Magnesium plays a role in a variety of enzyme processes that are involved in 80 percent of the body’s metabolic functions, and a magnesium deficiency can affect different genes and diseases. Such deficiencies are very common, especially among women. A Russian study of pregnant women and women with different types of hormonal imbalances shows that four weeks of magnesium supplementation can improve health and quality of life by several parameters.
Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body. Around half our magnesium is stored in bone tissue, while the remaining part is involved in over 300 different enzyme processes. Magnesium is important for our energy turnover, nervous system, digestive system, muscles, estrogen production, pregnancy, and vitamin D activation.
Even though this mineral has so many vital functions, an estimated 60 percent of people fail to reach the recommended intake level. On the list of common causes for lacking magnesium you will find things like unhealthy diets, poor nutrient absorption, urinary excretion of the nutrient, having diabetes, or being pregnant. All of these things increase your need for magnesium.
Magnesium deficiencies are more widespread among women that among men, but magnesium’s exact role in connection with PMS, menopause, osteoporosis, and cancer remains unknown. Blood levels of magnesium in healthy people are usually somewhere between 0.6 and 1.0 mmol/L, yet minimum levels may vary from country to country.
Comprehensive Russian study of magnesium-deficient women
In the Russian study, scientists looked at four observational studies from different parts of Russia to gather information about prevalence and clinical management of magnesium deficiency in pregnant women and women with hormone-related conditions.
The scientists used both questionnaires and laboratory tests to find out what women were magnesium-deficient. Following that, they made a secondary analysis of the large amount of data.
869 pregnant women and 957 women with hormonal disorders took part in the study. They were 18-60 years of age. Women receiving hormonal contraception or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), women with premenstrual syndrome (PMS), climacteric syndrome without HRT, or osteoporosis, were included in the study, as well as women of reproductive age with other hormonal conditions such as endometriosis, polycystic ovarian disease, uterine leiomyoma, algodysmenorrhea, or endometrial hyperplastic processes. Women suffering severe conditions that could have potentially hindered participation or those receiving magnesium supplementation at the time of enrollment, were excluded.
All the women got magnesium supplements for four weeks and they also vitamin B6, which is important for cellular magnesium uptake. Following that, the scientists looked closer at blood levels of magnesium and improvements of quality of life.
Magnesium supports pregnancy in several ways
In 92 percent of the pregnant women who got supplements of magnesium and vitamin B6 for four weeks, the magnesium blood levels were optimal, which decreased the number of complaints such as oedemas, bleeding, cramps, pain in the area of the wide ligaments of the uterus, preeclampsia, and potentially life-threatening miscarriage.
Magnesium improves a number of hormone disorders
In 78 percent of the women with hormone-related conditions who took magnesium and vitamin B6, magnesium levels were optimized. The best response rate was observed in women with osteoporosis and PMS. Altogether, the supplementation improved their general quality of life assessed by the WHOQOL-BREF score that is used for women with hormone-related disorders.
Women need more magnesium
The Russian scientists conclude that lack of magnesium is rather common among women. Giving supplements of magnesium and vitamin B6 to pregnant women and women with various hormone-related disorders may have a positive effect on their health, stimulate a healthy pregnancy, and improve quality of life. The new study is published in Scientific Reports.
Sources of magnesium and supplements
You get magnesium from kernels, almonds, nuts, wholegrains, cabbage, and other compact vegetables. Stress, lack of stomach acid, antacids, and diuretics may block the uptake and utilization of the nutrient.
Some magnesium supplements are absorbed better than others. If a supplement passes right through your digestive system with dissolving, it is not likely to work. You can test a magnesium supplement by putting a tablet into a glass of water to see if it dissolves within a minute or so. If it does dissolve, it is far more likely that its magnesium content will be absorbed in the small intestine.
Magnesium oxide that is found in a variety of supplements and in the Milk of Magnesia for treating constipation is difficult to absorb. This magnesium compound primarily works in the intestine.
Deficiencies and poor utilization are caused by
Svetlana Orlova et al. Magnesium level correlation with clinical status and quality of life in women with hormone related conditions and pregnancy based on real world data. Scientific Reports. 11 March 2021
Hèctor Vàzquez-Lorente et al. Response of Vitamin D after Magnesium Intervention Postmenopausal Population from the Province of Granada, Spain. Nutrients. 2020
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