What qualities make magnesium such an essential mineral, required by the body for literally hundreds of its functions? One key feature of magnesium is that it’s a partner or “co-factor” with enzymes that allows them to do their work. Enzymes are energized protein molecules that initiate chemical reactions inside the cells – orchestrating life’s processes in every organ, gland, tissue and cell.
Research studies are finding that magnesium relaxes muscles and nerves and helps insomnia, hot flashes, heart health, bone strength, diabetes, migraine headaches and more.
According to the Human Nutrition Research Center of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, one of the main symptoms of magnesium deficiency is chronic insomnia, restless sleep and frequent awakenings during the night. In one of their studies, a diet high in magnesium contributed to deeper sleep with fewer interruptions.
Another study from the University of Medical Sciences in Iran was done with 46 adults who were experiencing insomnia. Two magnesium tablets twice a day (250 mg. each) resulted in significant increases in sleep time and reduced cortisol levels in the body, which is a stress hormone that can keep people awake.
Hot flashes and night sweats are common symptoms of premenopause and menopause. Regarding magnesium for menopause, a study was done at the Virginia University Health System. Women who experienced hot flashes many times per week received 400 milligrams of magnesium for 4 weeks — increasing to 800 milligrams per day if needed. At the end of the study, the magnesium supplements had reduced their frequency of hot flashes by half. Fatigue, sweating, and distress were also significantly reduced.
Magnesium is also magnificent for the heart. In a study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, research scientists examined data from thousands of women over the course of a 26-year follow up period. The women who consumed the highest amounts of magnesium had a 34% reduced risk of sudden cardiac death.
Another study from the journal “Circulation” found that magnesium supplements allow people with heart disease to exercise for longer times and it actually helps repair the ability of blood vessels to open up.
Studies have found that people with migraine headaches have low concentrations of magnesium in their body. The word “cephalalgia” literally means head pain or headache. In a German study of 81 migraine patients published in the journal “Cephalalgia”, 42 percent of the people taking oral magnesium reduced both the duration and intensity of their migraine attacks. They also reduced their reliance on medications to control migraines.
Magnesium is a superhero of nutritional supplements.