Spotlight on Magnesium, the Miracle Mineral


Magnesium, an essential mineral abundant in nature, has long been recognised for its remarkable health benefits. It serves as a catalyst for over 300 biochemical reactions within the human body, making it an invaluable element for overall health and wellbeing.

Let's unravel the wonders of this mineral, understand why it's essential to get enough magnesium, explore the potential effects of magnesium deficiency, discover magnesium-rich foods and delve into some of the different types of magnesium supplements available.

The Health Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium is so essential because it's involved in such a large number of our vital bodily functions, including energy production, protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function and DNA synthesis.

It also helps regulate blood pressure, maintain a steady heartbeat and support a healthy immune system. Magnesium even plays a role in bone health, as it assists in the absorption of calcium and vitamin D.

So, what happens if we don't get enough magnesium?

Magnesium deficiency, also known as hypomagnesemia, can have a range of effects on our health. Some common symptoms include muscle cramps, fatigue, irritability and abnormal heart rhythms.

Long term deficiency can increase the risk of chronic conditions like osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Therefore, it's crucial to ensure we're meeting our magnesium needs to maintain optimal health.

Fortunately, obtaining magnesium through our diet is relatively straightforward, as many foods are excellent sources. Dark leafy greens like spinach and kale, legumes such as black beans and lentils, nuts and seeds like almonds and pumpkin seeds, whole grains, and certain fish like salmon and mackerel are all rich in magnesium.

By incorporating these foods into our meals, we can naturally boost our magnesium intake.

However, in some cases, dietary sources alone may not be sufficient to meet our magnesium requirements. That's where magnesium supplements come into play.

Different types of magnesium supplements are available, each with their own set of benefits. Let's explore a few popular forms:

1. Magnesium Citrate:
This form of magnesium is well absorbed by the body and is often used to support digestive health and relieve constipation.

2. Magnesium Glycinate: Known for its superior bioavailability, magnesium glycinate is highly absorbable and gentle on the stomach. It's often favoured for its calming properties and potential benefits for sleep and relaxation.

3. Magnesium Malate: This form of magnesium is combined with malic acid, which may enhance energy production and support muscle health. It's commonly used by athletes and people with fibromyalgia.

4. Magnesium Threonate: This newer form of magnesium has shown promising results in crossing the blood-brain barrier and supporting cognitive function. It's being researched for its potential benefits in brain health and memory.

When considering magnesium supplements, it's always advisable to consult with a healthcare professional to determine the appropriate dosage and form based on your specific needs.

Numerous studies have explored the health benefits of magnesium. For example, a review published in the journal Nutrients found that magnesium supplementation can help reduce blood pressure in individuals with hypertension.

Another study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that magnesium intake is inversely associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Research published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition highlighted the potential of magnesium supplementation in improving sleep quality and reducing insomnia symptoms.

These are just a few examples of the growing body of scientific evidence supporting the importance of magnesium for our health. The research consistently emphasises the significant role magnesium plays in various physiological processes and the potential benefits of the mineral.

However, it's important to note that while magnesium supplementation can be beneficial for certain individuals, it's always recommended to prioritise obtaining nutrients from whole foods whenever possible.

In addition to its individual health benefits, magnesium also interacts with other nutrients in our bodies. For instance, magnesium works in tandem with calcium to maintain healthy bone density. It assists in the absorption of calcium into the bones and helps regulate calcium levels in the bloodstream. Therefore, it's crucial to strike a balance between these two essential minerals for optimal bone health.

Moreover, magnesium has been studied for its potential role in managing migraines. A systematic review published in the journal Nutrients found that magnesium supplementation may help reduce the frequency and intensity of migraines in certain individuals.

While further research is needed to fully understand the mechanisms, this suggests that magnesium supplementation could be a valuable option for migraine sufferers.

Now that we've explored the health benefits of magnesium and the potential effects of deficiency, let's consider how to incorporate more magnesium-rich foods into our diets.

As mentioned earlier, leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains and fish are excellent dietary sources. Adding a variety of these foods to our meals not only increases our magnesium intake but also provides us with a host of other essential nutrients.

When it comes to cooking, get creative with recipes that incorporate magnesium-rich ingredients. Consider a colorful spinach salad with almonds and pumpkin seeds, a hearty lentil soup, or a delicious baked salmon dish.

By experimenting with different flavours and textures, you'll not only boost your magnesium levels but also enhance the overall nutritional value of your meals.

Magnesium is a mineral that deserves our attention and appreciation for its crucial role in maintaining optimal health. From supporting energy production and muscle function to promoting bone health and beyond, magnesium is involved in countless biochemical processes in our bodies.

By incorporating magnesium-rich foods into our diets and considering appropriate supplementation when needed, we can ensure we meet our magnesium requirements and reap the associated health benefits.

Remember, while science-backed evidence supports the importance of magnesium, it's always a good idea to consult with professionals to tailor your approach to your specific needs.

So let's embrace the power of magnesium and prioritise this magnificent mineral in our journey towards improved health and wellbeing.

As we continue to uncover more about the wonders of magnesium through scientific research, let's make conscious choices to nourish our bodies with this vital nutrient.

Whether it's through wholesome foods or appropriate supplementation, let magnesium be our ally on the path to optimal health.


- Dickinson, H. O., Nicolson, D. J., Cook, J. V., Campbell, F., Beyer, F. R., Ford, G. A., & Mason, J. (2006). Magnesium supplementation for the management of primary hypertension in adults. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 3, CD004640.

- Veronese, N., et al. (2016). Magnesium and health outcomes: An umbrella review of systematic reviews and meta-analyses of observational and intervention studies. European Journal of Nutrition, 55(1), 93-121.

- Abbasi, B., et al. (2012). The effect of magnesium supplementation on primary insomnia in elderly: A double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial. Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, 17(12), 1161-1169.