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Magnesium Glycinate - A Superior Magnesium Supplement
Why Is Magnesium Important?
Should You Be Worried About Your Magnesium Intake?
The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that significant numbers of adults do not consume the recommended amounts of magnesium (2). Among adults, 68% consume less than the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium, and 19% consume less than 50% of the RDA (3). Adults who take supplements are more likely to meet the RDA for magnesium than those who do not (4). Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, loss of appetite, irritability, anxiety, weakness, muscle contractions and cramps, insomnia, nausea, vomiting, numbness and tingling (1).
If you have chronic malabsorptive problems (i.e. Crohn’s; celiac disease), are a senior citizen, have diabetes, consume excess alcohol or take certain medications (i.e. specific diuretics, antibiotics or medications to treat cancer) you are at particular risk for magnesium deficiency.
Why Is Magnesium Glycinate Better Than Other Forms Of Magnesium?
Magnesium glycinate is easier on the bowel. Other forms of magnesium tend to be more disruptive to the bowel. Magnesium oxide tends to firm stools (leading to constipation), whereas the citrate, sulphate and chloride forms tend to loosen the stools (diarrhea). Magnesium glycinate is gentler, with less chance of bowel disruptions.
Magnesium glycinate is highly absorbable. It is absorbed better than other forms of magnesium, up to 5 times more than magnesium oxide (5).
What Conditions Benefit from Magnesium Supplementation?
Magnesium Supplements and Cholesterol
Magnesium supplements have been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol levels (6-9).
It is well established that diabetics often suffer from magnesium deficiency. More recent studies have shown that magnesium supplementation of diabetics will not only correct for the loss of magnesium that occurs in the urine, but may also help with reducing plasma fasting glucose levels and increase HDL cholesterol (10). It has been suggested that diabetics have a magnesium-binding defect, which may cause the insulin resistance and reduced insulin secretion associated with this disease. It is thought that this defect can be addressed with magnesium supplementation (11).
Adults with higher dietary intakes of magnesium have a lower risk of developing high blood pressure (12-13). Diets rich in magnesium are routinely prescribed to people with hypertension (14).
Magnesium Supplements and Menopause
Magnesium levels drop as estrogen levels diminish during menopause. It has been suggested by several authors that magnesium may be beneficial to alleviate hot flashes, and help maintain bone and cardiovascular health (15-17). We have anecdotal evidence in our clinic of its usefulness to improve hot flashes. Furthermore, inadequate magnesium intake in postmenopausal women has been shown to impair glucose tolerance, induce heart rhythm changes, and adversely affect the metabolism of other nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, and potassium (18-19).
Researchers have determined that the low intakes of dietary magnesium are associated with metabolic syndrome (20-21).
Insomnia and Restless Legs
Magnesium has been shown to reduce surgery-related insomnia, and improve sleep in individuals suffering from restless leg syndrome (22-23). Magnesium has a key role in helping to regulate the "biological clock" (24).
Who Should Not Take Magnesium?
Certain individuals should not take magnesium without first talking to a pharmacist or health care practitioner:
People with kidney or severe heart disease
Individuals taking magnesium-containing antacids or laxatives
1. National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements (2005) Magnesium. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/magnesium.asp
2. Ford E.S. and Mokdad A.H. (2003) Dietary magnesium intake in a national sample of U.S. adults. J Nutr. 133: 2879-82.
3. King D.E. et al. (2005) Dietary magnesium and C-reactive protein levels. J Am Coll Nutr. 24(3): 166-71.
4. Sebastian R.S. et al. 2007) Older adults who use vitamin/mineral supplements differ from nonusers in nutrient intake adequacy and dietary attitudes. J Am Diet Assoc. 107(8): 1322-32.
5. Schuette S.A. et al. (1994) Bioavailability of magnesium diglycinate vs magnesium oxide in patients with ileal resection. J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 18(5): 430-5.
6. Davis W.H. et al. (1984) Monotherapy with magnesium increases abnormally low high density lipoprotein cholesterol: a clinical assay. Curr Therap Res 36: 341-344.
7. Rasmussen H.S. et al. (1989) Influence of magnesium substitution therapy on blood lipid composition in patients with ischemic heart disease. A double-blind, placebo controlled study. Arch Int Med 149: 1050-1053.
8. Corica F. et al. (1994) Effects of oral magnesium supplementation on plasma lipid concentrations in patients with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Magnes Res 7: 43-46.
9. Itoh K., Kawasaka T., Nakamura M. (1997) The effects of high oral magnesium supplementation on blood pressure, serum lipids and related variables in apparently healthy Japanese subjects. Br J Nutr 78: 737-750.
10. Song Y., et al. (2006) Effects of oral magnesium supplementation on glycaemic control in Type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis of randomized double-blind controlled trials. Diabet Med. 23(10): 1050-6.
11. Wells I.C. (2008) Evidence that the etiology of the syndrome containing type 2 diabetes mellitus results from abnormal magnesium metabolism. Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 86(1-2): 16-24.
12. Song, Y. et al. (2006) Dietary magnesium intake and risk of incident hypertension among middle-aged and older US women in a 10-year follow-up study. Am J Cardiol. 98(12): 1616-21.
13. Ascherio A. et al. (1992) A prospective study of nutritional factors and hypertension among US men. Circulation 86: 1475-84.
15. University of Maryland Medical Center http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/magnesium-000313.htm
16. Kass-Annese B. (2000) Alternative therapies for menopause. Clin Obstet Gynecol. 43(1):162-83.
17. Seelig, M. et al. (2004) Benefits and Risks of Sex Hormone Replacement in Postmenopausal Women J Am Coll Nutr 23: 482S-496S.
18. Nielsen FH, et al. (2007) Moderate magnesium deprivation results in calcium retention and altered potassium and phosphorus excretion by postmenopausal women. Magnes Res. 20(1):19-31.
19. Nielsen FH, et al. (2007) Dietary magnesium deficiency induces heart rhythm changes, impairs glucose tolerance, and decreases serum cholesterol in post menopausal women. J Am Coll Nutr. 26(2):121-32.
20. Ford, ES. Et al. (2007) Intake of dietary magnesium and the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome among U.S. adults. Obesity 15(5):1139-46.
21. He K, et al. (2006) Magnesium intake and incidence of metabolic syndrome among young adults. Circulation. 113(13):1675-82.
22. Tramer MR, et al. (1996) Role of magnesium sulfate in postoperative analgesia. Anesthesiology. 84(2):340-7.
23. Hornyak M, et al. (1998) Magnesium therapy for periodic leg movements-related insomnia and restless legs syndrome: an open pilot study. Sleep. 21(5):501-5.
24. Durlach J, et al. (2002) Chronopathological forms of magnesium depletion with hypofunction or with hyperfunction of the biological clock. Magnes Res. 15(3-4):263-8.