What is magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential mineral and a vital alkaline-forming element. Also, it is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, with 98% of it being stored inside the cell.
Needed in over 600 enzymes within the body, magnesium is truly the body's workhorse. Needed for muscle function, healthy bones and teeth, energy production and more, a lack of magnesium can negatively impact general health and physical wellbeing. Not only this, magnesium is often referred to as the relaxing mineral due to its contribution to a healthy nervous system and psychological functions.
Magnesium is present in various food sources such as leafy greens, nuts and seeds though recent research suggests our intakes need support.
Why do we need to supplement?
The need for extra magnesium is seen among coffee drinkers and elite athletes because excessive coffee consumption and heavy perspiration is known to deplete the body’s magnesium stores. Magnesium can also be depleted by alcohol abuse, hard physical activity and stress.
According to the UK National Diet and Nutrition Survey, run by Public Health England, a substantial proportion of adults had intakes below recommended limit. Reasons proposed for this were that people weren’t choosing enough magnesium-rich foods and changes in agriculture have decreased magnesium intakes 1.
How does magnesium work in the body?
Magnesium has several important roles in the body. It supports more than 600 different enzymatic processes which allows it to contribute to the following:
- Normal muscle function
- Normal energy metabolism
- Maintenance of normal bones and teeth
- Normal psychological functions and electrolyte balance
- Normal functioning of the nervous system
- A reduction of tiredness and fatigue
- Normal protein synthesis
- The process of cell division
Benefits in research
Various studies have shown that a lack of magnesium can be detrimental to mental wellbeing and may trigger anxiety and/or depression symptoms. Studies have also shown that correcting this lack of magnesium can induce improvement in these symptoms 2.
Magnesium may support brain functions in several ways, including stimulating the use of the 'anti-anxiety' neurotransmitter, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). GABA is an inhibitory compound that's able to reduce excessive neuronal activity in the brain - without it, we would never be able to relax. By stimulating GABA, magnesium is able to effectively 'put the brakes' on excessive activity in the brain linked to anxiety, insomnia and even migraines 3. Studies also demonstrate that magnesium supplementation is associated with a drop in levels of cortisol, the ‘stress hormone’ 4.
Persistent sleeping problems can result in mood disturbance, poor concentration, fatigue and even elevated risk of cardiovascular disease. Magnesium supplements may assist a restorative night's sleep, according to various trials. In one such trial, those who took magnesium supplements over a period of 8 weeks had improved sleep quality versus those who took a placebo 4.
Magnesium is essential for nerve and muscle function, a lack of which can cause cramping of the muscles 5.
Several studies show that magnesium supplementation has a relaxing effect on the blood vessels, helping to decrease high blood pressure 6.
Physical exercise may deplete magnesium stores in the body. Proposed to be due to its role in energy metabolism and muscle function, supplementation has been shown in various trials to enhance athletic performance 7.
Vitamin D support
Adequate magnesium is essential for the proper working of vitamin D3 in the body, including its conversion from calcidiol (the stored form) to calcitriol (the active form) 8. Those who take vitamin D should consider taking magnesium as well.
Bio-Magnesium is a complex of three different magnesium sources. Each tablet provides you with 200 mg of pure magnesium. The tablet contains a mixture of organically and inorganically bound magnesium contained in a matrix that causes the tablet to dissolve completely in less than two minutes - even in people with a low stomach acid content - where the magnesium content will be changed to a absorbable ion form providing a high absorption.
A double-blind, placebo-controlled study from 2008 showed that participants taking Bio-Magnesium every day for eight weeks had serum magnesium contents that were six times higher than those in the control group who had not received the magnesium supplement 9.
We placed two magnesium tablets in separate glasses of water. In the left glass the Bio-Magnesium tablet from Pharma Nord is completely dissolved and ready to be absorbed after a few minutes. In the glass to the right we put a magnesium tablet from a competitor. Even after 24 hours in the water the competitor's tablet shows no sign of dissolving.
1.NDNS: results from years 7 and 8 (combined) [Internet]. GOV.UK. 2019 [cited 2 May 2019]. Available from: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/ndns-results-from-years-7-and-8-combined
2. Jacka F, Overland S, Stewart R, Tell G, Bjelland I, Mykletun A. Association Between Magnesium Intake and Depression and Anxiety in Community-Dwelling Adults: The Hordaland Health Study. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry. 2009;43(1):45-52.
3. Möykkynen T, Uusi-Oukari M, Heikkilä J, Lovinger D, Lüddens H, Korpi E. Magnesium potentiation of the function of native and recombinant GABAA receptors. Neuroreport. 2001;12(10):2175-2179.
4. Held K, Antonijevic I, Künzel H, Uhr M, Wetter T, Golly I et al. Oral Mg2+ Supplementation Reverses Age-Related Neuroendocrine and Sleep EEG Changes in Humans. Pharmacopsychiatry. 2002;35(4):135-143.
5. Pham P, Pham P, Pham S, Pham P, Pham P, Pham P. Hypomagnesemia: a clinical perspective. International Journal of Nephrology and Renovascular Disease. 2014;:219.
6.Kawano Y, Matsuoka H, Takishita S, Omae T. Effects of Magnesium Supplementation in Hypertensive Patients. Hypertension. 1998;32(2):260-265.
7. Golf SW, Bender S, Gruttner J: On the Significance of Magnesium in Extreme Physical Stress. Cardiovascular Drugs and Therapy. 1998, 12: 197–202. 10.1023/A:1007708918683.
8. Uwitonze A, Razzaque M. Role of Magnesium in Vitamin D Activation and Function. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. 2018;118(3):181.
9. Poikolainen K, Alho H. Magnesium treatment in alcoholics: A randomized clinical trial. Substance Abuse Treatment, Prevention, and Policy. 2008;3(1).