Benefits of Magnesium.
Getting enough magnesium may enhance the effectiveness of conventional treatment for the following conditions:
Several studies show that intravenous (IV) magnesium and magnesium inhaled through a nebulizer can help treat acute attacks of asthma in children 6 – 18 years of age, as well as adults. But there is no evidence that taking oral magnesium helps control asthma symptoms. Low levels of magnesium may increase risk of developing asthma. A population based clinical study of more than 2,500 children 11 – 19 years of age found that low dietary magnesium intake may be associated with risk of asthma. The same was found in a group of more than 2,600 adults 18 – 70 years of age.
Inadequate magnesium appears to reduce serotonin levels, and antidepressants have been shown to raise brain magnesium. A 2008 study found that magnesium was as effective as the tricyclic antidepressants in treating depression among people with diabetes.
People who have type 2 diabetes often have low levels of magnesium in the blood. A large clinical study of over 2,000 people found that getting more magnesium in the diet may help protect against developing type 2 diabetes. Some — though not all — studies suggest that taking magnesium supplements may help blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes or prediabetes.
A small preliminary clinical study of 24 people with fibromyalgia found that a proprietary tablet containing both malic acid and magnesium improved pain and tenderness associated with fibromyalgia when taken for at least 2 months. Other studies suggest the combination of calcium and magnesium may be helpful for some people with fibromyalgia.
However, a review article evaluating a number of studies found that magnesium with malic acid offered no pain relief. More studies are needed.
Noise related hearing loss
One study suggests that taking magnesium may prevent temporary or permanent hearing loss due to very loud noise.
Arrhythmia and heart failure
Magnesium is essential to heart health. Studies suggest a possible association between a modestly lower risk of CHD in men and increased magnesium intake. In one study of women, higher dietary intakes of magnesium were associated with a lower risk of sudden cardiac death. Magnesium helps maintain a normal heart rhythm and is sometimes given intravenously (IV) in the hospital to reduce the chance of atrial fibrillation and cardiac arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat). People with congestive heart failure (CHF) are often at risk for developing cardiac arrhythmia. For this reason, your doctor may decide that magnesium should be a part of the treatment of CHF. One well designed study found that taking magnesium orotate for a year reduced symptoms and improved survival rates compared to placebo in people with CHF. Magnesium and calcium work together at very precise ratios to ensure your heart functions properly. If you have a cardiac history, talk to your doctor before taking magnesium supplements.
Results of studies using magnesium to treat heart attack survivors, however, have been mixed. Some have reported lower death rates, as well as fewer arrhythmias and improved blood pressure when magnesium is used as part of the treatment following a heart attack. But one study found that magnesium slightly increased the risk of sudden death, chance of another heart attack, or need for bypass surgery in the year after a heart attack. If you have had a heart attack, your doctor will decide if magnesium supplementation, either IV or orally, is right for you.
High blood pressure
Eating low fat dairy products, along with lots of fruits and vegetables on a regular basis, is associated with lower blood pressure. All of these foods are rich in magnesium, as well as calcium and potassium. A large clinical study of more than 8,500 women found that a higher intake of dietary magnesium may decrease the risk of high blood pressure in women. A few studies also suggest that magnesium supplements may help lower blood pressure, although not all studies agree.
A few studies suggest that taking magnesium supplements may help prevent migraine headaches. In addition, a few clinical studies suggest that magnesium supplements may shorten the duration of a migraine and reduce the amount of medication needed. People who have migraine headaches tend to have lower levels of magnesium compared to those with tension headaches or no headaches at all.
Some experts suggest combining magnesium with the herb feverfew along with vitamin B2 (riboflavin) may be helpful when you have a headache.
However, some studies suggest that magnesium sulfate may be less effective than prescription medications for preventing migraines in those who have 3 or more headaches per month. The only exception to this may be women who get migraine headaches around the time of their period.
Not getting enough calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, and other micronutrients may play a role in the development of osteoporosis. To prevent osteoporosis, it is important to get enough calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D; to eat a well balanced diet; and to do weight bearing exercises throughout life.
Preeclampsia and eclampsia
Preeclampsia is characterized by a sharp rise in blood pressure during the third trimester of pregnancy. Women with preeclampsia may develop seizures, which is then called eclampsia. Magnesium, given in the hospital intravenously (IV), is the treatment of choice to prevent or treat seizures associated with eclampsia or to prevent complications from preeclampsia.
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Scientific studies suggest that magnesium supplements may help relieve symptoms associated with PMS, particularly bloating, insomnia, leg swelling, weight gain, and breast tenderness. One study suggests that a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 may work better than either one alone.
Restless legs syndrome
A small clinical study including only 10 patients found that magnesium improved insomnia related to restless legs syndrome (a disorder characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs, which are worse during periods of inactivity or rest or while sitting or lying down).