What Magnesium Does for the Body: A Comprehensive Guide

by | May 29, 2023 | Energy, Mental Health, Mood, Sleep, Supplements, Vitamins, Wellness

Magnesium, a crucial mineral our bodies need for several functions, is often overlooked when we talk about essential nutrients. In this post, we’ll delve into what magnesium does for the body, its interactions with other supplements like zinc, and who should avoid taking magnesium.

Table of Contents

Understanding Magnesium: The Basics

What Does Magnesium Do to the Body?

The Synergy Between Magnesium and Zinc

What Should You Not Take with Magnesium?

Who Shouldn’t Take Magnesium?

Understanding Magnesium: The Basics

Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in our bodies; it plays a vital role in over 300 enzymatic reactions. It’s involved in everything from protein synthesis to nerve function, making it a true all-rounder in the world of nutrients.

Where do we get magnesium from?

A pretty large variety of foods contain magnesium. Some excellent and easily attainable/affordable sources include:

Green leafy vegetables like spinach and Swiss chard

Whole grains


Nuts and seeds

Dark chocolate

For those who struggle to get enough magnesium from their diet, magnesium supplements are a viable option.

What Does Magnesium Do to the Body?

Magnesium is a workhorse that facilitates a broad range of bodily functions. Let’s break down some of the key roles it plays:

Energy Production

ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is the main source of energy in cells and healthy magnesium levels help regulate it at the core or our cells.

Bone Health

Around 60% of the magnesium in our bodies is stored in our bones, contributing to their structure and strength. It also aids in the absorption of calcium, another vital mineral for bone health.

Nervous System Regulation

Magnesium helps regulate neurotransmitters, the chemical messengers of the brain, assisting in nerve function and maintaining our mental health.

The Synergy Between Magnesium and Zinc

Magnesium isn’t the only mineral that’s essential to our health. Zinc also plays a key role, and the two can work synergistically for better bodily function.

Zinc is involved in immune function, wound healing, and DNA synthesis. Like magnesium, it also plays a role in the metabolic processes of our cells.

When taken together, these two minerals can complement each other. For instance, both are involved in immune function and can help to strengthen the body’s natural defense mechanisms. However, it’s important to note that they should be taken in the appropriate amounts to avoid imbalances.

What Should You Not Take with Magnesium?

While magnesium plays well with many nutrients, there are some substances that it doesn’t interact favorably with.

For instance, magnesium can decrease the absorption of certain medications like bisphosphonates (used for osteoporosis) and antibiotics from the tetracycline and quinolone families. If you’re taking these medications, it’s best to take them a few hours apart from your magnesium supplement.

Who Shouldn’t Take Magnesium?

Though magnesium is generally safe for most people, there are certain individuals who should avoid taking it as a supplement:

People with kidney disorders: Kidneys regulate magnesium in the body. If they’re functioning poorly, they might not be able to filter out excess magnesium, leading to a buildup in the body. This can cause symptoms like muscle weakness, difficulty breathing, and irregular heartbeat​.

People with heart disease: Magnesium can interact with certain medications used in heart disease management, like calcium channel blockers and diuretics. This interaction can lead to complications for those with heart disease​.

Individuals with diabetes: High magnesium levels can interfere with insulin function, potentially leading to high blood sugar levels. In severe cases, this could result in ketoacidosis, a dangerous condition where the body starts breaking down fat for energy instead of sugar​.

People with intestinal diseases: Magnesium can worsen symptoms in individuals with diseases like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis by causing diarrhea and potentially leading to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. It can also interfere with the effectiveness of medications used to treat these conditions​.

As with any supplement, it’s always recommended to consult with a healthcare provider before starting a magnesium supplement regimen. This way, you can ensure you’re getting the right amount of this essential mineral without jeopardizing your health.

In conclusion, magnesium is a critical mineral that plays a multitude of roles in our bodies. From energy production to nervous system regulation, it’s clear that maintaining adequate levels of this mineral is essential for our overall health. However, just like with any other nutrient, it’s crucial to strike a balance. Not everyone should take magnesium supplements, and certain substances should not be taken with magnesium. Always consult with a healthcare provider before making any major changes to your supplement routine.

Remember, the key to good health isn’t in a single nutrient or supplement. It’s in maintaining a balanced diet, staying active, and listening to your body. Stay healthy, and keep shining!

Disclaimer: This article is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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