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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anna Lundeen

The Power of Magnesium: Unlocking its Health Benefits


Magnesium is officially one of my very favorite minerals, and when it comes to hormonal health, it is a true champion. It's power, however goes way beyond hormonal health and literally impacts most of our bodies' functions. Not only do I see great benefits in hormonal function, but I also see improvements in muscle recovery after workouts and most importantly sleep. So let's break it down. Which magnesium is right for you and how do you know if you need it?


 

Historically, we have long sought comfort in natural hot springs, and many people have been soaking in epsom salts for years. This is due to the power of magnesium when absorbed through the skin. It has a calming effect mentally, and it greatly improves sore muscles and healing time.



True magnesium deficiency has a major effect on cardiac and neurologic function and can lead to arrhythmias and seizures to name a few consequences. This degree of deficiency requires immediate medical treatment. Blood levels account for only about 1% of our entire magnesium stores, therefore we can have whole body depletion with normal lab values, and that is harder to measure. There are some medications that will deplete magnesium, but often the greatest source of depletion is our bodies' use through managing stress. In constant high stress situations, we often use more magnesium than we can take in via diet. Common dietary sources are leafy greens, nuts, seeds, and legumes, but we only absorb 30-40% of the magnesium we take in through our diet, so depending on your need, you still may struggle to get enough.


 

What are the benefits of this magical mineral?

  1. Cardiovascular health: from regulating heart rate to improving circulation and lower cholesterol, having enough magnesium is important for your heart.

  2. Stress and anxiety reduction: Magnesium has a very calming effect on the nervous system, therefore appropriate levels can help manage stress and reduce anxiety. It helps increase some of the neurotransmitters that keep us calm which allows for improved sleep at night as well.

  3. Reduction of inflammation: magnesium can improve your bodies' ability to manage

oxidative stress and recover from damage. This helps rebound from a hard workout or settle your brain to sleep at night. Higher doses (300-600mg) can greatly reduce migraine headaches for anyone who suffers from migraines.

4. Hormonal regulation: Magnesium can help improve insulin sensitivity which plays a large role in our overall hormonal health. It is also involved in many of the enzymatic reactions that help both produce and

metabolize/detox our hormones throughout their natural cycle. Without enough magnesium, our bodies will slow down their production of hormones leaving us feeling "off."


 

But there are so many kinds? How do I know which to choose?

Let's break it down, and I will share my very favorite combination for hormonal health.

  1. Magnesium citrate: The key takeaway with citrate is its laxative properties. It is well absorbed, but definitely can cause some changes in stool and is great for relieving constipation. If you are not constipated, I would avoid this one.

  2. Magnesium oxide: Not as well absorbed as citrate and also works as a laxative.

  3. Magnesium glycinate: Highly absorbed and as glycinate is an amino acid important for building certain neurotransmitters, glycinate has a very calming effect and is one of my favorite magnesium types for alleviating anxiety and helping with sleep.

  4. Magnesium L-Threonate: Crosses the blood-brain barrier and can be very helpful for focus, concentration, and memory concerns.

  5. Magnesium Malate: highly absorbed but gentle on the gut and very well incorporated into the cells. This is great for bone strength and muscle development as well as chronic fatigue as it helps the body improve ATP (energy) production.





My favorite magnesium supplement has both malate and glycinate combined to help decrease GI side effects while improving absorption and efficacy. Give it a try!





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