A mineral that we have all been told through our lives is good for us, good for cramps, good for people who exercise, but why? Why is magnesium so good? What does it do? How does it help us?
Well, little did (most of us including myself up until recently!) we know that magnesium is responsible for 350 different metabolic processes in the human body. But most considerably and relevant are; reducing stress levels and helping feeling relaxed and at peace, allowing us to fall asleep faster and achieve deeper sleeps, boosting our immune system, maintain normal heart rhythm, lowering cortisol (stress hormone) levels, building strong bones & aiding in cognitive function.
Many people are often magnesium deficient without realising, this can occur because the symptoms may not be of concern yet. Meaning, you could be deficient and not know because the symptoms are not ones that would be of major concern, or would you correlate those symptoms with a deficiency in magnesium.
The interesting thing about magnesium is that it also comes in many different forms, not all magnesium is created equal and not all magnesium works within the body the same way. Inconvenient on a consumption level (Unless you use a product that has a blend of multiple magnesium types, which there are!), but very interesting when we can start to utilise different forms of magnesium to address specific concerns.
While whole-food including, spinach, flax, avocado, soybeans, sunflower seeds, almonds, brown rice & potatoes are all fantastic sources of magnesium, most of the time people are still lacking a diet filled with these nutrient rich foods. This is where supplementing with magnesium can benefit.
But to choose the right magnesium, that is now the question! Addressing the reason to supplement first or knowing areas of your health that you’re looking to improve will help this process. Below are a variety of magnesium forms and their associated benefits.
Mg Chelate, aids in the production of melatonin, a hormone used to aid in sleep and relaxation. This form will aid in the process of calming the nervous system.
Mg Citrate, mainly known for its laxative effect, this form is commonly used to aid in irregular bowel movements and constipation. Relaxing the muscles around the intestines and gut.
Mg Bisglycinate, this form is quite universal, it can help in the reduction of blood pressure, aid in reducing blood glucose levels in diabetes patients by helping in the process of breaking down sugars, therefore aiding in prevention of insulin resistance. This form is also studied to aid in osteoporosis, assists in the management of migraines & also helps manufacture serotonin, as low magnesium has been linked with low serotonin levels, decreasing moods.
Mg Malate aids in enzyme function on a cellular level, as mentioned previously magnesium is responsible for over 300 metabolic and enzymatic processes in the body & also neurotransmitter formation.
Mg Theanate, is the most readily absorbable of all forms of magnesium, this has led to its greatest ability to act on improving memory, cognitive function, and sleep enhancement by having the ability to cross the blood brain barrier more effectively.
Mg Taurate, like in the name, can act similar to the amino acid taurine which has been proven to act as a nootropic, improves overall cognitive function & works very similar to Gabba to increase brain drive nootropic factor (BDNF) impulses in the brain similar to fasting. Taurate has also been used to treat migraines, reduce heart disease risk factors within the venous system, regulates irregular heart rates, helps with insulin resistance & also a great replacement for chocolate in women suffering cravings with PMS pains.
Mg Orotate, the athletic strand of the bunch. This form has shown the ability to reduce the calcification in muscle & heart tissue that leads to dysfunction fibrotic tissue formation, improves flexibility, improves heart arrythmia, helps boost the immune system & increases bone integrity through the ability to up regulate calcium absorption.
While it seems like a lot, there are products that have blended strands together to achieve results across multiple areas of health. People have reported doses up to 3g a day, but this again is individually dependent & should be discussed with your physician. Another quick tip is to use a vitamin B6 and fulvic acid supplement to aid in the absorption and utilisation of the magnesium within the body if the product does not have it integrated into the proprietary blend.