly studied in patients with chronic and acute pain and has been shown to be effective in many cases. Not only can this element reduce pain, but it shows benefits for neuropathic pain, postherpetic neuralgia, chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy and diabetic neuropathy.
In addition, magnesium for nerve pain is beneficial for headaches and other forms of pain management. As we perform more studies, we will better understand how this element works as an analgesic adjuvant.
Does Magnesium Help With Stress?
The links between magnesium and stress are astounding. Magnesium deficiency is associated with higher stress levels. Plus, hypomagnesemia is associated with fibromyalgia, audiogenic stress, physical stress, photosensitive headaches and chronic fatigue syndrome.
Considering that magnesium plays a vital role in the adrenergic, serotonergic and glutamatergic neurotransmitter systems, it would make sense that a lack of it could cause additional problems. Magnesium is also needed to balance many neuro-hormones, which can cause stress when there is an imbalance. To improve the well-being of the stress pathways in the body and create less stress, adding magnesium supplements can be beneficial.
What Are The Benefits of Magnesium Supplements?
Because magnesium is necessary for the proper function of more than 300 biochemical reactions, it only makes sense that the magnesium supplement benefits would be countless and difficult to name. Magnesium supplements have been studied for numerous ailments and conditions, often showing benefits for patients. For example, one study shows that magnesium moves blood sugar to the muscles and helps dispose of lactate to prevent muscle cramps and pain during exercise.
Another study reveals that taking magnesium for depression can be beneficial when a deficiency is involved. It can also lower blood pressure, help with chronic inflammation, prevent migraines and improve insulin resistance. As more studies are performed, it’s clear that the benefits of magnesium will continue to shine forth.
What Are The Side Effects of Too Much Magnesium?
Like with any dietary supplement, one of the most important questions about magnesium is what happens when too much is taken. While the element is generally well-tolerated by most healthy adults, there are some possible magnesium supplement side effects which are often related to its laxative effects. Fortunately, ReMag was formulated and has been proven to bypass the laxative effect.
In The Magnesium Miracle, Dr. Dean has listed the four contraindications to magnesium supplementation:
- Kidney failure. With kidney failure, there is an inability to clear magnesium from the kidneys.
- Myasthenia gravis. The intravenous administration could accentuate muscle relaxation and collapse the respiratory muscles.
- Excessively slow heart rate. Slow heart rates can be made even slower, as magnesium relaxes the heart. Slow heart rates often require an artificial pacemaker.
- Bowel obstruction. The main route of elimination of oral magnesium is through the bowel.
While most of these conditions are unlikely, it’s always wise to speak with a healthcare practitioner before taking any supplements, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or taking other medications.
How Much Magnesium Should You Take on the Keto Diet?
Although this is one of the more specific questions about magnesium, it’s still an important one. While on a Ketogenic diet, it becomes difficult to get enough magnesium, because many magnesium-rich foods, such as grains and beans are high in carbs and avoided. This is also the case for potassium, which is high in carbohydrate vegetables. Because of this, many people ask themselves, “How much magnesium should I take on a Keto Diet?” It’s recommended that most people should take between 300 and 400 mg of magnesium per day while on a Keto diet.
Low levels of magnesium while on the keto diet can cause:
- Heart palpitations
- Muscle spasms
- Sleep trouble
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle cramps
If you are on the keto diet to reduce the chance of Type 2 Diabetes, one study proves that magnesium supplementation can aid this process as well. In this study, 4,000 people were followed for twenty years. Those with the highest magnesium intake were 47% less likely to develop diabetes.
1 Institute of Medicine, Dietary Reference Intake for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride,
National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 1997.
2 Workinger, J. L., et al. (2018)."Challenges in the Diagnosis of Magnesium Status." Nutrients 10(9).