Why You May Need More Magnesium

Magnesium is a vital electrolyte that is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It plays a role in almost every body system and adequate levels are important for bone density, blood pressure, insulin and blood sugar regulation, headache prevention, energy production, and sleep quality. Our body uses it up more during times of stress to help keep us relaxed.

It is estimated that as many as 80% of Americans are not getting enough magnesium – and due to it’s depletion during times of stress, even those of us getting enough are rapidly burning through it. Therefore, almost everyone
would benefit from magnesium supplementation. We talk to our patients about magnesium quite often because of the role it plays in sleep, relaxation, muscle cramp relief, blood pressure control, and healthy bowel function.

There are different types of magnesium based on what you need the most help with and the dosing will depend on your specific needs. A good rule of thumb with supplementing is to start low in dose and go slow with dose increases. Some people do well with 200mg daily while others require closer to 800mg daily. Nighttime dosing is most common due to its relaxation effects.

Magnesium Citrate

This is the best form of magnesium for constipation relief. It comes in pill, powder, or liquid form and can be found at most drugstores and in-store or online supplement retailers. It also helps with sleep, relaxation, cardiac health, etc. but is uniquely helpful when trying to increase the frequency and improve the comfort/consistency of bowel movements.

Magnesium Glycinate

This form tends to lend itself more toward improvements in sleep and anxiety and is less helpful for constipation. It also may play a role in decreasing Restless Leg Syndrome symptoms. It can be found in pill or powder form at most health food stores or online supplement retailers.

Magnesium Threonate

This is the only form of magnesium that can cross into the brain and may provide the most benefit for those with migraines, anxiety, or insomnia. It is available in pill form through online supplement retailers.

Magnesium Oxide

Most widely available form of magnesium and yet the most poorly absorbed form. Not recommended due to the low quality and poor efficacy.

So, could you benefit from magnesium supplementation?

Contributed by:  Michelle Kennedy, MSN, NP-C, FOMA