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What is it? Overview Usage Side Effects and Warnings

Magnesium Usage

Written by FoundHealth.


Effect of Magnesium on Generalized Anxiety Disorder

How exactly magnesium might play a role in the management of anxiety is yet unknown, but making sure to have adequate levels of this and other key nutrients can only help treat anxiety and other...

Read more about Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Magnesium.

Effect of Magnesium on Panic Disorder

How exactly magnesium might play a role in the management of anxiety and/or panic disorder is yet unknown, but making sure to have adequate levels of this and other key nutrients can only help treat...

Read more about Panic Disorder and Magnesium.

Effect of Magnesium on Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and Angina

Magnesium has been called "nature's calcium channel blocker" because of its ability to block calcium from entering muscle and heart cells. Calcium-channel blockers work in a similar way, although...

Read more about Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) and Angina and Magnesium.

Effect of Magnesium on Congestive Heart Failure (CHF)

Magnesium may have many beneficial effects on the heart. Our bodies need mangesium for healthy functioning, including muscle relaxation, blood clotting, and the manufacture of ATP (adenosine...

Read more about Congestive Heart Failure (CHF) and Magnesium.

Effect of Magnesium on Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances)

Magnesium may have many beneficial effects on the heart. Our bodies need mangesium for healthy functioning, including muscle relaxation, blood clotting, and the manufacture of ATP (adenosine...

Read more about Arrhythmias (Heart Rhythm Disturbances) and Magnesium.

Therapeutic Uses

Preliminary double-blind studies suggest that regular use of magnesium supplements may help prevent migraine headaches , 1 hearing loss caused by exposure to loud noises, 2 and kidney stones , 3 and help treat high blood pressure , 4 5 6 angina , 7 dysmenorrhea (menstrual cramps), 8 pregnancy-induced leg cramps , 9 and premenstrual syndrome (PMS) (including menstrual migraines). 10 People with diabetes are often deficient in magnesium, 11 12 and according to some (but not all) studies, magnesium supplementation may enhance blood sugar control and insulin sensitivity in people with diabetes or prediabetic conditions. 13 One study found that magnesium supplements might be helpful for people with mitral valve prolapse who also have low levels of magnesium in the blood. 14 There is some evidence that magnesium may decrease the atherosclerosis risk caused by hydrogenated oils, the margarine-like fats found in many junk foods. 15 Studies on magnesium supplements for improving sports performance have returned contradictory results. 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 Magnesium supplements do not appear to be very helpful, if at all, for preventing preeclampsia . 23 (Magnesium, taken by injection rather than orally, however, is probably helpful for treatingpreeclampsia that already exists. 24 )

Magnesium is sometimes said to decrease symptoms of restless legs syndrome , but the evidence that it works consists solely of open trials without a placebo group, and such studies are not trustworthy. 25 (For information on why this is so, see Why Does This Database Rely on Double-blind Studies? ) Very weak evidence hints at possible benefits for insomnia . 26 It is often said that magnesium supplements are essential for preventing or treating osteoporosis , but there is only minimal supporting evidence for this claim. 27 Magnesium has also been suggested as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease , attention deficit disorder , fatigue , fibromyalgia , low HDL ("good") cholesterol , periodontal disease , rheumatoid arthritis , and stroke . However, there is virtually no evidence at all that it is helpful for any of these conditions.

Magnesium is sometimes advocated for stabilizing the heart after a heart attack , but one study actually found that use of magnesium slighltly increased risk of sudden death, repeat heart attack, or need for bypass surgery in the year following the initial heart attack. 28 However, magnesium may be helpful in congestive heart failure . 29 In a well-designed trial involving 79 patients with severe congestive heart failure, magnesium (as magnesium orotate) significantly improved survival and clinical symptoms after one year compared to a placebo. 30 Despite some early enthusiasm, combination therapy with vitamin B 6 and magnesium has not been found helpful in autism . 31 Alternative medical literature frequently mentions magnesium as a treatment for asthma . However, this idea seems to be based primarily on the use of intravenous magnesium as an emergency treatment for asthma. When you take something by mouth, it's a very different matter from having it injected into your veins. Studies of oral magnesium for asthma have shown more negative than positive results. 32 Inhaled, aerosolized magnesium, however, has shown some promise. 33 Although magnesium is sometimes mentioned as a treatment to help keep the heart beating normally, a 6-month, double-blind trial of 170 people did not find it effective for preventing a particular heart rhythm abnormality called atrial fibrillation. 34 However, a small double-blind, placebo-controlled trial found that magnesium supplements reduced episodes of arrhythmia in individuals with congestive heart failure (CHF) . 35 One possible explanation: People with congestive heart failure often take drugs ( loop diuretics ) that deplete magnesium. The combination of magnesium deficiency with digoxin (another drug given for CHF) may cause arrhythmias. 36 Thus, it is possible that the benefits seen here were caused by correction of that depletion.

One double-blind, placebo-controlled study failed to find magnesium helpful in glaucoma . 37


  1. Peikert A, Wilimzig C, Köhne-Volland R. Prophylaxis of migraine with oral magnesium: results from a prospective, multi-center, placebo-controlled and double-blind randomized study. Cephalalgia. 16(4):257-63.
  2. Attias J, Weisz G, Almog S, Shahar A, Wiener M, Joachims Z, Netzer A, Ising H, Rebentisch E, Guenther T. Oral magnesium intake reduces permanent hearing loss induced by noise exposure. Am J Otolaryngol. 15(1):26-32.
  3. Johansson G, Backman U, Danielson BG, Fellström B, Ljunghall S, Wikström B. Biochemical and clinical effects of the prophylactic treatment of renal calcium stones with magnesium hydroxide. J Urol. 124(6):770-4.
  4. Shechter M, Sharir M, Labrador MJ, Forrester J, Silver B, Bairey Merz CN. Oral magnesium therapy improves endothelial function in patients with coronary artery disease. Circulation. 102(19):2353-8.
  5. Sanjuliani AF, de Abreu Fagundes VG, Francischetti EA. Effects of magnesium on blood pressure and intracellular ion levels of Brazilian hypertensive patients. Int J Cardiol. 56(2):177-83.
  6. Witteman JC, Grobbee DE, Derkx FH, Bouillon R, de Bruijn AM, Hofman A. Reduction of blood pressure with oral magnesium supplementation in women with mild to moderate hypertension. Am J Clin Nutr. 60(1):129-35.
  7. Shechter M, Merz CN, Paul-Labrador M, Meisel SR, Rude RK, Molloy MD, Dwyer JH, Shah PK, Kaul S. Beneficial antithrombotic effects of the association of pharmacological oral magnesium therapy with aspirin in coronary heart disease patients. Magnes Res. 13(4):275-84.
  8. Fontana-Klaiber H, Hogg B. Therapeutic effects of magnesium in dysmenorrhea [in German; English abstract]. Schweiz Rundsch Med Prax. 1990;79:491-494.
  9. Dahle LO, Berg G, Hammar M, Hurtig M, Larsson L. The effect of oral magnesium substitution on pregnancy-induced leg cramps. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 173(1):175-80.
  10. Facchinetti F, Borella P, Sances G, Fioroni L, Nappi RE, Genazzani AR. Oral magnesium successfully relieves premenstrual mood changes. Obstet Gynecol. 78(2):177-81.
  11. Elamin A, Tuvemo T. Magnesium and insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 10(3):203-9.
  12. Tosiello L. Hypomagnesemia and diabetes mellitus. A review of clinical implications. Arch Intern Med. 156(11):1143-8.
  13. Rodríguez-Morán M, Guerrero-Romero F. Oral magnesium supplementation improves insulin sensitivity and metabolic control in type 2 diabetic subjects: a randomized double-blind controlled trial. Diabetes Care. 26(4):1147-52.
  14. Lichodziejewska B, Kłoś J, Rezler J, Grudzka K, Dłuzniewska M, Budaj A, Ceremuzyński L. Clinical symptoms of mitral valve prolapse are related to hypomagnesemia and attenuated by magnesium supplementation. Am J Cardiol. 79(6):768-72.
  15. Kummerow FA, Zhou Q, Mahfouz MM. Effect of trans fatty acids on calcium influx into human arterial endothelial cells. Am J Clin Nutr. 70(5):832-8.
  16. Finstad EW, Newhouse IJ, Lukaski HC, Mcauliffe JE, Stewart CR. The effects of magnesium supplementation on exercise performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 33(3):493-8.
  17. Brilla LR, Haley TF. Effect of magnesium supplementation on strength training in humans. J Am Coll Nutr. 11(3):326-9.
  18. Weller E, Bachert P, Meinck HM, Friedmann B, Bärtsch P, Mairbäurl H. Lack of effect of oral Mg-supplementation on Mg in serum, blood cells, and calf muscle. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 30(11):1584-91.
  19. Rüddel H, Werner C, Ising H. Impact of magnesium supplementation on performance data in young swimmers. Magnes Res. 3(2):103-7.
  20. Ripari P, Pieralisi G, Giamberardino MA, et al. Effects of magnesium pidolate on some cardiorespiratory submaximal effort parameters [abstract]. Magnes Res. 1989;2:70.
  21. Brilla LR, Gunter KB. Effect of magnesium supplementation on exercise time to exhaustion. Med Exerc Nutr Health. 1995;4:230-233.
  22. Terblanche S, Noakes TD, Dennis SC, Marais D, Eckert M. Failure of magnesium supplementation to influence marathon running performance or recovery in magnesium-replete subjects. Int J Sport Nutr. 2(2):154-64.
  23. Spätling L, Spätling G. Magnesium supplementation in pregnancy. A double-blind study. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 95(2):120-5.
  24. Livingston JC, Livingston LW, Ramsey R, Mabie BC, Sibai BM. Magnesium sulfate in women with mild preeclampsia: a randomized controlled trial. Obstet Gynecol. 101(2):217-20.
  25. Hornyak M, Voderholzer U, Hohagen F, Berger M, Riemann D. Magnesium therapy for periodic leg movements-related insomnia and restless legs syndrome: an open pilot study. Sleep. 21(5):501-5.
  26. Held K, Antonijevic IA, Künzel H, Uhr M, Wetter TC, Golly IC, Steiger A, Murck H. Oral Mg(2+) supplementation reverses age-related neuroendocrine and sleep EEG changes in humans. Pharmacopsychiatry. 35(4):135-43.
  27. Carpenter TO, DeLucia MC, Zhang JH, Bejnerowicz G, Tartamella L, Dziura J, Petersen KF, Befroy D, Cohen D. A randomized controlled study of effects of dietary magnesium oxide supplementation on bone mineral content in healthy girls. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 91(12):4866-72.
  28. Galløe AM, Rasmussen HS, Jørgensen LN, Aurup P, Balsløv S, Cintin C, Graudal N, McNair P. Influence of oral magnesium supplementation on cardiac events among survivors of an acute myocardial infarction. BMJ. 307(6904):585-7.
  29. Branea I, Gaiţă D, Drăgulescu I, Socoteanu I, Luca C, Mancaş S, Drăgan S, Iurciuc M, Velimirovici D, Gaşpar M, Fluture A, Ionac A, Deutsch P, Pescariu S, Petrescu L, Branea H, Mut B, Dină C, Crâsnic M, Sarău CA. Assessment of treatment with orotate magnesium in early postoperative period of patients with cardiac insufficiency and coronary artery by-pass grafts (ATOMIC). Rom J Intern Med. 37(3):287-96.
  30. Stepura OB, Martynow AI. Magnesium orotate in severe congestive heart failure (MACH). Int J Cardiol. 2008 Feb 15.
  31. Martineau J, Barthelemy C, Garreau B, Lelord G. Vitamin B6, magnesium, and combined B6-Mg: therapeutic effects in childhood autism. Biol Psychiatry. 20(5):467-78.
  32. Bernstein WK, Khastgir T, Khastgir A, Hernandez E, Miller J, Schonfeld SA, Nissim JE, Chernow B. Lack of effectiveness of magnesium in chronic stable asthma. A prospective, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial in normal subjects and in patients with chronic stable asthma. Arch Intern Med. 155(3):271-6.
  33. Hughes R, Goldkorn A, Masoli M, Weatherall M, Burgess C, Beasley R. Use of isotonic nebulised magnesium sulphate as an adjuvant to salbutamol in treatment of severe asthma in adults: randomised placebo-controlled trial. Lancet. 361(9375):2114-7.
  34. Frick M, Darpö B, Ostergren J, Rosenqvist M. The effect of oral magnesium, alone or as an adjuvant to sotalol, after cardioversion in patients with persistent atrial fibrillation. Eur Heart J. 21(14):1177-85.
  35. Bashir Y, Sneddon JF, Staunton A, et al. Effects of long-term oral magnesium chloride replacement in congestive heart failure secondary to coronary artery disease. Am J Cardiol. 1993;72:1156-1162.
  36. Martin BJ, Milligan K. Diuretic-associated hypomagnesemia in the elderly. Arch Intern Med. 147(10):1768-71.
  37. Gaspar AZ, Gasser P, Flammer J. The influence of magnesium on visual field and peripheral vasospasm in glaucoma. Ophthalmologica. 209(1):11-3.


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