Patients unable to obtain enough magnesium from food sources may require supplementation as well via magnesium gummies or tablets
Due to poor diet and supplementation, most Americans are deficient in any number of vitamins and minerals. In some cases, people may have difficulty obtaining sufficient amounts of certain nutrients because of environmental conditions, such as vitamin D from natural sunlight for those living in more northern regions, or iron for those who follow a plant-based diet. In other cases, however, people may still be deficient in certain nutrients that can be readily available. Magnesium is one such example of this, and the deficiency is being supplemented by a rise in easy-to-take magnesium gummies.
As many as 70% of Americans under the age of 70, and approximately 80% of those over the age of 70 do not have sufficient intake of the mineral magnesium, making it a vital nutrient missing from many Americans’ diets.3 Low magnesium levels are associated with a number of health issues related to chronic inflammation, including type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, heart disease, and osteoporosis.
Given the many bodily functions which involve magnesium, as well as the many health issues caused by low magnesium levels, it seems surprising that so many people are not getting enough of this vital nutrient.
What does magnesium do?
Magnesium is present in every cell in the human body, working as a cofactor, meaning that it assists as a helper molecule for more than 300 enzymatic reactions, including converting food into energy, helping muscles move, and maintaining the nervous system.
In addition, approximately 60% of the total amount of magnesium found in the body is contained within the bones and teeth, making it almost as important as calcium for maintenance of proper bone and tooth health.1,2
Benefits of magnesium
Bone health: As mentioned previously, more than half of the body’s magnesium is found in the bones and teeth, making it vital for bone health and protecting against bone loss. One meta-analysis study from earlier this year examined the results from 12 smaller studies to determine the effect of magnesium intake on bone health.4 In pooling together the findings of these studies, the researchers found that higher magnesium intake was linked to increased bone mineral density in the hip and femoral neck areas, which are particularly susceptible to fracture in older people.4
Chronic inflammation: Many of the health conditions associated with low magnesium levels are also associated with chronic inflammation. A 2017 meta-analysis article in the journal Current Pharmaceutical Design pooled results from 11 studies looking at the link between magnesium levels and inflammation.5 The smaller studies all showed that magnesium supplements helped lower levels of the C-reactive protein, which serves as a marker for chronic inflammation.
Food sources and magnesium gummies supplements
Fortunately, there are numerous healthy food sources for obtaining magnesium, including non-animal protein options for vegetarian or vegan patients:
- Pumpkin and chia seeds
- Boiled spinach
- Nuts such as almonds and cashews
- Black beans
- Brown rice
- Fish, such as salmon and halibut
Patients who are unable to obtain enough magnesium from food sources may require supplementation as well via magnesium gummies or tablets.
It is all too easy to focus on the “letter vitamins,” and forget about the other nutrients that are equally important for maintaining health. Given the multitasking abilities of magnesium to help reduce chronic inflammation, promote bone health and regulate a vast number of enzymatic reactions, it should be part of your patients’ regular daily diet or supplemented with magnesium gummies or tablets.
- Long S, Romani AM. Role of cellular magnesium in human diseases. Austin Journal of Nutrition and Food Sciences. 2014;2(10):1051.
- de Baaij JH, Hoenderop JG, Bindels RJ. Magnesium in man: Implications for health and disease. Physiology Review. 2015;95(1):1-46.
- Kostov K, Halacheva L. Role of magnesium deficiency in promoting atherosclerosis, endothelial dysfunction, and arterial stiffening as risk factors for hypertension. International Journal of Molecular Science. 2018;19(6):1724.
- Groenendijk I, van Delft M, Versloot P, et al. Impact of magnesium on bone health in older adults: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Bone. 2022;154:116233.
- Simental-Mendia LE, Sahebkar A, Rodriguez-Moran M. Effect of magnesium supplementation on plasma C-reactive protein concentrations: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Current Pharmaceutical Design. 2017;23(31):4678-4686.