Does Magnesium Supplementation Improve Muscle Health
Does magnesium supplementation improve body composition and muscle strength in middle-aged overweight women? June 2013 Study 1
The aim of this recent study was to examine whether magnesium could improve body composition and muscle strength in middle-aged overweight women. The researchers analyzed the effects of magnesium supplementation in a group of 74 healthy, middle-aged, overweight women. They randomly assigned each subject to receive either 250 milligrams of magnesium oxide or a placebo daily for eight weeks. They measured the participants’ handgrip strength and knee extension strength, as well as functional mobility.
(NMA Note: Unfortunately, according to the above study magnesium oxide was used as the magnesium supplement. Although magnesium oxide has the highest amount of elemental magnesium per weight, according to research it is only approximately 4% absorbable by the body).2
Nevertheless the study concluded: “Lean body mass increased and fat mass decreased in the magnesium group at the end of the study, compared to lean body and fat mass at the beginning of the study.”
(NMA Note: According to Carolyn Dean, MD, ND – “Magnesium helps the body digest, absorb, and utilize proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Magnesium helps prevent obesity genes from expressing themselves.” This study found “Lean body mass increased and fat mass decreased in the magnesium group..” which correlates with Dr. Dean’s research on the subject.
The study additionally found, handgrip strength and functional mobility improved in the magnesium group. However, significant differences between the magnesium group and the placebo group were lacking for all measures. Changes were lacking in terms of muscle strength and blood levels of magnesium with supplementation.
(NMA Note: Despite the use of magnesium oxide, “handgrip strength and functional mobility improved in the magnesium group.” With regards to magnesium blood levels – Dr. Dean says: “In spite of, or perhaps because of, all the metabolic processes that rely on magnesium, less than 1 percent of our body’s total magnesium can be measured in our blood; the rest is busily occupied in the cells and tissues or holding our bones together. Therefore, it is virtually impossible to make an accurate assessment of the level of magnesium in various body tissue cells using a routine serum magnesium test. This test is often called a total serum magnesium test, which you might imagine relates to all the magnesium in your body—but it does not.”
“Magnesium in the blood does not correlate with the amount of magnesium in other parts of your body. In fact, if you are under the stress of various ailments, your body pumps magnesium out of the cells and into the blood, giving the mistaken appearance of normality on testing in spite of bodywide depletion. Unfortunately, most magnesium evaluations done in hospitals and in laboratories use the antiquated serum magnesium test.”
The researchers concluded: “Our findings indicate that magnesium as magnesium oxide, 250 mg/day, for 8 weeks do not lead to a significant greater gain in muscle strength and function compared to placebo.”
(NMA Note: The organic salt chelates like magnesium citrate, malate, orotate and taurate for example are much more bio-available.3
1.Moslehi N, Vafa M, Sarrafzadeh J, Rahimi-Foroushani A. Does magnesium supplementation improve body composition and muscle strength in middle-aged overweight women? A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized clinical trial.Biol Trace Elem Res. 2013 Jun;153(1-3):111-8. doi: 10.1007/s12011-013-9672-1. Department of Nutrition, School of Public Health, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23619906?dopt=Abstract
2. Firoz M, Graber Bioavailability of US commercial magnesium preparations. Magnes Res. 2001 Dec;14(4):257-62. Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Northport, NY 11768, USA. ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11794633
“Mg citrate found more bioavailable than other Mg preparations in a randomised, double-blind study” Magnesium Research. Volume 16, Number 3, 183-91, September 2003, ORIGINAL ARTICLE