5 Evidence-Based Health Benefits of Magnesium

August 24, 2021

As a do-it-all mineral, magnesium can have a hand in addressing several health conditions. Here’s how it may help keep you healthy if you’re well and how it can play a role in a treatment plan.

Magnesium May Improve Insulin Function in Type 2 Diabetes

Preliminary studies show that magnesium may improve insulin sensitivity. A December 2017 study in the journal Diabetes Care found that people with the highest intake of magnesium had a 15 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared with the group who consumed the lowest amount.

It May Boost Exercise Performance

Magnesium also plays a role in exercise performance. During exercise, you may need 10–20% more magnesium than when you’re resting, depending on the activity. Magnesium helps move blood sugar into your muscles and dispose of lactate, which can build up during exercise and cause fatigue. Studies have shown that supplementing with it can boost exercise performance for athletes, the elderly and people with chronic disease.

Anxiety May Be Tempered With Magnesium

Magnesium can be beneficial in balancing the neurotransmitters glutamate and GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid). GABA, for instance, relies on magnesium for its receptors to function properly. GABA is a calming neurotransmitter, while glutamate is an excitatory one. An imbalance can make you feel on edge.

Not Getting Enough May Increase Depression Risk

People who had a low intake of magnesium were 16 percent more likely to have depression, particularly for adults under age 65, according to a study on nearly 9,000 adults published in March 2015 in the Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine.

Magnesium Can Lower Blood Pressure

Studies show that taking magnesium can lower blood pressure. In one study, people who took 450 mg per day experienced a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, these benefits may only occur in people who have high blood pressure. Another study found that magnesium lowered blood pressure in people with high blood pressure but had no effect on those with normal levels.

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