Find out what mag­ne­sium can do for your health, from im­prov­ing sleep to fight­ing dis­ease.


Last spring, I met with a nutri­tion­ist friend to chat about what di­etary changes might al­le­vi­ate stress, im­prove sleep and main­tain sta­ble blood sugar lev­els. Her num­ber one sug­ges­tion? Mag­ne­sium. And in the months since I’ve upped my mag­ne­sium in­take through nat­u­ral foods and sup­ple­ments, I’ve felt calmer, slept bet­ter and had more en­ergy. But don’t take my word for it. In­stead, con­sider the re­cent stud­ies that back up mag­ne­sium as a di­etary must.

Mag­ne­sium gets missed.

As re­searchers point out in a 2015 ar­ti­cle in Nu­tri­ents, “Di­etary in­takes of mag­ne­sium in the United States have been de­clin­ing over the last 100 years from about 500 mil­ligrams per day to 175-225 mil­ligrams per day.” The new rec­om­mended di­etary al­lowance (RDA), how­ever, is 320 mil­ligrams per day for women and 420 mil­ligrams per day for men. The rea­son for the gap may be that West­ern di­ets are high in pro­cessed foods and low in mag­ne­sium-rich green veg­eta­bles.

Mag­ne­sium is good for the brain.

Stud­ies have shown that in pa­tients with Alzheimer’s, those with lower mag­ne­sium lev­els have more-ad­vanced stages of the dis­ease. Re­searchers have also dis­cov­ered that mag­ne­sium can pro­tect against neu­ro­log­i­cal deficits af­ter brain in­juries.

Mag­ne­sium makes you happy.

In a brand-new study pub­lished in PLoS One, a team from the Uni­ver­sity of Ver­mont re­veals that mag­ne­sium is an ef­fec­tive and safe treat­ment for de­pres­sion. More than 350 mil­lion peo­ple world­wide suf­fer from the dis­ease, but sup­ple­ment­ing with mag­ne­sium might be one drugfree way to beat it. Study par­tic­i­pants who took four 500-mil­ligram tablets of mag­ne­sium chlo­ride daily dur­ing the course of 6 weeks ex­pe­ri­enced a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in de­pres­sion and anx­i­ety symp­toms.

It can help pre­vent heart dis­ease and di­a­betes.

Af­ter an­a­lyz­ing 40 stud­ies in­volv­ing more than 1 mil­lion par­tic­i­pants, Chi­nese re­searchers found that in­creas­ing di­etary mag­ne­sium in­take by 100 mil­ligrams per day was as­so­ci­ated with a 22% re­duc­tion in the risk of heart fail­ure and a re­duced risk of stroke, type 2 di­a­betes and all-cause mor­tal­ity.

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