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I’ve spoken a lot about magnesium and how vital it is for our overall health and certain functions of the body. I’ve even shown you how to make your own magnesium oil, and talked in length about its importance to our bodies with my friend and NTP, Lydia, on our Vibrant Health Podcast.
But today, I want to discuss the many health benefits and healing properties of magnesium, and how getting more of this miraculous mineral into our system will help us on our health journeys.
“Magnesium plays an important role in over 300 enzymatic reactions within the body including the metabolism of food and synthesis of fatty acids and proteins. Magnesium is involved in neuromuscular transmission and activity and muscle relaxation. Magnesium deficiency, especially prevalent in older populations, is linked to insulin resistance, metabolic syndrome, coronary heart disease and osteoporosis.” Source
9 Health Benefits of Magnesium
Now that we know magnesium is one of the six macro-minerals essential for our bodies and supports our nerve function, production of energy from food and helps builds bones, we can see what other benefits come from getting more magnesium into our bodies.
- Improves sleep. When magnesium is deficient, melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleep, is disturbed, making it hard to fall and stay asleep. Stress and tension can also deplete your system of magnesium, which causes insomnia for many people. Magnesium controls your stress hormones and balances everything.
- Relaxes your muscles. If you get frequent muscle cramps or spasms (aka charley horse) in your legs, you may be dehydrated but also lacking magnesium. When your muscles are tight, they will contract and cause very painful episodes, waking some people from their sleep. Magnesium helps to stabilize cell membranes and relax the muscles.
- Supports stronger, healthier bones. Magnesium is essential for bone health because it stimulates the calcitonin hormone that helps to regulate calcium in your body and helps to build bones. And, it also suppresses the parathyroid hormone that breaks down bones.
- Relieves constipation. Magnesium helps to relax the bowel muscle and works as an osmotic laxative, which means it “pulls” in water so the intestines can absorb it, then the stool expands and softens so it can gently pass through.
- Improves heart health. In the Framingham Heart Study, people who took higher doses of magnesium were said “to have a 58% lower chance of having coronary artery calcification and a 34% lower chance of abdominal artery calcification.” 1 Many hospitals use intravenous magnesium on patients having a heart attack to reduce the risk of death with much success.
- Decreases blood pressure. New findings are showing a decrease in blood pressure with an increase in magnesium. One study “adds to data from epidemiological studies that have reported more magnesium, potassium, and calcium may reduce your risk of hypertension.” Magnesium helps to dilate blood vessels, dissolve blood clots, and prevent spasm in your heart muscle and blood vessel walls. 2
- Decreases the risk of diabetes. Sugar metabolism is facilitated by insulin secretion, which magnesium helps to enhance. Glucose is not able to transfer into cells without magnesium; therefore, glucose and insulin begin to build up in the blood and can cause different types of tissue damage. Many studies have shown that the risk of developing type 2 diabetes decreases about 15% with increased levels of magnesium.
- Helps to alleviate anxiety. When you are under extreme amounts of stress, your body uses up magnesium, which we already know helps us to relax. By getting more into your system, you may start to feel calmer and less anxious.
- Helps with depression. Magnesium plays an important role for brain health as well. “When you start to untangle the effects of magnesium in the nervous system, you touch upon nearly every single biological mechanism for depression.” 3 Many studies are relating a magnesium deficiency to depression and personality changes.
Transdermal Magnesium Application
One of my favorite ways to get more magnesium into my body is via transdermal application. When we supplement internally, the amount our body absorbs greatly depends on our digestive health. And, as most of you have heard me say, it seems like almost everyone (myself included) is dealing with some sort of digestive dysfunction from minor to severe. So, in those severe cases, there is a strong likelihood that you are absorbing very little of the magnesium you take internally.
That is why transdermal (via the skin) application can be so helpful — it bypasses the digestive system. I wrote a detailed article about transdermal magnesium that you can read here. I am not going to go into detail about it in this post.
Magnesium oil sprays are one of the most common ways to use magnesium transdermally. But, many people don’t like this method because it can sometimes make your skin sting or feel itchy.
Lotions and body butters are a great alternative because they reduce or completely prevent that stinging, itching sensation. You can buy these lotions and butters pre-made, but they can often be expensive, which is why I came up with my super easy, DIY magnesium lotion and body butter recipe here.
Resources for Further Research
If you are interested in learning more about magnesium, then I suggest the following resources:
- The Health Benefits of Magnesium
- How to Make Magnesium Oil for Transdermal Application
- Magnesium 101
- The Magnesium Miracle by Carolyn Dean
- Full Library of Minerals for Health Articles
- Healing with Mineral Analysis Facebook Group
- Mineral Balancing via Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis