Spend too much time in certain social media circles and you might feel like a magnesium supplement is a miracle pill that can cure just about any disease. A supplement that can fix your sleep, get rid of headaches, or act as a natural anxiety relief aid. Not surprisingly, many of these claims are overstated.
No, magnesium is not a magic panacea. But a number of studies TO DO suggest that a daily supplement may provide modest benefits, ranging from fewer headaches to better sleep. Here’s what the magnesium supplement might actually do.
Magnesium may help reduce the frequency of migraines
Although the evidence is still mixed, a number of studies suggest that a daily magnesium supplement may help frequent migraine sufferers. As a result, he received a B-ranking from the American Headache Society and the American Academy of Neurology, stating that it is a safe and well-tolerated supplement that may offer potential benefits to migraine sufferers, either as a stand-alone therapy or in combination with other drugs. If you are taking magnesium to prevent migraines, the suggested dosage the daily dose is between 400 and 600 milligrams.
“There is clinical data to support its use,” said Stacy Smith, a physician at Houston Methodist Hospital who specializes in headache medicine. “It’s not just anecdotal.” In her experience, she will see a wide range of responses to adding a magnesium supplement, with some patients reporting significant relief, and others reporting either a modest effect or no effect at all.
If you add a magnesium supplement to help prevent migraines, Smith suggests sticking with it for at least two to three months, during which time it may be helpful to keep a headache diary to see if its effects on the frequency or duration of your migraines.
Magnesium can also be taken during a migraine, when it may provide additional relief. If you’ve ever ended up in the ER with a migraine, the IVs they give to migraine sufferers will often include about 1,000 milligrams of magnesiumwhich has been shown to help relieve the symptoms of an acute attack.
Magnesium May Help With Sleep, Anxiety and High Blood Pressure Also
Recently, the use of magnesium as a sleep aid has gained popularity, but the evidence of its effectiveness is still limited. Adding a magnesium supplement won’t compensate for poor sleep habits, although it may improve your sleep quality a little. There is also evidence to suggest that it can help improve sleep quality of people with restless legs syndrome.
Magnesium supplements have also been shown to relieve feelings of anxiety., although the studies that did were small, lacked a control group, and relied on self-reported data. More reliably, adding magnesium can cause a slight drop in blood pressureespecially in patients with pre-diabetes or insulin resistance, although the decline is very small.
How to Add a Magnesium Supplement
There are a number of different forms of magnesium available, each of which is absorbed into your body a little differently. “Start with what you can find and what’s cheap,” Smith said.
The most common form is magnesium oxide, which is the cheapest, but also has one of the lowest absorption rates. It can also have a laxative effect, which can be good or bad, depending on what you’re looking for. If you’re starting out with a form like magnesium oxide and not feeling any noticeable benefit, it’s worth trying a different form before giving up magnesium altogether.
others common forms of magnesium include magnesium citrate, magnesium lactate, magnesium malate, magnesium taurate and magnesium glycinate. Depending on what you’re taking magnesium for, you may want to try one form over another. For example, magnesium citrate is more easily absorbed, while magnesium lactate tends to be gentler on the digestive system. (Some supplements contain a mixture of different types.)
The average recommended daily amount of magnesium, from all sources, is usually between 300 and 400 milligrams. For supplements, it is generally recommended not to exceed 350 milligrams per day unless otherwise advised by a physician. Excessive amounts of magnesium in food are considered safe.