Alongside inositol, zinc, and vitamin D, magnesium is a core staple supplement for women with PCOS due to it’s well-known ability to help a range of PCOS symptoms. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and plays several important roles in the health of your body and brain such as:
- Converting food into energy (cellular energy production)
- Creating proteins from amino acids (protein synthesis)
- Blood sugar and insulin regulation
- Creating and repairing DNA and RNA
- Contracting and relaxing muscles
- Regulating neurotransmitters (brain chemicals)
- Blood pressure
According to a study in Gynecology Endocrinology, women with PCOS are 19x more likely to have a magnesium deficiency compared to women without PCOS. Low magnesium levels are associated with insulin resistance, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, osteoporosis, and cardiovascular disease.
There are a number of reasons why magnesium deficiency is so common among women with PCOS. There is likely to be some combination between poor soil concentrations of magnesium that lead to magnesium deficient foods, stress, lack of fruits and vegetables, certain medications such as birth control, and insulin resistance.
Common symptoms of magnesium deficiency
High blood pressure
Insulin resistance or pre diabetes
Frequent headaches or migraines
5 benefits of getting optimal magnesium levels
1) Reduces insulin resistance
As I mentioned earlier, magnesium is needed for blood sugar and insulin regulation, magnesium plays a crucial role in this process. Low levels of magnesium leads to insulin resistant cells. Also, high levels of insulin that accompany insulin resistance lead to the loss of magnesium through urine, further reducing your body's levels. Studies have found that supplementing with magnesium reduced insulin resistance and blood sugar levels.
2) Reduces inflammation
Low magnesium intake is linked to chronic inflammation, which is one of the core root drivers of PCOS. Low blood magnesium levels were found to result in higher levels of the inflammatory marker CRP. Magnesium supplements can reduce CRP and other markers of inflammation.
3) Lowers blood pressure
Studies show that taking magnesium can lower blood pressure in people with high blood pressure. In one study, people who took 450 mg per day experienced a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure.
4) Protects against Type II diabetes
Studies have shown that about 48% of people with type 2 diabetes have low levels of magnesium in their blood. Additionally, research indicates that people with a low magnesium intake have a higher risk of developing type II diabetes. One study showed that people with type 2 diabetes taking high doses of magnesium each day experienced significant improvements in blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c levels.
5) Fights depression
Magnesium plays a critical role in brain function and mood, and low levels are linked to an increased risk of depression. Women with PCOS are far more at risk of developing depression compared to women without PCOS and studies suggest that magnesium supplementation can help reduce symptoms of depression.
Sources of magnesium
Magnesium is found in many foods, common household foods that are great magnesium sources are;
- Dark chocolate (yes please!)
- Dark leafy greens such as spinach
- Almonds, cashews, and peanuts
- Black beans
- Lentils, chickpeas, and peas
You can obviously also supplement with magnesium. Two of our products that contain magnesium are Balance and ZMA. If you use the code ‘magnesium’ you can get 10% off these products.
Optimal Daily Dosage
Magnesium is absolutely essential for hormonal balance, mood, and optimal overall health. The recommended daily intake is between 300 and 500mg.
About Drew Baird:
Drew Baird is a qualified Personal Trainer, PCOS expert, who also has qualifications in sports nutrition and psychology. Drew takes a scientific approach to PCOS by combining the latest clinical research with empirical evidence from working with his PCOS clients. He is the owner of Drew Baird Fitness and Healthy PCOS.
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