The Magnesium-Blood Sugar Connection You Need To Know About
Magnesium is an essential mineral, important for more 300 enzyme systems in the body that play a massive role in our health and physiology.* These reactions are part of important bodily functions like blood sugar regulation, blood pressure regulation, and protein synthesis. Magnesium regulates calcium levels, contracts smooth muscle, and is also needed to activate many enzymes in the body that are needed during various metabolic cycles.
Knowing all this, it makes sense that magnesium is a common supplement I recommend to many patients. I do so for numerous reasons, including helping promote good quality sleep, manage muscle cramps, and constipation.* Magnesium also helps the smooth muscle contract in menstruating women, providing support for pain and bloating during cycles according to a 2013 study in the Journal of Caring Sciences.*
The magnesium-weight connection you need to know about.
When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, magnesium might be an important tool you have at your disposal.* Research, including a 2013 study in the Journal of Nutrition, has shown that magnesium helps promote good blood sugar control.* High doses of magnesium supports insulin production.*
As an added bonus, magnesium can help manage stress levels and promotes healthy sleeping patterns, which can be a major cause for weight gain.* Focusing on stress levels and sleep quality will help decrease cortisol levels.* This is especially important since cortisol weight tends to be held in the stomach and can be famously difficult to get rid of.
How to start increasing magnesium levels for a healthy weight.
The deep and restorative sleep you've always dreamt about.*
The good news is that magnesium is naturally found in many foods, including dark chocolate, nuts (especially almonds, cashews, brazil nuts), seeds (especially sesame and pumpkin seeds,) legumes, tofu, dark greens (like spinach, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens).
I always encourage patients to try to get as much magnesium through their diet as possible. That said, taking a supplement in the form of a capsule, powder, or topical magnesium oil or cream—or Epsom salt baths—is also needed sometimes.
There are many forms of magnesium, and not all of them are great for your stomach, as some instantly cause diarrhea. In fact, magnesium oxide and magnesium citrate have reliable enough laxative effects that they are actually recommended by many doctors as treatments for constipation.
I recommend magnesium glycinate because it has higher bioavailability and is gentle on your stomach, unlike other forms of magnesium.* A good healthy starting dose of magnesium glycinate is 100 milligrams at night. You can slowly increase your dose as your body will tolerate (if you start getting diarrhea, that's a sign that the dose is too much for your body, and you need to back down).
Knowing magnesium's many roles in the body, it's no surprise that it could help you support healthy blood sugar balance and weight maintenance, especially by way of supporting normal cortisol levels and helping you manage stress.*