8 Ways Magnesium Rescues Hormones

Magnesium for hormone healthAs my patients can tell you, I prescribe magnesium for almost every hormonal condition including PCOS, insulin resistance, PMDD, migraines, and perimenopause.

Magnesium deficiency is common because modern soils are depleted and because your body dumps magnesium during stress. So, if you’re under stress, you probably need magnesium.

Magnesium for hormone balance

  • Magnesium calms the nervous system and regulates the HPA axis. Your stress control system (HPA) axis is your central hormonal system so when it functions well, it supports your other hormones.
  • Magnesium reduces blood sugar and normalizes insulin. It’s so effective at improving insulin sensitivity that I refer to magnesium as “natural metformin.” Healthy insulin sensitivity means fewer sugar cravings a good chance of reversing PCOS.
  • Magnesium supports thyroid health. It’s essential for the production of thyroid hormone. It is also anti-inflammatory, which helps to quiet the autoimmune inflammation that underlies most thyroid disease. Other ways to address thyroid autoimmunity include avoiding gluten and supplementing selenium.
  • Magnesium aids sleep especially when combined with the amino acids glycine and taurine (see below).
  • Magnesium fuels healthy mitochondria which is important for hormonal health because steroid hormones are made in the mitochondria.
  • Magnesium normalizes the action of progesterone on the central nervous system, which is how it relieves symptoms of PMDD, migraines, and perimenopause.
  • Magnesium activates vitamin D. Without sufficient magnesium, vitamin D cannot do its job. Conversely, too much vitamin D can cause magnesium deficiency.
  • Magnesium slows aging by preventing telomere shortening, reducing oxidative stress, and enhancing the production of glutathione.

For more information about how magnesium and women’s health, read:

Can you test for deficiency?

There is no accurate way to test for magnesium deficiency. A serum test is not helpful because most magnesium is inside the cells. A test for red cell magnesium is a bit better, but still not very accurate.

The simplest way to determine magnesium deficiency is to just try some magnesium and see how you feel.

The best type of magnesium

The best type of magnesium supplement is magnesium glycinate or bisglycinate (the mineral joined to the amino acid glycine). Magnesium glycinate is the easiest type of magnesium to absorb and the least likely to cause diarrhea. Magnesium glycinate provides the additional benefits of glycine which is the precursor to glutathione and supports healthy insulin sensitivity and methylation. Glycine also calms the nervous system and promotes sleep by modulating NMDA receptors in the suprachiasmatic nucleus and lowering core body temperature.

Magnesium combines well with the amino acid taurine — an important nutrient for mood, mitochondria, and insulin sensitivity.

The best dose of magnesium

A therapeutic dose of magnesium is at least 300 mg which usually equates to three capsules. If your label says “500 mg magnesium glycinate” per capsule, double-check it because that may be referring to total magnesium glycinate (magnesium plus glycine). Read carefully to see how much “equivalent magnesium” or “elemental magnesium ” is provided by each capsule.

Food sources include leafy greens, almonds, dark chocolate, and mineral water.

280 thoughts on “8 Ways Magnesium Rescues Hormones”

  1. Hi !I purchased the magnesium Glycinate.My Qyestion is I’m taking 5cg Liothyronine and 50Mcg of Levothyroxin. Will the magnesium interfere with my thyroid meds?And when is the best time to take magnesium .
    Thank you
    Arlene Morales

    Reply
    • yes, magnesium can impair the absorption of thyroid medication so best to take it at a different time of day than your thyroid medication. Check with your pharmacist.

      Reply
    • Hi, for thyroid meds is recommended to avoid food and drinks for 1 hour. For some other meds you may need to wait longer. I take my thyroid meds early morning, and magnesium night before going to bed

      Reply
  2. Because of your books I’ve been taking Magnesium and it has done wonders for my pmdd. Been taking taurine too.
    1) Can magnesium glycinate slow down bowel movements?
    2) Can i take magnesium during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

    Reply
  3. Because of your books I’ve been taking Magnesium and it has done wonders for my pmdd. Been taking taurine too.
    1) Can magnesium glycinate slow down bowel movements?
    2) Can i take magnesium during pregnancy and breastfeeding?

    Reply
  4. I am in America, trying to find a good magnesium and b6 supplement. I am looking at this one:

    https://www.vitacost.com/trace-minerals-research-electrolyte-stamina-300-tablets-2

    Does it have the correct doses and quality? I wish it was a powder. Is there something different you recommend that we can buy here? I take an 15mg iron supplement that also includes 50 mcg b12, 100mg vit C, 45mg calcium, 100mcg folate and liver powder. I also take vitamin D and 250mg quercetin/bromelain/C

    I am looking to treat my very heavy painful periods since having children that keep me home for 1-2 days. 37yro. This has been going on for 8 years. No hormonal birth control for all those years. Was on it before that for 12 years. I have tons of inflammation during my period. Acne breakouts, sore muscles and joints, headaches, bloating, and post nasal drip. I eat healthy homemade foods, no processed, lots of fruit/veggies, drink A2 milk. I Hashimotos treated with Synthroid. I am a healthy a weight.
    Doctor only suggested going back on birth control pills.
    Thank you for all of your eye opening blog posts. Everything makes perfect sense now, and I feel some hope! What a horrible disservice the majority of the medical world has done to women!

    Reply
  5. Hi Lara
    Quick clarification regarding magnesium, I have just purchased a new brand which is powder form. Its serving size is 1800mg which they state is equiv to 200mg elemental magnesium from mag glycinate chelate. It has a 1ml spoon with it but no indication of how much to take 1 spoonful, 2, 3? Thanks in advance!

    Reply
  6. Hi Mrs. Briden,
    I’ve been reading in your first book about the supplements that help with PMS, specifically PMDD which is my case. With regard to magnesium, I am trying my best to find one that most suits your description but it’s not easy in Barcelona (where I live). I’ve been taking Boiron’s Magnesium Duo for about a year now as per my OBGYN and although it has helped with the migraines (along with diet changes – I quit dairy and gluten) I would really like to try what I saw in your book mostly for mood symptoms and better sleep during the luteal phase (which are the worst for me).

    After a lot of research I’ve found that this kind of MG is hard to find in Spain. I’ve only found 3:
    1. https://www.amazon.es/dp/B07QK26SVP/ I like that it has taurinate but the actual amount of Glycinate is pretty low (100mg citrate, 5 mg taurinate & 20 mg bisglycinate per tablet).
    2. https://www.amazon.es/dp/B07M7L3J7Y/ seems like a good option, only I do not know if it would be too much unneeded citrate just to get the bisglycinate (515mg citrate & 200mg glycinate per tablet).
    3. https://www.amazon.es/dp/B07MZXN9V5/ I’m confused about this one because it says 1250 mg Glycinate entails 250 mg elemental Magnesium per 2 tablets. Could that be?

    Any help is appreciated. Sorry for the long question and thank you for your work, I’ve learned a lot with your book and posts!

    Reply
  7. Hi,
    One more thing -she did a 2 hour fasting insulin glucose test. Her fasting insulin was 3,3.1, and 3 at fasting. One hour and two hours. Her glucoses were 86,88, and 86. Does this make sense?

    Reply
      • She is not skinny-BMI 24-and her fasting insulin dropped from 5 and 6 when we tried to deal with what we thought was PCOS- I am having her increase her carbs and stopped Berberine- but not sure how to balance her other hormones. I realize you are very busy and really appreciate your time.

        Reply
  8. HI Lara,
    Thank you for all you do. I’m at a loss. My 19year old has had irregular periods her whole teen life and acne and maybe slight hirtuism. Her testosterone runs around 40, her SHBG is in. the 70s. I have her on lots of supplements, Mag, Zinc, HPT adaptation, fish oil, Ovasitol and Berberine, VIT D, VIT B,-she eats a very clean diet -lowish carb-her LH is higher than her FSH-neither is really low-I’m guessing her progesterone is low, but it’s hard to get labs that correlate with understanding her time of cycle.Her period surfaced somewhat regularly for a few months, but now is missing. Her biggest concern right now is her hair is thinning a lot -on top and at the temples. Is this high androgens or low- insulin/low carbs? Her BMI is 24- she’s very physically fit-exercised daily. Was a mountain bike racer , now does crossfit and short runs. I have read your book. Her thyroid was good a year ago. I’m not sure how to advise her. Thanks so much!!

    Reply
    • No, we have only done random levels. They have ranged from lh/FSH of 28/7 after 3 months of no period and not ovulating to 4/3 to 8/7 to 17/8
      Whe she was ovulating. It’s been hard to catch early follicular. She also seems to have low progesterone with each attempt. Less than 1. Thanks you!!!!

      Reply
  9. Hello dr Lara, Thank you for all your amazing info, i love love love uour book! Can I take magnesium long term without issues?

    Reply
  10. How many milligrams of magnesium do I need per day? I’m taking one 400mg magnesium glycinate capsule with breakfast (11am) and one capsule with dinner (10:30pm)

    Reply
    • I don’t think one capsule can contain 400 mg magnesium. Does the label mention the amount of “elemental magnesium” per tablet?

      Reply
  11. I am sold on magnesium, in particular, for ADD, as well as sleep. I’ve been trying to find Magnesium L-Threonate that is manufactured ethically and is of quality. Please know that I am a deep-dive research kind of person. I read actual studies from Stanford, MIT and the like, as well as, information from respected institutions and teaching hospitals like Mayo Clinic. There are good studies and articles (science and medical journals) regarding MgT but nowhere, absolutely nowhere can I find which product to buy. I’ve never encountered this before when looking for a supplement and I’me guessing that it has something to do with all the hype about MgT being a super brain supplement. Can you please, PLEASE help? Thx

    Reply
  12. Hi Lara

    Over the last two years my period have been much longer (spotting appears first for 3/4days). I’ve also been TTC and have had four miscarriages. I have been pretty stressed with work and life due to this.

    I have your book and it’s fantastic, I’ve started Zinc and still looking for a good magnesium supplement. I have magnesium (375mg) but not the one you recommend.

    Hoping my cycle calms down and That I’m able to sustain a healthy pregnancy.

    From Leah

    Reply
  13. Hey ! Just wanted to share a suggestion . I am not sure but DIM could be causing the palpitations . I don’t have personal experience with DIM but I started taking Berberine and felt like my heart beat quickened so I quit immediately and it stopped too . So maybe some herbs can do that to some people .So maybe you should stop taking supplements one by one to see which one is the culprit instead of introducing more. All the best !

    Reply
    • elemental magnesium is the amount of magnesium as opposed to the amount of the entire compound magnesium bisglycinate. Typically, there’s 100 mg magnesium in 800 mg magnesium bisglycinate.

      Products seem to vary in terms of how they label it. Does it say “elemental magnesium” anywhere on the label?

      Reply
  14. My naturopath has me taking a Vit B complex that says: 800 mg magnesium glycerophosphate and 800 mg magnesium citrate, total 228.8 mg magnesium. Does this mean that of the 1600 mg, only 228.8 is actually magnesium? And are these forms okay? I feel my body sits well with it, but now I wonder if magnesium glycinate would be better? Thanks!

    Reply
  15. I don’t have any problem with laxative-ness with magnesium chloride. I only take about 50-100 mg equivalent at any one time though (which is 500-1000 mg magnesium chloride, mixed in water). The only issue I’ve had is when I took a bunch of magnesium chloride in a short time to get rid of a migraine. I think if you dilute it enough not to gag on it it’s going to be ok. (It’s really bitter.)

    It does seem a lot more effective than the fizzy magnesium citrate drinks. (And where I am, it’s cheaper, too!)

    One thing I’ve noticed about it, though, is somehow after the container’s been open more than a week it seems less strong. A pharmacist told me “it converts into water” if you leave it open too long but I don’t think that’s exactly right. (She recommends freezing it to prevent that.) Maybe it interacts with carbon dioxide to turn into magnesium carbonate? But it doesn’t fall out of solution so maybe that’s not the mechanism.

    Reply
  16. Hi…I started taking 500 mg of magnesium once a day. Almost by the next evening I found a change in the pain. I have fibromyalgia. The magnesium helped my sleep.
    I recommend every menopause lady should take magnesium. Discuss with your Doctor first.
    Good luck

    Reply
  17. I’ve found trans-dermal magnesium chloride to be by far the most effective form of magnesium that I’ve ever tried and I’ve tried many.

    Reply
  18. Hi Lara,

    I recently read your Period Repair Manual and want to thank you for writing it. The suggestions you gave have helped in changing my body around after years of violently painful periods, hair loss, bad acne, fatigue and other symptoms. I went to several doctors and did many tests. The most information I received from the tests was that I had an ovarian cyst and the best advice I was given was to start taking birth control pills. I started taking Magnesium (212 mg a day) in addition to a multivitamin, zinc (40 mg a day), omega 3s and DIM, eliminating sugar, dairy and white products (bread, pasta, etc.) for three months. Almost all of my symptoms have disappeared but I was hoping you could help in recommending what to do for the remaining issues I am left with?

    After three months straight I stopped taking the DIM but kept up with the other supplements. Almost immediately I started getting heart palpitations which sometimes make me feel as though I can’t breathe. I’m experiencing fatigue and very bad body odor. My skin is better but is still very red and feels like sandpaper. These symptoms are nothing in comparison to what I used to deal with but are getting in the way of my life both personal and professional and are a sign that I am still not back to my normal self. I started taking a tsp. of Maca recently after reading that it can help with heart palpitations and body odor. It seems to lessen the palpitations but so far hasn’t help with the body odor.

    Is there anything you can recommend to help in addressing these remaining issues I have? Should I increase the magnesium and Maca, or is there another supplement you know of that will help?

    Thank you in advance for any help you can give!

    Reply
  19. Is transdermal magnesium helpful? I don`t seem to tolerate any other form of it, I get an extreme paradoxical reaction: no sleep, anxiety, frequent urgent bowel movement, fatigue. Thank you

    Reply
  20. Should teens take magnesium in general for period health, even if they don’t have any problems with their period or during the first few years of their period?

    Reply
  21. Hi, i have PCOS, blocked fallopian tubes and trying to conceive for 4 years. I have VERY irregular and heavy periods (currently going on a month straight). I take Ovasitol but i was wondering if i can take the Magnesium as well. Is it ok to take both at the same time?

    Thanks

    Reply
  22. Hi Lara, i’m sure you probably know of it by now but Ethical Nutrients (by Metagenics) do a Magnesium and Taurine powder available in Aus and NZ. Have just started it thanks to your recommendation 🙂

    Reply
  23. I have a long history with magnesium. I have tried many kinds., I absolutely find magnesium malware to,be the very best. NO bowel,issues….increases energy and muscle health. Really helps Fibromyalgia , thyroid and all body systems.

    Reply
  24. I have had a 2nd kidney transplant and I am a diabetic, throid problems taking 175 mg a day. My hair has fallen out a lot my weight goes up and down even though I excersise at the gym 3 to 4 times a week. I have constipation that they have given me maylax no go linness no go movantic with myralax no go milk of maganiesum works but have to take 4 to 6 capfuls to go. When I am constipated and I haven’t gone for 3 to 4 days then I have to take milk of mag all by itself. Plus I know my hormones are out of wack but my doctor won’t do blood work so tell me how yours is different

    Reply
  25. A friend posted one of your blogs in regards to magnesium. At the end of the blog, it stated you had a brand you recommended. I am very interested in knowing about this. I have Hoshimotos and although I take medication, and have eliminated all soy, dairy and gluten from my diet, I still have extreme sensitivity to cold and fatigue.

    Reply
  26. I’ve been taking Magtein as a magnesium supplement and I’m experiencing a lot of stomach upset. Can you recommend a brand name product that might not do that. Magtein is also for memory support but I’m taking it mainly to get some sleep. Would your book contain any information for women’s in their lay 60’s? Does your book cover sleep issues as you age?

    Carol Melazzo

    Reply
  27. Dear Lara Briden

    Recently i am receiving consultations by a menopause consult, who prescribed me magnesium 400mg. Since a few days im feeling all my symptoms from menopause more strongly and have lowered the dosage to 120mg per day. I descovered your website and read that magnesium is good for hormones, especially menopause and that we will only know if magnesium is rght for us depending on how we feel whilst supplementing. My question to you is, is it normal that magnesium will cause symptoms to be worse untill its found a balance?

    Reply
  28. Hello Lara, thanks for the informative article. I have a question please, what if I have already low blood pressure and I know I have symptomps that I am magnesium deficient! Is it possible for me to still take it as supplement?? Thanks

    Reply
  29. Hi Lara! Thankyou very much for the article, it applies to my situation right now – insulin resistant PCOS and thyroid disease. I would love to start taking magnesium but I’m not sure which brand you reccomend. Which type of magnesium gycinate do you prescribe?
    I don’t want to take just any magnesium off the shelf.

    Reply
  30. Hello, I’m progesterone intolerant and magnesium is not my friend. I’m on lupron and get less hot flashes on it than I did everyday from my own progesterone (prior to going on the lupron). I HATE progesterone-it is the source of unimaginable physical pain, and pmdd to the severity extent possible. I can’t wait until I turn 25, at which point my dr will FINALLY cut out my uterus and ovaries that have done NOTHING good for me. Menopausal without estrogen her even yet, my sec drive has never been healthier. Best birthday gift ever to get rid of these nasty f***ers in my body. Can’t have kids because that amount of progesterone will kill me. Kill me. Literally, it would kill me. I black out and lose days, from tiny amounts of progesterone. Depo provera would have ended in my death had my family not been there like 24/7 for me. Sincw then, the intolerance is worse, and I can’t even take a f***ing epsom salt bath now because the next few days I lose time, sleep an unbelievable amount, and when I am awake, I’m in so much pain I can’t stand it-so I take a pain pill (second thag helps the pain, I realize I’m so depressed I want to kill myself, so I go to sleep, and sleep until the pain wakes me back up. (And these are the same pills I take regularly for the pain, so don’t even start with saying those are a factor). Progesterone has done nothing good for me. All this being said, I’m saying all to inform you that magnesium is probably NOT the cure for any woman with severe progesterone intolerance, and progesterone intolerance is prevalent in women with pcos, and can be the SOLE CAUSE of a woman’s pms or even pmdd…
    Please take my word for it. From a 24 year old woman in chemical menopause, excited as hell about getting her ovaries cut out soon to make it permanent. Depo almost ended my life (and has quadrupled the number of ovarian cysts I get on top of increasing my already horrific pelvic pain), but yeah so depo almost killed me, as have my body’s Own progesterone, almost every month, but my mom or husband always stopped me. And I HATED them for it every time, until now. Because now lupron has saved my life, so that my family never has to again, because without progesterone in my system, I WANT to live. I’m not crazy. I actually have the ability to feel joy and hope. And I WANT to be alive. I don’t have pmdd anymore, and soon won’t have adenomyosis (source of my pain btw WORSENED from progesterone…).

    Reply
  31. Lara, would magnesium be safe in pregnant woman? And in young teen agers?14-15 years old form period pain? Looking forward to professional training by you!

    Reply
  32. Should I take magnesium if I feel like I’m losing hair because I took lo Loestrin fe. I never lost any hair before taking it and 6 weeks after taking it I started losing hair fast! I stopped but it still hasn’t stabilized
    and it’s been almost a year. I assume it was the androgenic progestin in it so I definitely don’t want to do anything to make more testosterone but I want to take whatever I can to stop the hair loss.

    Reply
  33. Hi Lara,
    I started taking 300mg magnesium glysinate daily in the morning after breakfast, a couple of weeks ago. After a week I started having terrible nausea over a couple of days, so have stopped in the mean time. Would you recommend starting on a lower dose and building up? Thanks 🙏

    Reply
  34. A have a really quick question! Do you recommend topical magnesium sprays/gels or is oral magnesium supplements superior in your experience? I read that magnesium is best absorbed transdermally however I want to make sure I’m absorbing enough since I truly feel like I am very deficient. Thank you so much for your time and your wonderful blog. It has helped me tremendously!

    Reply
  35. Hi I am 53. I have been taking femeston1/10 for the past year. I was having periods but could tell they were grinding to a halt. I would have to wait two extra weeks for them to start and was becoming really uncomfortable with pMS symptoms feeling bloated and heavy.
    Then hot flashes hit me all day every day to the point I couldn’t stand it anymore. The hrt stopped the hot flashes and gave me regular bleed. I could also sleep through the night again.
    However I am now starting to feel very bloated and have put weight on despite eating and living healthily. Could this be water retention? I also feel that breasts are bigger and sometimes uncomfortable and heavy.
    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Reply
  36. Hi Lara, You would think magnesium would be indicated for my history of migraines, painful periods (endo) and heart irregular beats and fatigue but over the past 3 years I have tried so many types and dosages citrate, malate, taurate, bisglycinate and L-threonate and haven’t noticed any change. I have tried 300mg and gone upto 600mg for my migraines but found it made no difference or made me worse. Could vasodilation action aggrevate migraines? They all made my bowels urgent and loose….even bisglycinate??
    Is it worth trying transdermal…any recommendations cream/baths?
    Is it worth getting RBC mag test done to see is it is needed?
    I have MTHFR gene mutation could that impact how I deal with methylation and magnesium?
    Thanks

    Reply
  37. My mom took magnesium supplements for years, and so did I, but after a kidney function test her doctor told her that her magnesium intake was contributing to kidney failure. What do you recommend for a safe daily dose of magnesium?

    Reply
    • Magnesium does not cause kidney failure. But anyone with kidney failure (from other causes) should not take magnesium.

      Reply
  38. Hello Lara,
    Thank you for such a great article on Magnesium. I have just started (10 days ago) taking a supplement containing Magnesium Citrate (200mg) & Vitamin B6, to try to help balance my hormones – have been experiencing more anxiety & irritability as feel like I’m going into Perimenopause. However, it seems to have affected my period – have had one 18 days after my last one & has been quite heavy. Do you think this supplement may have had this affect? I was a bit puzzled as have read Magnesium is meant to help improve Progesterone levels, so luteal phase should last longer & not get shorter. Hoping it’s just my hormones balancing out & this will settle!
    Thanks, Jazz.

    Reply
  39. Can I take magnesium with inositol? If so, should I split it in two doses like inositol (morning + evening), or just take it in one dose?

    Reply
  40. Hi Lara

    I take a calcium and magnesium supplement (1,000mg calcium citrate & 500mg magnesium oxide/citrate. Do I need to supplement magnesium separately as well to get these benefits? (Not sure if the dose is “cancelled out” because of being with the calcium, or whether I have a higher requirement – I have osteopenia).

    Thanks
    Lauren

    Reply
    • Yes, calcium competes with magnesium. I usually give magnesium on its own for a few months to get its benefits and then maybe add in a small amount of calcium.

      Reply
  41. This is very informative, thank you! I love magnesium, I take it in liquid form (mixed with calcium and Vitamin D) every night before I go to bed. It relaxes my muscles so I can sleep better (I have fibromyalgia). It also helps keep me regular, which is an added bonus. My fiancé sometimes gets cramping in his calves at night. When that happens, he puts magnesium topical gel on his calves and goes right back to sleep, no more cramping. We are big fans of this mineral, thank you for the additional information! I love your blog. I am going through peri menopause and it has been extremely helpful.

    Reply
  42. Hi Dr Briden. I have a condition called Catamenial Epilepsy. I live in NZ where very little is known about it, often specialists refuse to acknowledge it and say it is too rare for me to have it and I have had to work at finding solutions to reducing my estrogen levels and upping my progesterone. I take 500mg of natural marine source magnesium powder a day and found that it helped reduce my seizures down and helped me in other ways. I have started to get my period every two weeks and consequently my seizures are now every two weeks. My question is, is it possible to take too much magnesium and cause a hormonal imbalance. I am starting to hit the menopause age so that is part of it as well maybe. The side effects of seizures are so strong and hard to cope with for me and my family that I need any help I can get and would be hugely appreciated. Thank you. Bronwen Key

    Reply
  43. Hello!
    I know this post is quite old now, but I hope you will still see this comment. I was wondering what your opinion is on trans-dermal magnesium? It seems to be popular right now and some sources say it is better absorbed and raises cellular levels of magnesium better than oral supplementation because it bypasses the digestive system. Any thoughts would be appreciated! Thank you for all of your knowledge and work on our behalf!
    -Elizabeth

    Reply
  44. Hi Dr. Briden, I was wondering about magnesium conversions. My bottle of magnesium glycinate says 600mg per capsule, which says “as Magnesium Glycinate 108mg”. Does that mean I should be taking 2 or 3 a day? Thanks in advanced.
    -Wynter

    Reply
  45. Hi Lara, thanks for the information. Just wondering what Magnesium & Taurine Supplement you recommend. Also, if I’m taking 1500mg of Metformin per day to help with PCOS, is it ok to supplement with Magnesium and Taurine??
    Thanks for your help!

    Reply
  46. Is there enough magnesium in chlorella and spirulina? I suffer from heavy periods and bad cramps while my doctor believes in birth control. I refuse to be on it for the rest of my life.

    Reply
  47. Is there enough magnesium in chlorella and spirulina? I currently take wheatgrass, spirulina and chlorella daily and was wondering if there is enough magnesium in those three superfoods? I suffer from bad cramps and heavy bleeding and recently given up on birth control and while my doctor pushes for it I refuse to be on it the rest of my life. I was going to purchase your book, however I noticed a revision is coming out soon.

    Reply
  48. Doctor Lara, I’ve insulin resistant PCOS and I understand from your article that Magnesium would help improve insulin sensitivity. But, I also have symptoms of androgen excess. Would consuming Magnesium also result in more Testosterone since you also mention that it aids in the production of Testosterone? Is there an optimal dosage in such a scenario that improves insulin sensitivity without increasing androgens, while in fact minimising the symptoms of this excess? Or should I be avoiding Magnesium for this very reason?

    Reply
    • As Magnesium salt helps in formation of progesterone, estrogen and testosterone, is it same for a person who has high testosterone to take these salt baths? Will it help or aggravate the condition?

      Reply
  49. I have been trying to have regular Epsom salts baths to increase magnesium. However every time I do it seems to have the opposite effect on me and I have problems sleeping….. can you please explain why this and what I should be doing about it? Thanks

    Reply
  50. Hello! Very interesting article. I have a question, I am using spironolactone (100mg i believe) since 1,5 years for my acne and this works well for me. However I do not want to take this forever and want to try natural supplements that decrease the androgens. I am 30 years old now and have had acne since I was 15. I believe it may be genetic (my dad and aunties used to have it as well and didnt use any medication and their skin looks very bad now, lot of scars and holes).

    So i bought the magnesium supplements 250mg, but when I googled it says that I should not be taking spironolactone together with magnesium. I was thinking to use all the supplements you recommended and then slowly remove the spironolactone. What do you suggest to do. I dont dare to immediately stop the spironolactone because my skin gets really really bad and red and lots of cystic acne around the cheecks and jawline.

    Thank you so much!

    Reply
    • I have terrible cystic acne and found that a zinc supplement plus a great skin care regimen has helped me the most. I use Rodman &Fields Unblemish and it has worked wonders. I also started washing my pillow case every 3 days, keeping my hands off my face, and cleaning my cell phone regularly.

      Reply
  51. My magnesium supplement has 360 mg of Magnesium Bisglycinate (equivalent to 50.76mg of elemental magnesium). Is your recommended dose 300 mg of magenisium or 300 mg of Magnesium Bisglycinate?

    Reply
  52. Hi Lara,
    I started taking Magnesium Citrate (150mg) recently but have noticed it gives me very loose stools so I had to stop. I am trying to regulate my HPA axis because I have hypothalamic amenorrhea, but starting to wonder whether the magnesium is necessary for me. I probably have quite a lot of magnesium in my diet already because I eat leafy greens and almonds every day and regularly eat dark chocolate and raw cacao nibs. Do you think the gastric symptoms are a sign that my body already has enough magnesium? Or should I switch to a different form of magnesium like magnesium glycinate?
    I also take regular epsom salt baths. Do you think that’s an adequate way to get extra magnesium when dietary intake is already relatively high?
    Thanks in advance!
    KC

    Reply
  53. If a man takes alot of magnesium could that increase his risk of hair loss. I read that magnesium could increase testosterone and then DHT. I have been taking 900 mg of magnesium citrate by supplement and I have noticed my hair thinning. Could the magnesium be causing it? Thanks.

    Reply
    • As Magnesium salt helps in formation of progesterone, estrogen and testosterone, is it same for a person who has high testosterone to take these salt baths? Will it help or aggravate the condition?

      Reply
  54. Hi Lara,
    What do you think about magnesium chloride? I am taking glycerinate now, but have read some sources claiming chloride is best absorbed, and I like the idea that I can add it as liquid to my water throughout the day.
    Thanks 🙂

    Reply
    • magnesium chloride is one of the more laxative types of magnesium, especially if you take the therapeutic dose of 300 mg

      Reply
  55. How much Magnesium do we need to take on a daily basis? I’ve been taking it at night along with Vitamin B1 per my doctor for the headaches I was having.

    Reply
  56. Can you combine Tau magnesium taurate & glycinate . I have hypothyroidism, elevated testosterone & progesterone deficiency. I occasional ovulate & my ND is constantly scratching his head with my inconsistency.

    Reply
      • is there a brand you recommend? I have tried a couple – Calm being one, and I can hardly choke it down. the other one I have is such a huge hard pill it always seems to get stuck in my throat. Would love any that you find to work well! thank you!

        Reply
  57. Hi Lara, I am a post op trans woman, meaning ive had the sex change, and I want to take magnesium but I want to make sure I am not increasing testosterone too much. I have magnesium L threonate powder 200mg per scoop and Magnesium Orotate which is in my calcium supplement at 550mg per 2 capsule. How much should I take to get the benefit but without making too much testosterone?

    Reply
  58. Hi Lara, since I’ve read your book I started to take 400 mg of Magnesium Chelated every day to promote my ovulation. I didn’t notice any difference except my eyelid started to twitch, which hadn’t happen before. And this is the symptom of Magnesium deficiency. It’s quite illogical for me. What does it mean?

    Reply
  59. I would like to purchase a magnesium supplement to increase my progesterone levels. Can ŷou tell me what amount I should be taking? Many thanks.

    Reply
  60. Hi Dr. Lara,
    I am researching about taking Magnesium supplements. I was wondering if you have a brand that you personally take or recommend to your patients? There are so many out there and I am especially particular when it comes to taking supplements. They did not have Magnesium Glycinate at Whole Foods where I usually buy my supplements, and there are too many online for me to choose from. Please let me know!

    I am officially coming off of the pill this Friday after extensive research and reading through your blog and talking with my current gynecologist. I had irregular periods beforehand, so I’m looking to repair my period and naturally regulate my hormones again.

    Thank you so much!!

    Best,
    Kiah

    Reply
  61. Hi Lara,
    i take magnesium but i’m wonderung how much of it should be? I take the daily ration 300 mg. Which product do you recommend. I can’t find a pure bisglycinate.. only mixed formes. Thank you.

    Reply
  62. I’ve been taking 300mg magnesium oxide and a dairy free diet for endo symptoms after reading your book. But now have low calcium bloods results.
    Would the magnesium be causing this? I have heard magnesium and calcium can counteract each other?

    Reply
    • Was that a blood test? Serum calcium is an electrolyte, and is tightly controlled by the body. So low serum calcium cannot be interpreted as simply dietary calcium deficiency. It’s more likely to be a side effect from a medication or after illness like chronic diarrhea or dieting. Other causes of low calcium include vitamin D deficiency, and actually magnesium deficiency. What does your doctor say?

      Reply
  63. I just ordered magnesium Taurate as i have arrhythmia and it’s the best one for the heart apparently. So maybe the type of mag is directly linked to benefitting different areas?

    Reply
  64. Hi Dr. Briden,

    I hope you still check these comments- I am 6 months off of BCP and have noticed major hair shedding over the past few months. I had blood testing and was deficient in vitamin D. My doctor gave me a once per week D supplement to take for a month then recommended OTC D. I have been on for 3 weeks and have noticed major spotting this cycle that I have not experienced since being off BCP. Do you think the D is the cause? Should I add any supplement to aid with this issue such as the mag/zinc? Thank you!

    Reply
  65. Magnesium RBC, also called whole blood sometimes, is how you test magnesium inside the cell. Ideally the level would be between 6 and 7.

    Reply
  66. I found it wise to look up Magnesium on the internet and / or medical book because too much magnesium in your body can cause serious side effects. Moniter your intake carefully and stay within acceptable, published limits.

    Reply
    • Thanks Marilyn. That really only applies to magnesium given intravenously. Also, anyone with kidney failure needs to be careful, as they cannot excrete properly. For everybody else, magnesium is very safe.

      Reply
  67. i had muscle aches over my body expecially my lower back problem. i took calcium that didnt work and vitamin d but it didnt go away found out it was muscle aches so i was told to take magnisuim for muscle and through out the night it went away so now its apart of my life

    Reply
  68. My question: I am hypothyroid, very low body temperature. I experience hot chills and cold chills, the hotter I get the colder my skin gets. My thighs can sting from the cold . A few days ago I experienced a chill that felt like I had ice cold water trickling down my .body. Any idea what it is . Thank you

    Reply
  69. I wondered about the supplement, magnesium glycinate. Is this an oral supplement and what would the dose be? Am interested as I am experiencing some mild hair loss secondary to gastric sleeve surgery and have had difficulty sleeping and chronic constipation for years. I worked as a nurse and did the night shift for 20 yrs and sleeping has always been an issue.

    Reply
  70. I was giving vitamin D supplements from the doctor once. I became severely constipated and had leg cramps. When I called the pharmacist about it as a side effect (it was listed), he has never heard of that. I looked it up and realized that it was causing magnesium deficiency. I will never take that stuff again!

    Reply
  71. Actually there is a test that measures magnesium inside the blood cells and it’s called magnesium RBC. I had mine tested through Request A Test lab. Also another alternative to magnesium glycinate is magnesium malate— it also is less likely to cause loose bowels etc. Some people who have methylation issues are intolerant to the magnesium glycinate—it causes racing heart, palpitations and other negative symptoms.

    Reply
  72. In your opinion is it possible to take too much magnesium? I went to the ER once with breathing problems and after a battery of tests they decided my trouble was related to supplementing too much magnesium. Since then I’ve been afraid to use it again, though I know it has helped me in the past.

    Reply
    • It would be pretty difficult to obtain too much oral magnesium because it would cause diarrhea before anything else. I’ve never seen it clinically.

      Reply
  73. This is so interesting and I’m looking forward to improving my energy. How much is appropriate to take? I know everyone is different, but is there a general guideline ? I feel like what is on the bottle is probably not sufficient for doing repair work. Thanks!

    Reply
      • I follow a protocol the Magnesium Advocacy group and their recommendation is 5mg of magnesium per llb body weight obtained from a combination of types through oral and transdermal methods. Epsom salt baths and magnesium oil spray for transdermal and which every type of magnesium suits you best. Magnesium oxide being the least bio available but some people do well on it so it can be a trail and error process. I have had great results using magnesium supplements

        Reply
        • They are wonderful. That is where I started adding magnesium to my diet. I use Trace Minerals Mega-Mag. It has boron in it, which is a co-factor along with vitamin b6, which are needed along with the magnesium. I sometimes put magnesium oil on my skin to help me sleep.

          Reply
    • Thanks Pam. Yes, the test “red cell magnesium” can be ordered, but it’s not sensitive enough to pick up a mild deficiency.

      Reply
  74. Hi, I noticed that the magnesium glycinate is causing me severe acne breakout. I started taking it as I have been having severe leg calves pain since 8 months. But had to stop due to severe acne on face and neck.

    Reply
  75. Thanks for the information. My son is 11 yrs old and is autistic. I was giving him melatonin to help with sleep. It started not helping so instead of upping the melatonin I now give him 1.5 mg of melatonin plus 100-150 of mg citrate and he sleeps through the nite and falls asleep easily.

    Reply
  76. Hi! I have heard that being sufficient in magnesium is supposed to help with morning sickness during pregnancy. Do you know if this is true? I was terribly sick with my son and threw up every day for quite a while and I am hoping to avoid this next time around! I have been taking a combination of magnesium biglycinate, citrate and malate for a little while now (mostly biglycinate, but about 400 mg of elemental magnesium in total each day) while I try to build my vitamin stores and detox in preparation for another pregnancy. Thanks!

    Reply
    • I had a severe case of morning sickness called Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). I was hospitalized for it, especially for dehydration and the HG created a fear of even water due to the severe vomitting it created. I wasn’t bed-ridden but toilet ridden (literally) for 9 months. My mattress had to be moved to the toilet (yes I slept by a toilet for 9 months) – I’m grateful we had two toilets hehehe (I can laugh about it now). You can be reassured that you’re not alone (even though all your friends all around you are having happy pregnancies with all that flowing progesterone) – just google HG and blogspot and you’ll read other people’s experiences.

      Since then, I have been obsessed with finding out the why’s. Why did it happen to me, what was I lacking? What did I have too much of? Its been 12 years and I’m still curious.

      I suspect we have too much estrogen (most reports I read stated a lot of fat cells contribute to it). Therefore lose weight before conceiving.
      Take a vitamins PRIOR to conceiving – we both know vomiting 24 x 7 is unlikely to keep down any nutrients which will exaggerate the problem.
      Take a digestive enzyme – as it could be related to malabsorption of the foods/supplements you’re currently consuming.
      Definitely take magnesium
      Take zinc supplements (with food)
      Eat plain white rice, with lots of vegetables, 1/2 an avocado and a palm size about of meat everyday to obtain the right about of nutrients
      Start practicing sipping water instead of gulping water
      Start talking – yes this is the biggest one. Vent your problems. Get involved in positive psychology. Find a support person, open up to a friend, become vulnerable.
      The nausea could be caused by fear and the continuous lack of food aggravates the fear further. It’s the vicious cycle from hell.
      Get a food massager from the Shaver Shop available all around Australia (I think). Sounds weird but try it. Also Aldi sells back massagers for $40. Well worth the money.
      Get an automated grocery shop each week so you dont have to smell food.
      Learn how to meditate and breath (google 7-11 breathing techniques) – do that every single morning when you’re cortisol is the highest

      On a bright note, you may conceive a girl and you may not be sick. I wont ever know if my HG was caused by the gender of my babies as we conceived 2 girls.

      Good luck

      Reply
  77. Hi Dr. Briden, I’m interested in calming stress levels and my PMS symptoms. Which supplement (and how much of it) would you recommend for someone like me? I’m a healthy, 37 yr old mother of 3 with no pre-existing conditions. Thanks!

    Reply
  78. Has no one heard of PICO-IONIC Magnesium??!!
    I am a 60yr old gal doing home hemodialysis for 4 years now. Of course we patients are discouraged from all forms of Mg, our kidneys cannot excrete it so it can accumulate to dangerous levels, or so I have been instructed. In the meantime I began to develop irregular heartbeats, disrupting sleep even. I feared the next step would be a cardiologist visit, but being a chemist in my past life I began to research this, and began to connect the dots that magnesium deficiency can cause heart palpitations, since the heart has the greatest need for magnesium. It made sense to me that I had become deficient having avoided it ever since I began dialysis. I discovered an elemental form of Mg that is of the pico-nanometer size, permitting it to be absorbed 100% right into cells through the ion channels, without ever seeing the gut. 1 tsp delivers 300mg. When my heart is jumping all over in my chest, I take a tsp of this, and within minutes it returns to a normal rhythm. I just couldn’t believe it the first time! The best source is ReMag Magnesium solution, created by Dr. Carolyn Dean. Don’t mess with all the other magnesium salts out there, you will absorb very little. I find I sleep better, have more energy, and am actually peeing more! And isn’t it interesting that most dialysis patients die from heart problems?
    Highly recommended.

    Reply
  79. Hi Dr Lara,

    I have tried Mag Glycinate numerous times since this post first came out over 1 1/2 yrs ago.
    My gut simply does not tolerate even the suggested divided doses on full stomach.
    I recently tried the mentioned Mag L- Threonate.
    That also had a laxative effect.

    My question is – have you tried any liquid Mag formulations taken sub lingually?

    “Magnesium – Premium Liquid Ionic Mineral 50 ml Bottle (100 days at 50 mg Per 10 Drop Serving)”

    Thinking this is my last hope for Magnesium supplementation. Hoping sublingual will bypass my gut?
    I am a FODMAP sensitive and have relieved all my IBS symptoms adhering to a low FODMAP diet.

    Thanks for any thoughts.

    Lisa

    Reply
    • You could try topical magnesium or oil. For the longest time I was unconvinced that it could deliver (I think I said so in the comments), but I now think it’s a viable option.

      Reply
      • This is super news !
        I had read above awhile back that you did not think topical Mag packed enough of a punch to be worthwhile … so this is great to hear.
        I will definately try.
        I googled some great ideas for homemade body butter with this added-

        Will let you know if I see any improvement
        Fatigue and muscle weakness my main issies.

        Thanks a million for the update 🙂 !

        Reply
        • How did you go with the flakes? I’ve heard they are better than the salts. Please share your experience with me. Thanks

          Reply
  80. Hello Lara,

    How do you recommend your patients taking Magnesium (glycinate) and Calcium-d-Glucarate? My Naturopath has me taking the “pure encapsulations” Magnesium (glycinate) 120mg/capsule once in the evening and then 3 capsules at bedtime. I am not on a calcium supplement. I have just ordered the “pure encapsulations” Calcium-d-Glucarate (500mg). Is evening and bedtime best, or should you take the two supplements throughout the day with meals? I have read there should be a 2:1 ratio of Calcium to Magnesium.

    Thank you for all of your great advice. Your website has been so helpful!

    Thanks again,
    Chelsey

    Reply
    • It’s fine to take magnesium without calcium. The Pure encapsulations magnesium is a good one. Calcium-d-Glucarate is a glucarate supplement, not a calcium supplement.

      Reply
  81. Hi Laura! I greatly appreciated your article about magnesim as am looking into supplementation for hormone & hair loss. I am 59, post-menopausal & after getting off HRT a year ago am experiencing tremendous hair loss and thinning. so devastating. But is there research to prove that Mg helps with hair thinning. I truly appreciate your input with this, because would really like to not go back on HRT if possible. Past history of PCOS & hormone imbalance. Thank you SO much!

    Reply
    • Your current hair loss is probably just from the sudden stopping of estrogen. It should settle down as long as you don’t have an underlying thyroid problem. And Yes, magnesium could help.

      Reply
  82. It took me a while to find a readily available tablet form of magnesium glycinate (also called magnesium disglyinate) in Australia, so here is what I have found so far

    iherb sell in aus too and seem to have reasonable postage rates – didnt realise that

    ethical nutrients sell one called “mega magnesium” with 500mg Magnesium diglycinate through chemists I think.

    https://ethicalnutrients.com.au/Products/Product?groupkey=MMG

    Reply
  83. Thank you for this great article! I have begun taking magnesium supplements, but I am in doubt of when/how it should be taken. Any specific way or can it be taken with meals? Thanks again!

    Reply
  84. Awesome article, Dr. Lara! I love magnesium too… I feel like a broken record with patients but it’s such an amazing mineral. What do you think of intracellular magnesium testing – or RBC magnesium tests? Still inaccurate or do you think they’re valuable? Thanks so much!
    Kali

    Reply
  85. Hi Dr. Briden

    What brand of magnesium would you recommend? I am a but over whelmed of which one to choose from! thank you in advance!

    Warmly,
    Beatriz

    Reply
    • Hi Beatriz, I usually prescribe a powder with magnesium glycinate and a big dose of taurine combined. Such as: Metagenics Fibroplex plus or Natural Factors WomenSense.

      Reply
  86. Magnesium supplementation saved my quality of life! So great to read an article on it. I was going through a time of intense physical and mental stress. My sleep got so disrupted I couldn’t stay asleep for more than 90 minutes at a time, often less. I had muscle cramps, fatigue, achiness, and intense anxiety nearly 24/7.
    I first had an intravenous dose and went home to sleep for the FIRST time for more than 6 hours and slept a total of 12 hours within that 24 hour period. I now take at least 500mg every day. A week before my period or when I’m working especially hard (I do carpentry for a living) I up to to 1000. I would probably take an even higher dose if it didn’t have such a strong laxative effect.

    Reply
  87. Hi Lara. My sister suffers from pulmonary hypertension. Currently her red blood cells count as well as her blood pressure has been extremely low. Even blood transfusions has not helped. Should she try magnesium. It’s almost a month now and not improving…she can’t even take 5 steps without her shortness of breath. She is only in her 30s. It’s so painful to see her condition. :, (

    Reply
  88. Hi Lara, I was recently diagnosed with CHF and am taking lasix and spironolactone. I’m worried that magnesium is leeching out of my system. I eat healthy vegetables (organic) and lots of the green leafy variety but I’m tired all the time from not sleeping well and just general malaise and am normally nauseous from the medications. Would you think I could benefit from taking a magnesium supplement? I also have IBS so would probably have to be careful of the milligrams.

    Reply
    • Lasix depletes the body of magnesium, so that increase your risk for deficiency. Magnesium is safe for bowel conditions especially if you choose a highly absorbable form (such as magnesium glycinate or magnesium threonate–discussed in comments above). If it is absorbed quickly into the blood stream, then magnesium will not remain in the bowel to act as an osmotic laxative (to draw water into the bowel). Also, you can start low with the dose and work up. Take directly after food, and if you experience diarrhoea, then split the dose (eg. smaller amount taken twice daily).

      Reply
  89. I am understanding that magnesium may not be a good choice for someone with kidney problems. Is it safe to take a smaller amount than 400 mg?

    Reply
    • Kidney disease sufferers do not eliminate magnesium easily, so it can reach higher levels in the blood stream disturbing electrolytes (hypermagnesemia). A safe dose depends on the severity of the kidney disease, so any supplementation should be monitored by a doctor.

      Just a note to readers: If you have normal kidney function, magnesium is very safe.

      Reply
  90. I did not read through all of the posts so if this has been addressed I apologize. But I switched from one type of Magnesium which supposedly does no good (oxide citrate malate) to Magnesium L-Threonate because this is supposedly the only Magnesium that is real. One doctor I respect and another person who bio hacks his own body said the same thing about L Threonate. This, magnesium glycinate or bisglycinate, is new to me. Which one is correct to take?

    Reply
    • Hi Christine, Please see Tiziano’s question (just two comments up). As I say there, I have not yet had a chance to prescribe magnesium threonate, but it looks great. Magnesium glycinate is also very good. I would say there is not one correct magnesium. There are a number of very good ones.

      Reply
  91. How’s about this site. Looks pretty thorough on testing many essentials. They don’t seem to cover the UK, though.
    https://www.spectracell.com/clinicians/products/
    Also, I think the RBC Mg is useful as it can indicate a low threshold. it may well be that a high RBC status does not mean everything is rosy but it’s a long way forward. Serum is <1% of body reserves- so is a really poor indicator. Wholeblood Mg is up the scale a bit, but RBC is the nearest we have to intracellular status according to MAG site, run by the indefatigable Morley Robbins.
    Those with absorbing problems, IBS etc., may find Mg Oxide spray very useful as it's bypasses the gut and is well absorbed. Around 150mg elemental for 10 sprays!
    The other thing to bear in mind is Potassium and Sodium status, when taking Mg long term, as these are interdependent -and can also lead to cramps when out of balance.

    Reply
    • Interesting question. In truth, I had not yet looked closely at magnesium threonate, but I now see there is some interesting research from MIT: “Enhancement of learning and memory by elevating brain magnesium.”

      I might start to look at this for patients. Have you tried it?

      Just as clarification for readers: Magnesium always has to be bound to something. Either oxide, for example, or carbonate, or the amino acid glycine (which I recommend here) Or, in the case of magnesium threonate, a sugar isomer of Vitamin C called threonate or threonic acid. The binding agent (or delivery agent or chelating agent) will determine how absorbable magnesium is, and also how likely it is to stay in the bowel and act as an osmotic laxative.

      Reply
      • No I still haven’t. My first bottle is arriving next week though so I’m going to start early. Maybe I will mix it with other forms morning / evening, I’ll see on it. Thank you.

        Reply
  92. Hi Dr Lara,
    It sounds like Magnesium supplementation is exactly what I need but I have some barriers to absorption that may impact the effect. I have severe Crohns disease (which I take Methotrexate for) which due to many surgeries has left me with short bowel syndrome (no colon and less than 2 feet of small bowel) so absorption of medication, nutrients and fluids are compromised and exactly how much is absorbed is very much trial and error and differs. Also as a consequence of this I have to drink only electrolyte replacement as my daily fluid intake rather than water so I have to be careful of anything that aggravates my digestive system and causes increased transit of fluids or food.
    On top of this I also have Graves disease which was treated by RAI and I am now on whole thyroid extract and I also have just found out I have autoimmune premature menopause…oh joy!
    As a result of all my problems I have difficultly sleeping through the night and have ongoing problems with excessive fatigue which I know is partially down to the nutritional issues (I can’t eat many fresh fruit and vegetables or meat) and am anemic all the time.
    From what you have described magnesuim may be able to assist me with some of the symptoms associated with my conditions so I would appreciate your advice on the best form of supplementation for some with my health issue and the most appropriate dose.
    I know it won’t be a cure-all but every little bit helps.
    Thanks, Liz

    Reply
    • Hi Liz, Magnesium is an electrolyte so your current electrolyte formula may already contain it. If not, then think about one such as Metagenics Endura: https://www.amazon.com/Metagenics-Endura-lemon-lime-1-47lbs-servings/dp/B001HKM7QM. It uses magnesium glycinate, which is more absorbable, and less likely to have the osmotic laxative effect of other types of magnesium such as magnesium oxide or magnesium sulfate. It doesn’t have to be that brand, as there are probably other brands that also use magnesium glycinate. Please speak to your doctor first to ensure that it is suitable for you.

      Reply
  93. Hi Lara! Thank you so much for your very informative posts! Just wondering though if it is okay to take Magnesium with Berberine and Vitex? I have PCOS and I have been trying to balance my hormones naturally, as well as reduce my waist-hip ratio circumference and cystic acne. Hope to hear from you soon! Many thanks!

    Reply
  94. Hi Lara,
    I have found magnesium was helping with sleep and hopefully my hormonal imbalance n blood sugar levels as well.

    But is it safe to take while you are pregnant? I stopped when I found out I was pregnant and all of the above got so much worse!

    Reply
  95. Hi lara,

    I have type one diabetes for the last 6 months. My last hba1c being 6.7 so iv adapted quiet well. I eat very healthy balanced diet which helps. But I think I may have PCOS very irregular periods since coming off the pill a year and a half ago and acne on my face. I haven’t yet been to get a test done. Can a natropath test me for PCOS? Im going to start taking magnesium. Would you recommend anything else. My docter said my pancreas is still producing a small amount of insulin which will fizzle out eventually, anything Natural I can take to increase production or heal my pancreas? Would like to see a good naturopath here in perth if you have any recommendations?

    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
  96. For those who have trouble finding magnesium, I buy it from Iherb, it’s from Carlson Labs and each tablet provides 200mg glycinate chelated magnesium. You can find it here: https://goo.gl/FsNNq8

    I take 2 tablets per day, one with breakfast and one with dinner.

    Reply
  97. Hi , look for Dr carollyn dean ,miracle off magnesium her books briili she does liquid magnesuim and there is spray u can buy and cream called ancient minerals buy Dr sircus v just tap in to google there website comes .

    Reply
  98. Hi.there is a blood test that u can get done for magnesium !! it’s called ( redcell magnesium blood test , I had it done myself I was very low I had to hav injectios to get my stores back up . Carol bird

    Reply
    • Thanks Carol. Yes, we talk about red cell magnesium test earlier in the comments section. It’s not to be relied upon. A normal red cell magnesium test does not mean that magnesium status is ok in all cells. Also, magnesium levels fluctuates wildly day to day. The best diagnosis is to try it and see.

      Reply
  99. Would love for some of the unanswered questions here to be answered … like what KIND of mag is best to take as in a brand recommendation, dosages and would it help to take mag with other ingredients such as the CALM I take has … calcium, potassium, boron, folic acid, Vit. C or is mag alone just fine to take? Is it better to take mag with my Vit. D3? The CALM isn’t working as well as it once did and I’d like to find a good brand and type to try instead but one that doesn’t clean me out! Thanks.

    Reply
    • Hi Esther, the best kind of magnesium is magnesium glycinate or bisglycinate (magnesium joined to the amino acid glycine). This is the least laxative of all the magnesiums, and the most absorbable. Magnesium glycinate is available from many different brands. You just need to read the ingredient panel. It’s find to take Magnesium on its own, without cofactors. For sleep and hormone balance, it works best in combination with Vitamin B6.

      Reply
  100. Dear Lara,
    i recently started to take the Magnesium glacynate but am wondering how long does it take for the pills to take full effect i know vitamins can take a long time? but since i have never been into vitamins i would really like to know that way i can’t stick to it! Also, is taking Maca good to regulate your hormones?

    Reply
  101. Love this information. I have Hashimoto’s and im always tired,weight gain.. etc. Can you recommend a particular brand of magnesium.

    Reply
  102. I’m currently taking 200 mg of magnesium citrate. Is the same dose of magnesium glycinate more effective? I have been tested and mt rbc mg was low. How do we know how much to take in supplement form?

    Also when I first started taking it I was getting muscle twitches and tinnitus. Is this nomal?

    Reply
  103. Hi Lara, can you recommend an oral magnesium supplement suitable for a 3 year old that cannot swallow pills / capsules? Im having difficulty finding something in liquid or gummy form that doesnt contain a bunch of other things she doesnt need. She’s been tested twice 6 months apart and was low both times.

    Reply
  104. Is it true that 100% cacao is a stellar magnesium’s source? Can you supplement eating more cacao or not? Thank you.

    Reply
    • Yes, you can get magnesium from cocoa, but you have to eat quite a lot of it. To get 200mg magnesium, you would need to consume about 1/2 cup of dark cocoa.

      Reply
      • Thank you. I guess 1/2 cup should be approx. 100 ml (sorry, metric system over here…). Well, I usually eat 50g of 100% cocoa per day, it should be half the daily dose then… Thanks again.

        Reply
  105. I’ve been having HEAVY bleeding for over a year now. I can’t have a hysterectomy yet due high deductible. Nor do I want to unless I absolutely have to. I’ve been prescribed Progesterone at least 4 different times. I finally put 2 & 2 together & realized that u was feeling so bad because of it! So I stopped it. But then the bleeding starts again with a vengeance! A friend of mine that has went through this same thing recommended Magnesium. I ask my Dr & said it was fine. I actually can’t believe he’s never mentioned it before. When I went to buy some I could only find it in combo with Calcium & Zinc. So I asked the Pharmacist & he said they kept it behind with them. Not sure why… But it’s not what you recommended, it’s Magnesium Oxside 400mg. What’s the difference? I took my 1st pill about 2 hours ago & I feel better already. Can you tell me the difference & if the other that you recommended is better, do I have to get a Rx? So glad my friend sent me this information!

    Reply
    • I don’t know why magnesium glycinate would be kept behind the counter. It is not a prescription item. You can try somewhere else, or buy it online. Magnesium oxide is Ok, but it can be too laxative for some people. Also, it doesn’t absorb as well.

      Reply
  106. I’m 73 and the recommended dosage of magnesium for me is 400mgs daily, twice a day, due to lack of magnesium. I take magnesium oxide, a daily magnesium vitamin that has 2000mgs, and make daily smoothies with kale and spinach base. My magnesium level is checked monthly and if it drops under 1.7, my doctor orders infusions at the hospital. Usually each magnesium bag is 4mg and takes 5 hours to deliver thru an IV. Last year, it was difficult due to an advance case of ulcerative colitis. I had 2 problems when this happened. Over A 3 month period, with meds for the colitis, my small intestines began to heal and the magnesium was easier to control. I will continue to have monthly blood draws to monitor my magnesium level. When it’s good, I feel terrific, but when it is low, I definitely feel the difference.

    Reply
  107. Hi. There seems to be no answer to a question about dosage in a 50 + year old. Just advice on oil applications and footpaths. Please advise on oral dosage for a female… 🙂

    Reply
    • Standard dose is 300 or 400mg per day as an oral magnesium glycinate capsule. Oral dosing is preferable. I do not recommend topical oil application.

      Reply
  108. Hi Dr Lara,
    Is this safe to add while breastfeeding? I think this my be my answer to ALL the issues I’m currently having. Thank you sharing!

    Reply
  109. I currently have a calcium/magnesium/zinc supplement I take several times a week – although calcium is questionable now, I suppose. Would you consider adding separate magnesium? Skipping the calcium and switching to magnesium only?

    Reply
    • Yes, calcium supplements are showing up in studies as a heart risk, and the reason is that they deplete the body of magnesium. For most people, calcium supplementation is unnecessary. We can usually get enough from diet. According to this British Medical Journal study, calcium intake beyond 700mg per day provides no additional benefit to bones. They go on to say that 700mg is easily obtained from diet. And key point: we don’t lose calcium with stress, like we do magnesium.

      Reply
  110. I am magnesium deficient and have been taking magnesium oxide for several months because of critical level of magnesium dropping from my system. I have many other medical issues, i.e., Diabetes, and High Blood pressure. Last year from August – December 2013, I was in the hospital several times because of severe drop in magnesium. After constant IVs of magnesium, reduction in weight of 35 pounds, drop in Diabetes to 5.9, my magnesium is manageable. I made a major change in diet to consist of smoothies Kale, Spinach and veggies which has helped in maintaining a magnesium level of 1.7. It’s a constant battle, and I make sure my magnesium level is monitored at least twice a month. Enjoyed your article cause I sure can relate to all the issues that lack of magnesium can bring to an individual.

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  111. Hello,

    thanks for this interesting article.

    However, i have some questions about foods sources of mg:

    Mineral water: I thought magnesium salts in mineral water were not well absorbed unlike glycerophosphate, and i thought they acidified body which increase magnesium leak?

    Almond: how much phytic acid reduces mg absorption? Is soaking very important ?

    Thanks a lot,

    Geoffrey

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  112. I am wondering what you would recommend for a daily dosage of Magnesium would be for a 50+ year old. My doctor advised me that Magnesium would help with restless leg also, but Im not sure how much to take. thanks!

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    • If your kidneys are not in a state of Renal failure, the body will get rid of any excess magnesium. Combining oral (chelated magnesium) and transdermal magnesium oil applications will help raise magnesium levels much faster than taking oral supplements alone. You can also do magnesium foot baths daily and in 1 month will raise cellular levels of magnesium drastically.

      The only caution with using mega doses of transdermal magnesium, via magnesium oil is your kidneys and their ability to get rid of excess if needed.

      I use two full body rubs of magnesium oil daily as I am mag low. It is a Godsend for hormones, happiness, vitality and energy. It also protects against heart disease and many world renowned doctors have blatantly stated that all disease in the human body can be broken down to a magnesium deficiency.

      As for the best magnesium oil, google ancient minerals by Magnetic Clay LLC. By far the purest magnesium on the planet. Enjoy!!

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  113. Thank you for this affirming post. For several years I felt fatigued, had menstrual cramps so severe that I couldn’t work for 2 days each month and had thyroid and ovarian issues. I just accepted that I had to get up and work through the chronic lethargy and pain. Then I was in a car accident and sustained neck injuries that involved bone, disc compression and and muscle strain. After months of PT and little progress in healing, a colleague came to my office bearing magnesium supplements. I was skeptical, but they insisted that my healing would be improved because the magnesium would allow my body to better absorb the calcium needed to heal bone and muscle spasm. To humor him, I took them. After two weeks, no change, but by the end of the month, my neck slowly started healing. My physical therapist was intrigued and made the recommendation (after checking with their physician) to add magnesium to treatment of 4 other patients making slow progress. Three of the four saw reductions in muscle spasms. Small “n'” but I was a bit less skeptical. Interestingly, my fatigue also began to diminish. Then something I didn’t think possible happened. Three months in, I unexpectedly had a period with cramps I could control with Tylenol. My PMS symptoms were better, too. My stress felt better and my pace of life hadn’t changed. My jaw hurt less from night grinding. I didn’t put it all together until I started reading more about Magnesium. It is recommended for cramps, bruxism, muscle spasms, bone health, thyroid and ovary. All of the health issues that plagued me were linked by calcium malabsorption and magnesium deficiency. I wasn’t absorbing enough calcium because i didn’t have the magnesium to assist in calcium use. This is more than anyone wants to know about my health and it is only anecdotal, but research combined with my own experience has made me a true believer in the power of magnesium for health. For women, the combo of magnesium, calcium and D might be worth mentioning since these all work together on muscle, bone and mood. Because I was such a skeptic, I understand when academic friends poo poo my enthusiastic endorsement, so I really appreciate the affirming information. Thank you. I wish – and am glad to see – that the medical community is slowly looking at nutritional needs as an important part of health. (And for the person with IBS, if the irritating effect can be managed with small doses, the spasmodic aspects of IBS may see improvement with the calcium, magnesium and D combo as well. I’m not a doctor, so individuals should make their own decisions with medical advice, but its worth investigating.)

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    • Thank you for sharing your story. Yes magnesium is also a wonderful muscle relaxant. The ‘great softener’, I call it. I’m glad that you brought up this point.

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    • I’ve been taking something called Alkalize which contains magnesium, calcium, and potassium. I take a vitamin D tablet with it and the stool softening effect of magnesium has subsided. The magnesium has dramatically improved my sleep and I no longer have migraines.

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      • Bridgette I tried to find alkalize but could not. What brand is it? Also, Lara what amounts do you recommend?

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    • It’s fine to combine magnesium with melatonin. But you may find as time goes on, that you don’t need as much melatonin.

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    • My understanding is that the magnesium in red cells does not correlate very well with the magnesium in other cells. Also, our intra-cellular magnesium levels are going to vary day to day depending on our stress level.

      I’m not a fan of hair analysis for nutritional status (it might have some value for screening for toxic metals, but I usually use urine test for that). I wish that there was an accurate way to test for nutrients. How much easier it would all be.

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  114. Hi Lara I just read an article (but can’t find it) about a lipisol (I think that’s the spelling) magnesium. Do you have a comment on this one?

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    • Hi Kim, I know that liposomal preparations assist with absorption of fat soluble things like turmeric. I can’t see why it would aid with magnesium absorption, but perhaps there is something about it that I don’t yet understand.

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      • Hi lara im a 29 yr old girl. Ive had acne all my life.ive seen a naturopath when i came off the pill last yr. I have a 4 yr old and a one yr old. I went on the pill 8 mths after my second son was born. Stupid. I came off 3 mths later only to break out again in acne! I cleared up just before i fell pregnant with my one yr old for the firstvtime and cleared up even more with that pregnancy. After seeing a naturopath my acne hadnt cleared. Please help me im on ur waiting list till june to see u. My dr talked me into the pill again which ive been taking for 2 weeks. I feel like im having a depression break down and still breaking out. Ive suffered cin and also endometriosis. Please help i need advice. Before im bound to this pill forever. My liver is also off.
        I admire ur work so much.

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        • Yes, I feel bad that I have such a long wait-list right now. Every week, we do bring some appointments forward. Please send me a private message (click ‘contact’ on the bar above).

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      • Usually fat intake in food assists with the absorption of minerals, but I’m not sure if it works the same way with liposomes.

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  115. Great summary Lara! What’s your view on magnesium absorption through skin, like from Epsom salts, sprays, etc? Thanks, Maria

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  116. Hi Dr Lara,

    Thank you so much for detailing the benefits of added Magnesium.

    However please do point out to your readers that if dealing IBS like symptoms..added Magnesium, in any form, can have an osmotic effect and contribute to GI tract problems.

    Thanks,

    Lisa

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    • Dr. Laura,

      You mentioned that there are no tests available for magnesium and other nutrients but this is not correct.

      I’ve had a comprehensive nutrient test done back in 2011 and I’m having another one coming up soon. It’s called NutrEval FMV amino acids by Genova Diagnostics.

      My primary care doctor who is an MD and practices Integrative Medicine has found this test to be a very helpful diagnostic tool in her toolbox with certain patients.

      There is a compounding pharmacy in our area that is able to create specific, tailor made supplements if one wants to do that in alignment with the results of the testing.

      The test is a helpful snapshot of where your body is at that moment. The tests are very thorough and the results packet discusses the patient’s Krebs Cycle by what the results show for various amino acids, citric acid cycle, fats etc.,

      It shows the absorption and dysbiosis markers, metabolic analysis markers for neurotransmitter metabolites and the cellular carbohydrate metabolism, energy metabolism, fatty acid metabolism, vitamin markers, toxin and detoxification markers, Omega 3, 6, and 9 fatty acids (metabolism) in detail and cardiovascular risk.

      It also shows oxidative stress markers and elemental markers (RBCs) It is a combination urinalysis and blood labs. The results show normal, borderline and high need for supplementation for each of the atioxidants, B vitamins, minerals, Omegas etc., with references for each.

      I also had other routine/traditional lab tests, vitamin D etc., levels and they were comparable to the NutrEval, but the NutrEval was much more comprehensive.

      I’ve had many minerals tested as I had elevated copper levels in my blood (but not urine) several years ago.

      I actually was taking magnesium supplements for a handful of years and during that time I was experiencing Parkinson’s like ataxia and muscle rigidity and spasticity and other neurological problems. I also had low vitamin D at the time and started supplementing for that. Once I stopped the magnesium the episodes went away. Could be coincidence but I haven’t gone back to the magnesium yet.

      I may revisit magnesium supplementation if the labs indicate the need.

      Just wanted to share my experience with you and the test that was done. I only went with a change in my probiotic and decided not to do any compounding supplements at the time as there wasn’t a high need for it.

      Thank You,

      Michelle

      Reply

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