What is Magnesium and How Does It Benefit Your Body

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What is Magnesium and How Does It Benefit Your Body

This post was first published on bVitra.com website. bVitra is a vendor on Naturely platform. After Lila Bate, bVitra’s founder, experienced the negative effects of conventional bath and body products that her children were using, her curiosity to know why these products discoloured their skin and stained the bath tub was ignited.  Since then, she decided then to do something about it and say no to toxic and synthetic based products. She started her journey into researching what is magnesium and how it supports the human body.   

Disclaimer:  this blog is provided for information purposes only.  It is not intended to be professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. You should consult with a physician or other healthcare professional before acting on any information in this blog. 

What is Magnesium? 

Magnesium is a metal that is very important in biological processes. It comes from the stars. On earth magnesium is found in the deep ocean and it’s the third-most abundant mineral alongside potassium, calcium, sodium.   

Magnesium has biological uses. It’s part of chlorophyll, the green pigment that plants use to extract energy from sunlight. Magnesium is crucial to more than 300 biological processes in the human body, and it is necessary for over 600 metabolic functions, yet it is the second most common nutritional deficiency in developed countries. 

Magnesium is a vital mineral for human life providing daily energy source to every cell throughout the body.  Magnesium is required for DNA (carrier of genetic information) and RNA (translating genetic information) synthesis, reproduction, and protein synthesis.   

Magnesium is so important for health that it’s been called the master mineral. It’s particularly important for a healthy brain and nervous system. It exhibits anti-stress, anti-anxiety, anti-depressive, and neuroprotective properties. 

Magnesium is essential for the regulation of muscular contraction, blood pressure, insulin metabolism, cardiac excitability, vasomotor tone, nerve transmission and neuromuscular conduction.  Its a calming mineral that aids in the regulation of calcium, potassium and sodium within the body. 

Magnesium’s central role in the body is to activate 3,751 proteins, and thus thousands of enzyme systems. Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar and enables muscles to contract, nerves to send messages and enzymes to work. It supports energy production and helps sustain bone strength.  

Magnesium regulates calcium into the bones hence why it is important to be magnesium efficient to ensure that the calcium doesn’t go into the tissues but goes into the bones.  

Magnesium is great for the skin and helps to breakdown the fats and oils in the body. 

It helps to fight depression and reduces anxiety and stress. It can also help with preventing migraine headaches.  

Magnesium is important for mental function. 

Magnesium is also known to improve sleep and relax the muscles. 

In a nutshell, without magnesium in the body there is no life – you would cease to exist 

Hence, why magnesium is known as the ‘master’ mineral.  It is one of three life essentials, together with oxygen and water.  

Scholars have come to realise that magnesium plays a key role in all metabolic systems and is a contributing factor to nearly all major health issues. It is important to note that Vitamin B6 is required to keep magnesium within the Cells so they can work efficiently. 

Morley Robbins (aka, Magnesium Man), MBA, CHC identified that magnesium deficiency is the common thread for millions of people who are dealing with heart disease, diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis, cancer, general fatigue, and any chronic condition borne out of inflammation. He was shocked to learn that magnesium deficiency, or insufficiency, was at the centre of all these common modern diseases. 

It is said that on average there is about 28grams of magnesium in the human body, roughly divided 50/50 over teeth and bones and then over blood and tissues. Magnesium retention in the body is low due to several factors; stress, exposure to aluminium, the body excreting magnesium through urine and sweat glands. 

The human body does not manufacture magnesium it relies on its intake from one’s diet.  

Taking into consideration todays modern diet and the condition of the earths soil, no wonder magnesium deficiency has become a worldwide concern. It is said that around 80% of adults and children are magnesium deficient.  So, what can we do to replenish our bodies daily with this life force mineral called, magnesium?  

We can eat foods high in magnesium, or we can take supplements (orally or topically).  But, do we know which magnesium type should be taken. Let’s look at some of the different forms of magnesiumtheir benefits and known side effects. 

Firstly, you should know that there are Chelated forms of magnesium and naturally occurring forms of magnesium. 

Chelated forms of magnesium are magnesium molecules bonded to another molecule. 

These type of magnesium supplements a not a natural form of magnesium, they are manufactured in a laboratoryThe reason for chelated forms of magnesium is to improve a magnesium supplement’s stability, absorption, and bioavailability when taken orally.  Natural forms of magnesium are found not to be easily absorb by the body, except for magnesium chloride which is easily absorbed through the skin (topical) application. 

Check out two popular magnesium products from bVitra:


bVitra Body Soak – Lavender and Peppermint Blend  bVitra Foot Soak – Lavender and Peppermint Blend 150g

Different Forms of Magnesium and Their Usages

Natural forms of magnesium are found in the deep ocean and include Magnesium Sulphate (Commonly known as Epsom Salts), Magnesium Chloride and Magnesium Carbonate (magnesite). 

Below is a snapshot of magnesium supplements and their common use.  


If you have Kidney disease do not use magnesium supplements unless you consult your physician.  

It is best to take magnesium supplements with a meal to reduce stomach upset and diarrhea. 

Always consult with your physician or healthcare professional before taking magnesium supplements orally. This is to ensure that you are taking the correct magnesium for your health matters and to minimise health risks and avoid contradictions with any medications you may be taking. 

Magnesium L-threonate MgT – this form of chelated magnesium is used to improve memory and reverse brain aging. It is the only form of magnesium that is found in studies to easily cross into the brain barrier to boost cognitive functioning.  

Reported side effects of magnesium L-threonate are headaches, drowsiness, or a feeling of increased blood flow to the head.

Magnesium Citrate is a chelated magnesium with the combination of magnesium bonded to citric acid. It is the most popular all-around magnesium supplement with moderate laxative effects. It is easily absorbed by the body. It’s mainly used to raise magnesium levels and treat constipation. 

It’s known side effects include: abdominal  crampingdiarrheaelectrolyte imbalancehigh levels of magnesium in the blood (hypermagnesemia)gas (flatulence)nausea and vomiting.

Magnesium Gluconate is the magnesium salt of  gluconic acid. It is a mineral supplement used to prevent and treat low amounts of magnesium in the blood. 

Some of the known side effects of taking magnesium gluconate include stomach upset and diarrhea. 

Magnesium Malate is a compound made by combining magnesium with malic acid. It is commonly used to treat fatigue, fibromyalgia, insomnia, migraines, chronic pain, and depression. It helps with energising the body and relaxing the muscles.  

Some of the most common side effects of taking magnesium malate include  nausea, diarrhea, and stomach cramps

Magnesium Glycinate is ideal for correcting magnesium deficiency. It has a calming effect and helpful for conditions like anxiety, insomnia, chronic stress, and inflammatory conditions. It performs better before bedtime.  

Magnesium Taurate is magnesium combined with amino acid taurineTaurine is naturally in the body. It is particularly concentrated in your brain, eyes, heart and muscles. Magnesium Taurate is used to treat high blood pressure, heart arrhythmiadiabetes, anxiety and has a calming effect on the brain.  

Magnesium Oxide is a salt that combines magnesium and oxygen. It is often used to relieve digestive complaints like heartburn and constipation. Given that the body doesn’t absorb it well, it isn’t a good choice for those who need to raise their magnesium levels. It’s side effects include diarrhea and gastrointestinal irritation 

Magnesium Chloride is a natural form of magnesium and is the most effective form of magnesium for cellular detoxification and tissue purification. Chloride is a necessary element to produce gastric acid and to stimulate starch-digesting enzymes. Magnesium Chloride is commonly used for topically application for its therapeutic and relaxing benefits. 

Magnesium Sulphate is a natural form of magnesium, it is commonly referred to as Epsom Salts. It has a harsh laxative effect if taken orally because it passes through body very quickly compare to Magnesium Chloride; therefore, you need to use more Epsom Salt to get the same results and it is not easily absorb by the body.  However, it has a history of traditional use in bath soaks. Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) excretes. 

Magnesium Carbonate also known as magnesite, is a naturally occurring mineral. It is used to prevent and treat low amounts of magnesium in the blood. In some cases, it is used to relieve heartburn, indigestion or an upset stomach. It has a strong laxative effect and is used at times to help with constipation issues. 

Common side effects include allergic reaction, like rash; hives; itching; red, swollen, blistered, or peeling skin with or without fever; wheezing; tightness in the chest or throat; trouble breathing, swallowing, or talking; unusual hoarseness; or swelling of the mouth, face, lips, tongue, or throat. Severe diarrhea.  

There is a lot of controversy amongst scholars about topical application vs oral intake of magnesium.  One argument is that whemagnesium is taken orally its affected by several elements in the gut and can act as a laxative.  This is found to reduce the amount of time the mineral can be absorbed in the body. 

Some researchers have identified that magnesium applied on the skin or absorbed in a bath soak brings the magnesium ions into the distal part of sweat glands. This then activates the process of re-absorbing magnesium cells to detect a high concentration of magnesium and then they just do their job and re-absorb magnesium, even though it is coming from the outside. This is referred to as, Transdermal uptake. 

A recent study in the effectiveness of topical (transdermal) application of magnesium was undertaken where patients using transdermal magnesium therapy saw increases in their cellular magnesium levels after 12 weeks of using magnesium sprays and soaks. 

This explains how ancient people used minerals like magnesium for topical therapies for centuries with very little knowledge of the science behind the application. Their methods of using minerals for health benefits included bath soaks and mud packs. 


The role of magnesium is to serve many functions in the human body. It’s important for: 

  • protein synthesis 
  • healthy bone formation 
  • regulating blood pressure 
  • maintaining heart health 
  • energy production 
  • nerve function 
  • blood sugar control 
  • electrical conduction in the heart 


Common Magnesium  

Deficiency Symptoms 

Foods high in magnesium can include but not limited to the following;  Benefits of magnesium 
  • anxiety or panic attacks 
  • brain fog 
  • caffeine dependence 
  • constipation 
  • dark circles under the eyes 
  • easily startled 
  • feeling “tired but wired” 
  • feeling weak and tired after exercise 
  • frequent headaches, including migraines 
  • heart palpitations 
  • inability to handle stress 
  • insomnia 
  • lack of focus and concentration 
  • low blood pressure 
  • low blood sugar 
  • muscle cramps 
  • muscle tightness 
  • never feeling rested even after a good night’s sleep 
  • restless leg syndrome 
  • salt cravings 
  • Green leafy vegetables  
  • swiss chard, 
  • spinach  
  • almonds (nuts in general) 
  •  pumpkin and sesame seeds 
  • whole, unrefined grains 
  •  legumes 
  • organic meats 
  • organic milk 
  • avocados  
  • figs  
  • dark chocolate 75%+ cocoa  
  • raw water 
  • Improves sleep 
  • Reduces stress 
  • Improves mental performances 
  • Relieves constipation 
  • Improves the immune system 
  • Reduces muscle tension 
  • Strengthens bones and joints 
  • Relieves pain and headaches 
  • Reduces anxiety 
  • Increases energy 
  • Detoxification 



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