Magnesium (Mg) is an essential nutrient, participating in a variety of body functions and supporting multiple body systems. Read on to identify magnesium’s key functions, understand the value of Mg supplementation in a whole food matrix, and get a glimpse of how Mg intake affects various human conditions.
Why is Mg so important? What systems does it support?
Mg is a …
- Catalyst for many intracellular processes
- Co-factor in more than 300 enzymes in the body (1)
Mg is vital for…
- Supporting protein, DNA, and RNA synthesis
- Supporting cell growth and reproduction
- Energy storage and production
- Stabilization of the cell membrane
- Maintaining normal nerve and muscle function
- Muscle contraction
- Strong bones (2)
What are the benefits of the whole food matrix?
The Mg ion is very reactive and unstable. Supplementation with Mg in a whole food matrix mimics the way Mg is found in nature, bound to various organic and inorganic compounds such as other minerals, proteins, and peptides.
In what patient profiles should Mg be considered?
Individuals with gastrointestinal conditions affecting nutrient absorption would likely benefit from Mg supplementation. Additionally, individuals with inadequate dietary intake of fruit and vegetables or those taking medications that affect magnesium levels, such as diuretics, asthma medications, birth control pills, and proton pump inhibitors could benefit from Mg supplementation.
What are the signs of low Mg levels?
- Mild headaches
- Brain fog
- Muscle twitches
- Glucose management
- Mood change
- Muscle weakness
How is Mg associated with stress and the autonomic nervous system?
Mg downregulates the activity of the sympathetic nervous system and controls the fight or flight response during stressful episodes (3, 5). It relaxes the nervous system and allows the parasympathetic nervous system to function properly, restore homeostasis, and minimize the deleterious effect of stress on the body. Mg also decreases the release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and induces partial suppression of HPA-axis activity (3, 4).
Why does form matter?
All forms of Mg are useful, but different forms have different absorption profiles. The absorption of different Mg forms is dependent on the health of the gastrointestinal tract.
Selection of Mg form should be based on condition-specific information. This is because ligands in an Mg complex (glycine, citric acid, taurine, etc.) have different benefits for patients with specific medical conditions.
The major interest in Mg appears mostly associated to central nervous system (CNS) support, meaning Mg affects conditions like stress, mood, anxiety, and nervous system function. Thus, form matters.