Latest Research on Magnesium Supplements
As more research is being conducted on magnesium more amazing discoveries are being made. Latest studies reveal low magnesium levels in the bloodstream can lead to not only chronic insomnia but also development or worsening of many medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, PMS, migraine, kidney stones, osteoporosis, and anxiety.
Cardiovascular Diseases. Epidemiological studies have established an inverse relationship between magnesium levels in the blood (serum magnesium) and the risk of cardiovascular disorders. In other words, a chronic deficit of this mineral (hypomagnesemia) puts you at greater risk of cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease, cerebrovascular accident (commonly called stroke), and hypertension. Therefore, not only the supplement helps you to sleep better but also prevent many serious diseases.
Other studies have reported that intravenous magnesium injection would reduce the incidence of atrial fibrillation, the most common heart rhythm disorder. In addition, the supplment contributes in many regulatory functions in the body which makes it difficult to quantify the list of diseases it helps to prevent. But some scientists believe data are insufficient to confirm magnesium reduces or not the risk of stroke.
Clinical studies indicate that administration of a magnesium supplement can improve exercise performance in subjects with coronary artery disease and have an antithrombotic effect by reducing the formation of blood clots (thrombi). This supplementation is also important in patients who have heart failure and are treated with diuretics, the fact they cause magnesium loss. In order words, if you are taking any drug for cardiovascular disease and experience chronic sleep problem the first thing you need to do is to increase your magnesium intake.
Magnesium also contributes to the prevention of atherosclerosis, reducing the intestinal absorption of fat during meals and increasing good cholesterol (HDL). In people with hypertension, magnesium supplementation lowers blood pressure. Moreover, the effects of low magnesium in the development and complications of hypertension are so evident that in North America medical authorities recommend a high dietary intake to prevent and treat high blood pressure.
Diabetes. Epidemiological studies indicate that there is a link between low dietary intake of magnesium and the incidence of type 2 diabetes. A decrease in blood levels (hypomagnesemia) increases insulin resistance, a disorder forerunner of diabetes. Some complications of type 2 diabetes (neuropathy, foot ulcers) are also associated with low or deficiency in magnesium.
Although magnesium appears to contribute to the prevention of diabetes, its usefulness in treating disease remains controversial. However, a recent meta-analysis show magnesium supplements not only help people to have good night sleep but also reduce blood sugar of type 2 diabetes and increase the HDL (good cholesterol) significantly. The researchers also observed a trend of magnesium deficiency in people with type 1 diabetes. And a recent study showed that hypomagnesemia in these patients causes a thickening of the vessel wall, leading to premature atherosclerosis. Preliminary tests allow to assume that magnesium supplementation could, in the case of type 1 diabetes, help increase insulin sensitivity and reduce the risk of complications.
In case you still don’t figure it about, by taking magnesium supplements to sleep you also reduce your risk of diabetes or its complications if you are already diagnosed with the disease.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and Menstrual Pain. Compared with healthy people, individuals suffering from PMS have lower magnesium levels in their blood. Some researchers believe this imbalance is the main reason behind PMS symptoms, including changes in mood that characterize it.
The results of clinical studies indicate that magnesium may alleviate symptoms of PMS, when combined with vitamin B6. A recent synthesis also suggests that the nature of the magnesium salt plays a role, because effects were observed with magnesium pidolate, but not with magnesium oxide. In two other studies published in 1989 and 1990, it showed magnesium alleviated many symptoms of dysmenorrhea. However, further research is needed to confirm these results.
Migraine. Many studies have demonstrated that the magnesium is a powerful migraine relief. It helps to relax the muscles and feel better. But some other studies have yielded conflicting results. The authors of this recent research think that the current data are limited and further studies are needed to document the effectiveness of magnesium in relieving migraine symptoms.
Kidney Stones (Renal Calculi). As magnesium increases the solubility of calcium, particularly in urine, it seems that it can have a preventive effect on kidney stones. It also reduces the intestinal absorption of oxalate, a substance that contributes to the formation of renal calculi.
The use of magnesium-oxide and magnesium hydroxide produces mixed results that would be attributable to the low absorption of these forms of the mineral, while another study had reported a prophylactic (intended to prevent disease) effect of magnesium hydroxide. In contrast, potassium-magnesium-citrate mixture reveals to be the most effective way to prevent recurrence of kidney stones.
Osteoporosis. Magnesium plays an important role in bone metabolism and maintenance of bone density. It has recently been shown that deficiency caused osteoporosis in laboratory rats. In humans, epidemiological studies have established an association between magnesium intake (food and supplements) and bone density in people that have white skin. It also confirms that the deficiency plays a role in the development of osteoporosis.
Clinical studies on the effects of supplementation are rare. Two preliminary trials in early 1990 in postmenopausal women indicate that taking magnesium supplements could have a positive effect on the prevention and progression of osteoporosis; an effect which was confirmed in a recent study.
Leg Cramps during Pregnancy. According to a research published in 2002, magnesium supplements would be the best treatment against leg cramps that sometimes occur during pregnancy. The practice diminishes or stops the disorder and has no adverse effect on childbirth and postpartum period. However, the results are slow and modest in some women, which lead some researchers to conclude that it has no considerable beneficial effects. Furthermore, magnesium supplementation has no probative effect on nocturnal cramps in women who are not pregnant.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). In a study of children with ADHD, it was observed that 95% of them showed signs of deficiency of this important mineral. Some clinical studies suggest that a daily intake of magnesium, alone or combined with vitamin B6, can improve the condition of hyperactive children. But the medical authorities determine that additional studies are needed to confirm the effectiveness of the mineral in reducing ADHD symptoms.
Asthma. Magnesium sulfate administered intravenously has a proven effect in relieving acute asthma attacks, especially in children. Orally, by cons, it has no proven effective results in preventing asthma, either seizure frequency or severity. It could decrease the responsiveness of bronchial obstruction, but studies on the issue do not always come to the same conclusions.
On the other hand, the combination of magnesium sulphate with a conventional treatment (beta-agonist, corticosteroid, or else), intravenous or injection, showed some efficacy, particularly in children with severe asthma symptoms.
Fibromyalgia. According to 2 preliminary studies, taking magnesium supplements and malic acid could relieve pain caused by fibromyalgia. The authors of one of the researches have studied 3 preliminary clinical trials (33 subjects in total) conducted on children with autism who had been given a magnesium supplement along with vitamin B6. Some signs of improvement can be seen in the fibromyalgia symptoms. But the scientists concluded that the data were insufficient to assess the clinical efficacy of this supplementation.
Hearing Loss. Taking high dose of magnesium orally appears to reduce the incidence of hearing loss, idiopathic type or that caused by noise. Although further studies are needed to confirm the preventive effect, some scientists believe it is wise for people who lost their hearing to supplement or increase their magnesium intake.
Neurological Disorders. Magnesium has been shown to have neuroprotection. Premature birth can cause neurological disorders such as deafness, blindness or neurosensory deficits. Meta-analyses have reported that antenatal (before birth) magnesium intake could improve motor function in children born prematurely. Similarly, magnesium sulfate seems to reduce the risk of cerebral palsy in babies born prematurely. The optimal dosage is yet to be determined.
Five randomized controlled trials prenatal magnesium sulfate (MgSO4) found a trend of reduced risk of cerebral palsy and mortality in preterm infants. Three meta-analyses using the data from the five randomized controlled trials, which included a total of 5235 prospectively evaluated fetuses, found that MgSO4 given to women at risk of premature birth significantly reduced the risk of cerebral palsy by 30% without increasing the risk of perinatal or infant death. The implication for clinical practice is that MgSO4 should be recommended to patients at high risk of delivery before 34 weeks’ gestation.
Anxiety. Most studies examined the effects of a combination of magnesium with vitamins B6 (pyridoxine) and D find the mineral help reduce or stop symptoms of anxiety and panic disorders. But one study reported no effect of magnesium on anxiety when taken alone, which makes some health professionals recommend the supplement to be taken along with vitamins D and B6.
Avoid Overdosing Magnesium Supplements
American authorities have established tolerable upper intake of magnesium in supplement form (see table below). While no serious overdose problems have never been reported, daily high dosage may cause a laxative effect in some people, according to some studies. In other studies, higher doses (up to 1200 mg per day) did not cause diarrhea in participants.
It is important to know that magnesium provided through food does not cause diarrhea or laxative effect. Ingestion of the oil also appears to be safe. In case of diarrhea, it is recommended to stop supplementation and resume it later, in smaller doses or in divided doses.
Although maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects, recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for magnesium supplements are as follow:
|Birth to 6 months||30 mg*||30 mg*|
|7–12 months||75 mg*||75 mg*|
|1–3 years||80 mg||80 mg|
|4–8 years||130 mg||130 mg|
|9–13 years||240 mg||240 mg|
|14–18 years||410 mg||360 mg||400 mg||360 mg|
|19–30 years||400 mg||310 mg||350 mg||310 mg|
|31–50 years||420 mg||320 mg||360 mg||320 mg|
|51+ years||420 mg||320 mg|
Cons-indications: people with severe kidney disease must consult their physician before supplementing magnesium. Most reported cases of an excess of the supplement in the body is associated with kidney failure.
With Plants or Supplements:
Boron: boron supplements appear to decrease the excretion of magnesium in women.
Calcium: Calcium supplements can decrease the absorption of magnesium, but do not seem to have any effect on the levels in the blood. So far, no case of deficiency has been reported as a result of taking calcium supplements.
Antibiotics: Intake of magnesium supplements reduced the absorption of nitrofurantoin (an antibiotic) and antibiotics of the tetracycline family. Therefore it is better to take these antibiotics up to 2 hours apart.
Bisphosphonates (Alendronate and Etidronate): supplementing magnesium can impair the absorption of bisphosphonates, a class of drugs used to prevent the loss of bone mass in people with osteoporosis and similar diseases. Take the supplement up to 2 hours apart.
If you are treated with amiloride (a potassium-sparing diuretic), consult your doctor before taking magnesium supplement: this combination can cause too high levels in the blood.
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