Magnesium lowers hypertension and blood sugar …enhances liver damage, and aids sleep (1)

In recent times, the issue of hypertension and blood sugar has dominated media education. Diverse alternative remedies have also been propagated in the management of hyperten­sion and blood sugar. One such mineral is magnesium. Some of the many benefits of magnesium are: supporting the heart, blood sugar levels, and mood. It’s found in a variety of foods ranging from leafy greens to nuts, seeds, and beans. Magnesium also plays an important role in boosting athletic performance.



According to studies, every cell in the body contains magnesium and needs it to work. This means magnesium is found throughout our bodies. One study by Grober et al.(2015) notes that the bone has about 60% of the magnesium in your body, while the rest is in the muscles, soft tissues, and fluids, including blood.

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Baaij et al. (2015) study found that one of magnesium’s key roles is to act as a cofactor — an aid molecule — in the biochemical re­actions continuously performed by enzymes. Magnesium is involved in more than 600 reactions in our body. Some includes:

• Energy creation: convert­ing food into energy

• Protein formation: creat­ing new proteins from amino acids

• Gene maintenance: helping create and repair DNA and RNA

• Muscle movements: aiding in muscle contraction and relaxation

• Nervous system regula­tion: regulating neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout your brain and nervous system


It has been established that one needs more magnesium when exercising as compared to rest, depending on the activity( Ismail et al. 2018). Nielsen and Lukaski, (2006) suggest that because of its role in muscle function and energy production, this electrolyte is be­lieved to have an impact on exercise performance. During strenuous exercise, it’s estimated that require­ments increase by 10 percent to 20 percent.

It is therefore prudent for chronic gym goers and those who engage in intense exercise to take more mag­nesium. This is because one earlier study (Zhang et al. 2017) found that magnesium helps move blood sugar into our muscles and dispose of lactate, which can build up during exercise and cause fatigue. Due to this, Wang et al.(2017) found that magnesium supplements could help in improving exercise performance in older adults and others lacking this nutrient. For instance, with re­gards to women, one earlier study by Welch et al, (2016) involving 2,570 linked more intake of magnesium to increased muscle mass and power.

In an older study, Setaro et al(2014) used volleyball players who took 250 mg of magnesium per day and found improvements in jumping and arm movements. Additionally, one recent study (Córdova et al. 2019) recommended that magne­sium supplements protect against certain markers of muscle damage in professional cyclists. Though more studies confirmed the benefits of magnesium supplements, one study found otherwise and held that supple­menting doesn’t help athletes or active people with normal magnesium levels (Wang et al. 2017). This notwithstanding, an older study (Golf et al. 1998) found that triathletes who were given magnesium supplements for four weeks had improve­ments in their swimming, cycling, and running times. Veronese et al.(2014) examined the effects of magnesium on performance in 124 elderly women. After 12 weeks, daily supplementation with mag­nesium oxide was found to improve physical performance compared to a control group.


Tarleton and Littenberg( 2015) found that Magnesium plays a critical role in brain function and mood, and low levels are linked to an increased risk of depression. What is more, the same study analyzed data from over 8,800 people and found that those under age 65 with the lowest magnesium intake had a 22% greater risk of depression. Addi­tionally, two studies(Tarleton et al. 2017; Rajizadeh et al. 2016) found that taking magnesium supplements could support reducing symptoms of depression.

For instance, the case of Rajiza­deh et al. (2016) which was done in 8-week, found that taking 500 mg of magnesium daily led to drastic enhancements in symptoms of depression in people with a defi­ciency in this mineral. On the other hand, Tarleton et al. (2017) which involved a 6-week study of 126 people found that taking 248 mg of magnesium per day decreased symp­toms of depression and anxiety, regardless of magnesium level.

Due to its effect on mood-boost­ing, Barragán-Rodríguez et al. (2008) found that it could be as ef­fective as antidepressants in treating depression. This study compared the effects of magnesium supple­mentation with antidepressant med­ication and found that magnesium supplements were equally effective in the treatment of depression. Additionally, one review by Boyle et al.(2017) found that among 18 studies, “existing evidence is suggestive of a beneficial effect of Mg on subjective anxiety in anxi­ety-vulnerable samples.”


Two studies (Grober et al. 2015; Barbagallo and Dominguez, 2015) found that low levels of magne­sium have been detected in 48% of people with type 2 diabetes, and this is likely to affect the body’s ability to regulate blood sugar levels effectively.

Due to this, three more studies( Hruby et al. 2017; Fang et al. 2016; Zhao et al. 2020) found that people who consume more magnesium have a lower risk of type 2 diabe­tes.

Simental-Mendía et al.(2016) review suggests that taking magne­sium supplements could support insulin sensitivity, a major mineral in blood sugar control. Additional­ly, Veronese et al.( 2016) also found that magnesium supplements enhanced blood sugar levels and insulin sensitivity in people at risk for type 2 diabetes.

This notwithstanding, one earlier study believes that the effect of magnesium is dependent on how much magnesium one eats in food. Since supplements were found to have no impact on blood sugar or insulin levels in people who weren’t deficient (Navarrete-Cortes et al. 2014). But Alawi et al.(2018) found that a higher magnesium intake can benefit blood sugar levels and may help prevent insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

To be continued


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