MAGNESIUM - the miracle mineral
Updated: Sep 20, 2019
By Damian Brown
Naturopath and Kinesiologist
Magnesium is involved in as many as 600 enzymatic processes in our bodies.
It is essential for energy production, normal cardiac rhythm, healthy
pulmonary function, blood glucose regulation, along with relaxing smooth
and skeletal muscle.
However, many Australians don't get the magnesium they need from diet
alone. A recent Australian Health Survey found that just under 40% of adults
have insufficient magnesium intake, which may be related to the impacts of
the Western diet on magnesium status, such as high intakes of fat, coffee
and nutrient-poor foods.
Magnesium deficiency symptoms mimic common stress-related symptoms,
such as fatigue, pain, insomnia and mood disorders. It has also been shown to result in a number of symptoms including PMS and dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps), stress, and muscle cramping.
To get enough of this essential nutrient, it’s recommended that men and
women get 400mg and 320mg per day respectively, depending on
age, activity, stress levels, and other health and lifestyle factors.
This can be difficult to achieve even when eating magnesium-rich foods
such nuts, legumes, whole grains, dark green vegetables, seafood,
chocolate, and cocoa.
Magnesium comes in a variety of forms, some of which your body can
absorb better than others. You may also benefit from a specific form of
magnesium specific to your health goals.
This makes working with a qualified health practitioner important to ensure
you are getting the right formulation for your needs.
For example, magnesium malate has been shown to provide support to
individuals with muscle tenderness and fatigue. A study of 24 individuals
found malic acid, along with 300 mg magnesium, taken two times daily,
provided significant support in measurements of muscle tenderness and
When used correctly, many people find that magnesium citrate is a simple
solution to occasional constipation.
Magnesium L-threonate is superior to other forms of magnesium at getting
through the blood brain barrier because it is able to transport magnesium
ions across lipid membranes, including those of brain cells. Researchers at
MIT concluded that elevating brain magnesium content via
supplementation with magnesium L-threonate may be a useful strategy to
support cognitive abilities and decrease common age-related memory
It can be challenging to obtain all the nutrients we need from diet alone.
This is consistently demonstrated in research even with popular diets
perceived as ‘healthy’.
There may also be a higher demand for specific nutrients due to certain
health conditions, compromised digestion, and stress. This is where the right supplements can be extremely beneficial.
Magnesium is a key player to help you adapt to the stresses of modern life and thrive.
This article is for information only. Please see your health practitioner for more information.
Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) [Internet]. Canberra (ACT): ABS; 2015. Australian Health Survey: Usual Nutrient Intakes 2011-12; 2015 Mar 6 [2017 Jan 13]. Available from: www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4364.0.55.008~2011-12~Main%20Features~Magnesium~406.