From Charles Poliquin
Take magnesium for better body composition because it enhances insulin sensitivity and fat burning hormones. We’ve known for a while that having extra magnesium in the body can help to make your cells hyper sensitive to insulin so that you build more muscle and store less fat. Now, there’s evidence that simply getting enough magnesium can help you stay lean and cut.
Just published in Nutrition Journal, researchers from Taiwan surveyed 210 people with diabetes for body composition, magnesium intake, inflammatory status, and blood pressure. They found that almost 90 percent of the subjects had low magnesium, and that magnesium intake was significantly associated with body fat percentage and waist circumference. The results are included here because they are so intriguing:
As you can see, in this fairly large population with poor insulin health, simply getting enough magnesium in the diet led the participants to have much less body fat, have slimmer waists indicating less dangerous belly fat, and better blood pressure health. Those in the fourth quartile who had the highest magnesium intake also had better cholesterol and triglyceride markers.
In fact, other than blood pressure, which, at 132.9 mmHg for systolic is considered high, the group with the highest magnesium intake is the only one to have “normal” health in terms of body fat, waist size, and cardiovascular health markers. This groups also showed the fewest symptoms of depression.
The researchers suggest that adults require 5 mg of magnesium per kg of body weight daily for adequate health—an amount that was not even reached by those with greatest intake in this study. They estimate that between 60 and 90 percent of the world population has low magnesium due to the shift to eating more processed foods and away from whole grains, beans, greens, and nuts that all provide dietary magnesium. Be aware that many nutritionists recommend a higher intake in the range of 5 to 7.5 mg/kg of body weight of magnesium a day.
Additional things you need to know about magnesium in order to achieve optimal body composition and health are the following:
• Taking medications will deplete your magnesium stores and your vitamin D. This has a drastic effect on at least three areas—cardiovascular health, body composition, and bone health. Be sure to get extra of both when taking medication, including over the counter drugs.
• Getting enough magnesium can help prevent migraines—a study of people who commonly suffered from migraines found that getting 0.9 mg/kg/bw of magnesium a day led to a significant decrease in severe headaches compared to a placebo.
• Magnesium can improve sleep because it calms the sympathetic nervous system, but it can also improve your training performance when you are tired. A study showed that giving subjects an extra 100 mg of magnesium after a night of short sleep allowed them to perform at a much higher level of intensity and for longer on an exhaustive exercise test.
• Magnesium can enhance hormone levels for better health. Men can significantly increase free testosterone by getting enough magnesium—one study showed a 24 percent increase in testosterone after exercise from taking 10 mg/kg/bw a day for four weeks.
• Magnesium can also help women going through menopause to reduce the incidence and intensity of hot flashes by 50 percent.
• Magnesium can enhance muscular power because it’s involved in turning ATP into energy efficiently.
Reference: Huang, J., et al. Correlation of Magnesium Intake with Metabolic Parameters, Depression, and Physical Activity in Elderly Type 2 Diabetes Patients. Nutrition Journal. 2012. 11(41).