Magnesium is a dietary mineral. Magnesium deficiencies are the second most common deficiency in developed countries, the first being Vitamin D. A lack of magnesium will raise blood pressure, reduce insulin sensitivity and causes neural excitation.
Magnesium deficiencies are common in the western diet because grains are poor sources of magnesium. Other prominent sources of magnesium, like nuts and leafy vegetables, are not eaten as often.
If magnesium is supplemented to attenuate a deficiency, it acts as a sedative, reducing blood pressure and improving insulin sensitivity.
Maintaining healthy magnesium levels is also associated with a protective effect against depression and ADHD.
Studies have shown that taking magnesium can encourage muscle relaxation, which then leads to sleepiness.
The standard dose for magnesium supplementation is 200-400mg.
Any form of magnesium can be used to attenuate a magnesium deficiency, except magnesium L-threonate, since it contains less elemental magnesium per dose. Gastrointestinal side-effects, like diarrhea and bloating, are more common when magnesium oxide or magnesium chloride are supplemented, due to the lower absorption rates of these two forms. In general, magnesium citrate is a good choice for supplementation. Magnesium L-threonate can be used for cognitive enhancement.
Magnesium should be taken daily, with food.
Superloading magnesium, or taking more magnesium that is needed to attenuate a deficiency, should be done with magnesium diglycinate or magnesium gluconate.
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