The benefits of supplementing with magnesium
Magnesium is an essential mineral and recent research shows it may be of benefit in preventing metabolic syndrome.
Magnesium is often used as part of a ZMA or testosterone boosting product; however, the benefits of Magnesium stretch far beyond this. Magnesium has been shown to be an essential mineral to boosting health and preventing a range of diseases. 70-80% of the population do not meet the RDA (recommended daily allowance) for Magnesium. The National Institutes of Health list magnesium as being important for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body from normal muscle and nerve function to heart, immune and bone health.
A study completed by scientists at Yangzhou University and the University of Massachusetts analysed the dietary intake of 234 subjects with metabolic syndrome (Wang et al 2013). Metabolic syndrome encompasses a number of different diseases such as obesity, hypertension and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. Wang et al (2013) found that less than 30% of 234 subjects with metabolic disorder met their Magnesium RDA. This suggests that a deficiency in Magnesium can influence markers for metabolic disorder.
Wang et al (2013) looked more specifically at markers for insulin resistance and discovered that those who met the Magnesium RDA had a reduction in risk of insulin resistance by 63%. The results showed that Magnesium intake was inversely related to metabolic markers of insulin resistance. In basic terms, those who consumed more Magnesium, or met the RDA, had an improved insulin reaction to blood glucose levels compared to those with a lower dietary intake of Magnesium.
Wang et al (2013) summarise their findings by saying that Magnesium demonstrates a protective effect on insulin resistance. Those with metabolic syndrome are at higher risk of cardiovascular disease and type-2 diabetes therefore a dietary intervention with Magnesium can have wider impacts on clinical treatment of those with Metabolic Syndrome.
Further research needs to be undertaken to confirm the exact mechanism of action – after all, it’s possible that those with adequate dietary Magnesium intake also had a better overall diet. However, it’s an interesting insight into potential benefits of Magnesium.
The European Food Safety Authorisation (EFSA) supports the benefits of Magnesium supplementation, stating that it has positive effects on the maintenance of normal bones, teeth and protein synthesis, reduces feelings of fatigue and tiredness, provides electrolyte balance, normal energy yielding metabolism, neurotransmission and muscle contraction. However the benefits of Magnesium on blood glucose, blood pressure, stress relief, protection of DNA, proteins and lipids from oxidative damage, the immune system and fat metabolism are yet to be supported by the EFSA.
A number of recent meta-analysis and high profile studies have been published revealing further benefits of Magnesium on metabolic pathways, blood pressure, reducing the risk of stroke and reducing the risk of colon cancer.
It’s well worth taking a look at your diet, to get a gauge of how much Magnesium you’re consuming and potentially considering Magnesium supplementation.
Wang J et al (2013), Dietary Magnesium intake improves insulin resistance among non-diabetic individuals with metabolic syndrome participating in a dietary trial, Nutrients, 5(10), 3910-3919