SHA Magazine Healthy Nutrition

Magnesium: the rock star of supplements

SHA Magazine
April 23, 2024

Magnesium used to a humble supplement, but lately it has received a large amount of attention. Thus, we have learned that there are different types of magnesium and that they are not equally suitable for different purposes. Its most loyal followers speak about its advantages for gaining muscle mass or the benefits of one of its varieties, bisglycinate, for relaxing, controlling anxiety, and improving sleep quality.

Magnesium is good for everything“, confirms Dr. Rosario García, head of the Revitalising Medicine unit at SHA Wellness Clinic Spain, adding that it “controls blood pressure, ensures good communication between nerve cells, proper muscle contraction, produces a feeling of well-being and relaxation that is very interesting, plays a role in bone health, intestinal rhythm and energy production“.

Some studies suggest that between 10% and 30% of the population in industrialised countries may suffer from mild to medium magnesium deficiency, which may manifest itself as feeling tired, muscle tension and sleep problems.

Most people suffering from magnesium deficiency are unaware of it, because they have never had a magnesium test and it remains undiagnosed. Some of the most obvious symptoms of this deficiency, such as feeling weak, loss of appetite, fatigue, nausea and vomiting, sometimes manifest themselves only if the deficiency is very severe.

Uncontrolled magnesium deficiency is associated with an increased risk of some chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, type 2 diabetes, migraine, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Such disorders as celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease, which make it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients, can increase the risk of developing magnesium deficiency, even with a healthy diet.

People with type 2 diabetes, as well as alcoholics, are more likely to have low magnesium levels. In addition, some common medications for the treatment of chronic diseases, such as diuretics and antibiotics, can lower magnesium levels in the body.

Dr. Rosario García explains that “magnesium deficiency is widespread, because normally we should ingest it in fruits, vegetables, seeds, whole grains, but in reality, since many of these foods are highly processed, they are less rich in nutrients“.

“When choosing a supplement, it is important to consider its bioavailability, i.e. how it is absorbed and used by the body. It is known that the most bioavailable forms are (magnesium) bisglycinate and citrate. Bisglycinate also irritates the digestive system the least,” says Dr. Garcia.

In addition to bioavailability, before choosing a magnesium supplement, its effect on the digestive tract should be taken in consideration. That is, the ability to irritate or relax the stomach and intestine. Some types of magnesium can cause diarrhoea, nausea, cramps or gas, especially if taken in high doses or on an empty stomach. The types of magnesium that are most irritating to the digestive tract are insoluble inorganic salts, such as oxide or sulphate, while the least irritating are soluble organic salts, such as citrate or lactate, and soluble organic complexes, such as malate or L-threonate.

Also, before you start taking a magnesium supplement, consider its impact on your health, i.e. its impact on your energy, mood, sleep, pain, inflammation, immunity, brain, heart, bones, or muscles.

Magnesium citrate works best for regulating mood and constipation, malate is very good for combating fatigue, increasing energy levels and controlling pain, and L-threonate is best for treating cognitive deficits, memory and learning.”

In addition, bisglycinate, which is very popular these days, combines magnesium with the amino acid glycine, and contributes to muscle wellbeing, reducing fatigue, muscle cramps and promoting rest. Furthermore, it reduces mental stress, anxiety and menstrual discomfort.



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