5 Amazing Effects Of Magnesium For Your Body

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Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

Magnesium For Brain Health

Did you know that every human being has magnesium in their body? It’s such a crucial mineral to have that a deficiency can cause you serious health problems. A healthy person has about 25 grams of this essential mineral[1] in their body, with a vast majority being in the skeletal.

Magnesium deficiency can cause your body to develop certain health complications. That’s why it is essential to get your Recommended Daily Intake of 310-420 mg, depending on your age and gender. Read on, and let’s explore more about magnesium, its health benefits, and what a deficiency can cause.

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is a mineral that your body requires when performing certain essential body functions. You need magnesium for your bones, brain, heart, and muscles. Therefore, your body can’t function at its best when there’s a low intake of magnesium.

The moment you have low magnesium deposits in your body, physiological changes occur. The tiny deposits available are directed to the most critical functions while leaving out others.

Health Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium Can Boost Brain Function

Proper brain function is crucial for every person. Your brain should work in the best way possible every day. It also impacts your general mood and the production of brain cells.

One of the best ways to boost proper brain function is by eating the right foods. These foods contain the best levels of minerals like magnesium that your brain requires. When you get a low supply over an extended period, you can risk getting depression[2].

However, it’s important to emphasize the kind of food to eat when getting more magnesium. Most modern foods are low in every vital mineral, including magnesium, that your brain and body require. That’s why you must steer clear of processed, deep-fried, and other junk foods.

Instead, focus on healthy and organic foods that bring you lots of vitamins and minerals. Magnesium is crucial when you want to guard your brain and improve your mental health. A study[3] even shows significant recovery in patients diagnosed with depression after undergoing magnesium treatment.

The mineral boosts your brain function and general cognitive function. Therefore, ensure you eat foods rich in magnesium or take supplements to meet your Daily Value. It’s good for your mental health and a way to improve your general mood[4].

Apart from helping improve your brain function, magnesium also has numerous other benefits to your body.

Lowers Chances of Getting Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is a chronic illness that can affect your quality of life. Research[5] shows that almost 50% of people who get Type 2 Diabetes have low magnesium levels. However, you can lessen the chances of developing this ailment by increasing your magnesium consumption.

Having less magnesium[6] can weaken your immune system and expose you to illnesses such as diabetes.

Apart from lessening the chances of getting Type 2 Diabetes, magnesium can help patients who already have the illness. In one study[7], people with Type 2 Diabetes were given 50 grams of magnesium for 16 weeks. At the end of the study trial, respondents showed major improvements in terms of hemoglobin A1c and blood sugar levels.

However, the results can vary from one patient to another. It’s therefore advisable to speak to your physician about magnesium intake and Type 2 Diabetes. They can provide medical advice in regards to this.

Helps Fight Inflammation

Inflammation can be quite impactful on your health and wellbeing, especially if it’s a chronic case. When you take more magnesium, you can feel better, which is validated by lowering the inflammatory marker C-Reactive Protein (CRP). Since older people[8] experience chronic inflammation, magnesium can be a great help.

Boosts Energy Levels

When you want to have better health, physical exercise is important. But it’s not easy to get up and work out when you have low energy levels. Having high energy levels is another health benefit of having the right amount of magnesium in your body.

Most magnesium plays a vital role in body functions that include muscle movement. It’s why athletes take magnesium supplements. Not only do they feel better, but they increase their energy levels[9] safely and naturally. Magnesium helps you move better and have more control over your muscles.

But, results aren’t the same for each person. It’s, therefore, better as a professional to talk to your physician who can provide medical advice.

Alleviates Constipation Symptoms

Magnesium is a powerful mineral that you can use to improve your digestion. It helps you to have less constipation[10] when food is digested properly. Lack of magnesium in the body at times presents itself as constipation. 

Effects of Insufficient Magnesium Intake

Taking magnesium-rich foods and supplements can be a great way of boosting the mineral’s level in your body. However, when you have an insufficient amount, you are at risk of certain symptoms and ailments such as:

Weak Bones (Osteoporosis)

Bone health is quite crucial. Having weak bones[11] can affect your performance and quality of life. One of the reasons you can develop weak bones is low magnesium intake. Taking estrogen along with calcium plus magnesium and a multivitamin increases bone mass more than by taking estrogen alone.

Muscle Weakness and Fatigue

Having weak muscles can cause fatigue and instances of pure exhaustion in the human body. While it’s quite common to feel weak and tired at times, it becomes concerning when you have weak muscles and low energy production.

High Blood Pressure

Research shows that high blood pressure is associated with low magnesium levels in the body. High blood pressure puts you at risk of developing heart problems[12]

Magnesium helps keep blood vessels from constricting, which causes the heart to work harder to pump the blood and raise blood pressure.

Mental Health Disorders

As mentioned earlier, magnesium plays a crucial role in brain function[13]. When you have low levels in your body, you can develop mental health disorders such as depression. 

In severe cases, you can even lose proper brain function and wind up in a coma.

Muscle Twitches and Cramps

Muscles are important, and you notice you can’t function well when you have twitches and cramps. Muscle twitches and cramps are a sign you have low magnesium levels in your body. Severe cases can even cause you to have less mobility. Magnesium is widely used to treat leg cramps.

Migraine Attacks

At times when you’re tired, you can start developing a headache. This tends to go away when you take some medication and get some rest. However, a migraine is a severe pain in your brain that’s continuous.

Research shows that some people who get severe migraine attacks[14] have inadequate intake of magnesium.

How to Increase Magnesium Intake

Taking more magnesium can help improve your health. Not only does your brain function better, but you can avoid or recover from other ailments affecting your body’s immunity. 

The best way to increase your magnesium is to eat healthy foods rich in this mineral. These foods, together with magnesium supplements like magnesium glycinate, end up benefiting your body immensely. Start increasing intake of foods like:

  1. Avocados
  2. Dark Chocolate
  3. Tofu
  4. Whole Grains such as brown rice, barley, and oats
  5. Legumes such as soybeans, chickpeas, beans, and peas
  6. Nuts such as cashews and almonds
  7. Seeds such as chia, pumpkin, and flax
  8. Leafy Greens
  9. Fatty Fish
  10. Bananas

All these are great natural foods that can immensely increase levels of magnesium in your body. Imagine one ounce of almonds has 80 mg of magnesium in it (20% of the Recommended Daily Allowance), a great source to boost your levels in your diet. If almonds aren’t your thing, then have some fatty fish like salmon. Salmon can have upwards of 50 mg of magnesium.


Magnesium is an essential mineral that you need for better health and wellbeing. In fact, it’s among one of the most crucial minerals that you need daily. First and foremost, magnesium plays a significant role in mental health.

Proper brain function relies on key minerals, and magnesium is one of them. When you have less magnesium consumption, you risk developing mental health disorders. You even risk having heightened stress hormones, fatigue, weak bones and muscles as a result. 

However, you can increase your magnesium levels by eating foods rich in this mineral and taking supplements such as magnesium glycinate. Choose magnesium glycinate or magnesium citrate but not magnesium oxide as your supplement choice because of the poor absorption associated with the oxide choice.

+ 14 sources

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  2. ‌Tarleton, E.K. and Littenberg, B. (2015). Magnesium Intake and Depression in Adults. The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, [online] 28(2), pp.249–256. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25748766/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2021].
  3. ‌Eby, G.A. and Eby, K.L. (2006). Rapid recovery from major depression using magnesium treatment. Medical Hypotheses, [online] 67(2), pp.362–370. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16542786/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2021].
  4. ‌Boyle, N., Lawton, C. and Dye, L. (2017). The Effects of Magnesium Supplementation on Subjective Anxiety and Stress—A Systematic Review. Nutrients, [online] 9(5), p.429. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5452159/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2021].
  5. ‌Barbagallo, M. (2015). Magnesium and type 2 diabetes. World Journal of Diabetes, [online] 6(10), p.1152. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26322160/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2021].
  6. ‌Hruby, A., Meigs, J.B., O’Donnell, C.J., Jacques, P.F. and McKeown, N.M. (2013). Higher Magnesium Intake Reduces Risk of Impaired Glucose and Insulin Metabolism and Progression From Prediabetes to Diabetes in Middle-Aged Americans. Diabetes Care, [online] 37(2), pp.419–427. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24089547/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2021].
  7. ‌Rodriguez-Moran, M. and Guerrero-Romero, F. (2003). Oral Magnesium Supplementation Improves Insulin Sensitivity and Metabolic Control in Type 2 Diabetic Subjects: A randomized double-blind controlled trial. Diabetes Care, [online] 26(4), pp.1147–1152. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12663588/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2021].
  8. ‌Nielsen FH;Johnson LK;Zeng H (2011). Magnesium supplementation improves indicators of low magnesium status and inflammatory stress in adults older than 51 years with poor quality sleep. Magnesium research, [online] 23(4). Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21199787/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2021].
  9. ‌Nielsen FH;Lukaski HC (2017). Update on the relationship between magnesium and exercise. Magnesium research, [online] 19(3). Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17172008/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2021].
  10. ‌Mori, S., Tomita, T., Fujimura, K., Asano, H., Ogawa, T., Yamasaki, T., Kondo, T., Kono, T., Tozawa, K., Oshima, T., Fukui, H., Kimura, T., Watari, J. and Miwa, H. (2019). A Randomized Double-blind Placebo-controlled Trial on the Effect of Magnesium Oxide in Patients With Chronic Constipation. Journal of Neurogastroenterology and Motility, [online] 25(4), pp.563–575. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6786451/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2021].
  11. ‌Castiglioni, S., Cazzaniga, A., Albisetti, W. and Maier, J. (2013). Magnesium and Osteoporosis: Current State of Knowledge and Future Research Directions. Nutrients, [online] 5(8), pp.3022–3033. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23912329/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2021].
  12. ‌Ettehad, D., Emdin, C.A., Kiran, A., Anderson, S.G., Callender, T., Emberson, J., Chalmers, J., Rodgers, A. and Rahimi, K. (2016). Blood pressure lowering for prevention of cardiovascular disease and death: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Lancet, [online] 387(10022), pp.957–967. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26724178/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2021].
  13. ‌Pham, P.-C., Pham, P.A., Pham, S., Pham, P.T., Pham, P.M. and Pham, P.T. (2014). Hypomagnesemia: a clinical perspective. International Journal of Nephrology and Renovascular Disease, [online] p.219. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24966690/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2021].
  14. ‌Mauskop, A. and Varughese, J. (2012). Why all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium. Journal of Neural Transmission, [online] 119(5), pp.575–579. Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22426836/ [Accessed 25 Nov. 2021].

Medically reviewed by:

Mitchelle Morgan is a health and wellness writer with over 10 years of experience. She holds a Master's in Communication. Her mission is to provide readers with information that helps them live a better lifestyle. All her work is backed by scientific evidence to ensure readers get valuable and actionable content.

Medically reviewed by:

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