Meno Health. Clinical Evidence.

TWC #041: Should women take magnesium during the menopause?

Should women take magnesium during the menopause?

The world of women’s health is full of recommendations on nutrition and supplements. When it comes to magnesium, we rely on evidence-based approaches. But the variety of supplements is confusing. Which is the best? Which one fulfils the need most effectively? There are numerous magnesium supplements on the market, differing in effect, compound and dosage. The choice can be overwhelming. That’s why it’s important to understand the science behind them to make informed decisions.

Let’s take a look at that today.

What actually is magnesium?

Magnesium is a vital mineral found in the earth and in the human body and is involved in more than 300 biochemical reactions.
It occurs naturally in foods such as

  • Leafy vegetables: spinach, kale, kohlrabi
  • Fish: salmon, mackerel
  • Nuts: Cashews, Brazil nuts, almonds
  • Seeds: Flax, chia, pumpkin
  • Pulses: lentils, chickpeas, beans, peas
  • Whole grains: rice, oatmeal, wholemeal bread
What are the benefits of magnesium?

Magnesium is used for various symptoms of menopause, particularly sleep disorders, bone health, stress/anxiety, headaches and heart health.

What forms of magnesium are there?

When you take a magnesium, you will not only feel the effect of the magnesium, but also the effect of the substance that the magnesium is associated with. That’s why we also look at the compound.

In general, the following two compounds are preferable:

  • Magnesium bisglycinate – Especially for better sleep
  • Magnesium citrate – Good against constipation and kidney stones

Both have a high magnesium content and very good bioavailability (assimilation).

The following compounds should generally be avoided:

  • Magnesium chloride
  • Magnesium oxide

Both are poorly assimilated and have a laxative effect.

Magnesium lactate

This can cause cramps and anxiety.

When should I take magnesium?

Magnesium deficiency is widespread. But most people don’t realise it. This is because a magnesium deficiency is not always only noticeable through calf cramps. A whole range of other symptoms can indicate a magnesium deficiency (sleep disorders, high blood pressure, depression, migraines, muscle weakness and many more). Magnesium can improve all of these symptoms, and in some cases even eliminate them completely.

Magnesium for bone health

Bone density decreases when oestrogen levels fall, i.e. during the menopause. Around 60 % of magnesium is stored in our bones. This is why magnesium is so important for the prevention of osteoporosis.

Magnesium for continuous sleep

Sleep disorders are a major issue during the menopause. We have already discussed this symptom in Newsletter #029 Insomnia – Why and what can I do about it?
discussed. Magnesium could help. However, so far there is no clear evidence of a link between magnesium and sleep.

Magnesium for headaches/migraines

Around 40% of women suffer from migraines at the start of the menopause. Although the fluctuations in hormone levels that contribute to this common symptom are unfortunately beyond our control, there are things we can do: Hormonal and non-hormonal treatments, lifestyle adjustments, and just taking magnesium.

Magnesium for heart health

In Newsletter #034: Heart disease is not a man’s disease, we learnt that heart disease is not a man’s disease. Because the number one cause of death in women is heart disease! Oestrogen protects against heart disease, but this protection decreases steadily during the menopause. Other risk factors such as obesity and high blood pressure increase this risk. We now know that there is a connection between magnesium and the heart. Magnesium helps to control the muscle contractions of the heart, i.e. the pumping function that generates the heartbeat.

How much magnesium should I take?

The amount of additional magnesium to take depends on various factors, e.g. the symptoms you want to tackle and whether you are getting enough magnesium from your diet.
Magnesium is best taken in the evening, as the slightly calming effect is then very pleasant. You will tolerate high-dose magnesium supplements better if you take them with meals (not too rich in fat) and not on an empty stomach. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) of magnesium for women aged 50 and over is 300 mg.

We hope this information will help you to better understand the onset of the menopause and take practical steps to manage it.

If you need personalised advice or support on your journey through the menopause, contact The Women Circle here.

In our next edition, back on Saturday 9am, we’ll be covering more aspects of the menopause and women’s health. Stay informed and feel comfortable in this special phase of life.

If you would like to get in touch with us, please get in touch.

Joëlle & Adrian

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