8 Benefits of Magnesium Backed by Science

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Magnesium is an essential mineral that offers several health benefits for your heart, blood sugar regulation, bones, and mental health. You can get dietary magnesium from leafy greens, nuts, beans, fish, and some fruits, as well as high-quality supplements.

Even though magnesium is critical to healthy bodily function, up to 2 in 3 Americans are magnesium deficient. But it’s vital to get enough magnesium because every cell in the human body contains this mineral and needs it in order to function. 

Magnesium is a helper molecule (cofactor) in over 600 reactions in the body, including:

  • Converting food to energy
  • Relaxing and contracting muscles
  • Repairing DNA and RNA
  • Forming new proteins from amino acids
  • Regulating blood sugar
  • Controlling blood pressure
  • Regulating nervous system

Keep reading for the top 8 magnesium benefits, based on scientific evidence for whole-body health.

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Health Benefits of Magnesium 2

1. Energy, Vitality, and Exercise

Magnesium may give you more energy and vitality, improving your exercise performance and staving off fatigue.

Fatigue is a symptom of magnesium deficiency, so it’s important to get plenty of magnesium in your diet or through dietary supplements. Magnesium supplementation may actually improve your sleep health, leading to better energy throughout the day.

Plus, studies have shown that magnesium supplementation can lead to improved exercise performance over placebo, specifically in the following areas:

  • Grip strength
  • Lower leg power
  • Knee extension
  • Ankle extension
  • Rotation
  • Jumping
  • Muscle recovery
  • Muscle protection

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2. Mental Health

Your mental health suffers if you’re deficient in magnesium. Magnesium may help with depression and supports healthy cognition.

A 2021 study found that, “Magnesium supplementation is therefore of interest not only as a potential aid to coping with stress, but also as a treatment for anxiety and depression.”

Read Next: Magnesium for Anxiety: A Science-Backed Natural Stress Cure 

Too little magnesium may increase your susceptibility to stress. When you’re more stressed out, your body becomes vulnerable to various health problems, such as:

Magnesium may help with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because of its neuroprotective properties. Magnesium deficiency is also an emerging as a potential risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, further cementing its role as a neuroprotectant.

Related: It May Be Time to Rebalance Your Nervous System 

3. Blood Sugar Regulation

Nearly half of people with type 2 diabetes have a magnesium deficiency. Diabetes occurs when your body doesn’t release enough insulin hormone to regulate blood sugar levels (blood glucose).

Low magnesium levels may lead to higher risk of diabetes. Research from 2017 concludes, “Higher magnesium intake is associated with lower risk of type 2 diabetes.”

Magnesium supplements increase insulin sensitivity and decrease insulin resistance by increasing insulin receptor expression, according to a recent animal study. Insulin resistance and decreased insulin sensitivity are serious metabolic issues that pop up in chronic conditions like PCOS, prediabetes, and obesity.

Some researchers have found that magnesium and vitamin D work best together in increasing insulin sensitivity for better blood sugar regulation. In my experience, that simply depends on the specific patient’s unique deficiencies.

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4. Improvement of Constipation

Magnesium is one of the best ways to treat occasional constipation at home. It’s an osmotic laxative, meaning it draws water from your intestines into stool, softening your waste and making it easier to pass bowel movements.

Various forms of magnesium may have laxative effects, including magnesium citrate, magnesium hydroxide, and magnesium sulfate. When used as an oral supplement, magnesium is helpful for infrequent constipation but may cause side effects like diarrhea.

If you’re dealing with frequent constipation, talk to your healthcare provider about solutions beyond magnesium or other laxatives.

5. Heart Health

Magnesium helps support a healthy cardiovascular system, the network of blood vessels interacting with your heart.

Every 4 minutes, someone dies of stroke, a serious cardiovascular disorder resulting from not enough blood supply to the brain. A 2019 study found that, “Increasing magnesium intake may be a crucial component of stroke prevention.”

Magnesium supplements may help reduce high blood pressure, decreasing your risk for heart disease. Supplementing magnesium has also shown promise in heart failure patients, improving heart rhythm regulation and inflammation markers. 

Read more: NMN Supplements for Heart Health & More

6. Migraine Attack Prevention

Low levels of magnesium may cause migraines, so getting plenty of magnesium may prevent migraine attacks.

Migraines are painful headache disorders affecting more than 10% of people, although some migraine sufferers do not experience head pain. Women are about 3 times more likely than men to experience migraine attacks.

One scientific review found significant evidence that magnesium is “possibly effective” at preventing migraines. An older study encourages migraine sufferers to add more magnesium to their diet to prevent migraine headaches and related symptoms, instead of taking supplements.

I would add that magnesium supplements may only prevent migraines if you’re not getting enough magnesium in the first place. Check out these high-quality magnesium supplements to see if they’re right for you.

7. Bone Health

More than half of the magnesium in your body is in your bones. If you’re deficient in magnesium, your bone health suffers. Especially if you have a family history of bone disease, you should get plenty of magnesium in your diet or through supplements.

Higher magnesium intake may lower your risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.

About 1.5 million people experience a bone fracture every year, including 40% of white women over the age of 50. Around 10 million experience osteoporosis.

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8. PMS Symptom Reduction & Men’s Hormone Health

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a common condition in women of child-bearing age. PMS symptoms include mood changes, abdominal cramps, bowel habit changes, and tender breasts. Magnesium can be good for women’s hormonal health, particularly relating to PMS.

Magnesium may help improve mood by regulating dopamine levels affected by PMS. Dopamine may also impact pain modulation, so magnesium could help reduce PMS pain.

Magnesium supports healthy testosterone production, so magnesium supplements may be good for men’s hormone health as well.

Read Next: 10 Ways to Increase Testosterone Naturally 

According to recent studies, magnesium supplementation may prevent:

  • Painful menstruation
  • Menstrual migraine
  • Some PMS symptoms
  • Some menopause symptoms


What are the symptoms of magnesium deficiency?

20-30% of people are at least subclinically deficient in magnesium. Magnesium deficiency symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • Appetite changes
  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Weak muscles
  • Muscle spasms
  • Numbness, tingling
  • Weak bones
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Depression

What is the recommended dosage for magnesium supplements?

AgeRecommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
0-6 months30 mg/day
7-12 months75 mg/day
1-3 years80 mg/day
4-8 years130 mg/day
9-13 years240 mg/day
14-30 years310 mg/day
30+ years320 mg/day
Pregnant350 mg/day
Breastfeeding, 14-18 years360 mg/day
Breastfeeding, 19+ years320 mg/day
14-30 years400 mg/day
31+ years420 mg/day

Are there different forms of magnesium?

Yes, there are different forms of magnesium supplements. The main forms of magnesium are:

  • Magnesium citrate
  • Magnesium malate
  • Magnesium chloride
  • Magnesium oxide
  • Magnesium lactate
  • Magnesium taurate

Studies are limited, but magnesium citrate is probably the most effective form of magnesium. Fortunately, it’s also the most widely available. Magnesium malate is also a highly beneficial form.

Is magnesium just for women?

No, magnesium is not just for women; men can also benefit from magnesium. Magnesium may help with exercise performance, testosterone levels, and heart attack prevention — to name just a few benefits for males.

What foods are rich in magnesium?

The following magnesium-rich foods are the best food sources of magnesium:

  • Leafy vegetables, such as spinach
  • Nuts, including cashews and almonds
  • Seeds, such as pumpkin seeds and chia seeds
  • Legumes, including soybeans and black beans
  • Whole grains, like wheat
  • Fatty fish, such as salmon and halibut
  • Other seafood, including oysters and clams
  • Some fruits, such as avocados and bananas

Is it OK to take magnesium every day?

Yes, it is OK to take magnesium every day. Just don’t take high doses — more than the maximum daily intake allowance of 400 mg of magnesium.

When should I take magnesium, in the morning or at night?

You can take magnesium in the morning or night — whatever is the easiest habit to consistently keep. It’s important you take your magnesium at the same time every day.

If you’re trying to take advantage of magnesium’s sleep benefits (due to magnesium’s positive effect on your neurotransmitters), I recommend taking magnesium after dinner or right before bed.

Are there risks to taking magnesium supplements?

There are potential risks to intake of magnesium, though no side effects are severe. Magnesium side effects may include:

Who should not take magnesium?

Talk to a healthcare professional before taking magnesium if you are an older adult or you experience any of the following health conditions:

  • Diabetes
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Digestive diseases
  • Didney diseases
  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Parathyroid dysfunction
  • Pregnant or breastfeeding

Certain medications interact with magnesium:

  • Heart medications
  • Diuretics
  • Proton pump inhibitors
  • Calcium channel blockers
  • Osteoporosis medications
  • Antibiotics

High-Quality Magnesium For Your Whole-Body Health

A majority of people don’t get the right amount of magnesium in their diet, potentially leading to symptoms of depression, heart problems, bone weakness, muscle weakness, and more.

You need a magnesium supplement that can support a healthy lifestyle, especially as you age. Magnesium supplements may support healthy aging and maintain a high quality of life. 

Take magnesium supplements to support a healthy heart, bones, mental health, energy, and more! Consider high-quality magnesium supplements from PrimeHealth.

Remember, it’s important to discuss any new supplement regimen with your healthcare provider.


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