Does magnesium for menopause really work? From what types are best to how much to take, here’s the 411 on all things magnesium.
Magnesium is a super important mineral in our bodies.
It helps with hundreds of chemical reactions, aiding things like mood regulation, hormone levels, and bone health.
Now, hormonal fluctuations, mood swings, and bone health issues are some of the key features of menopause.
So, should we all take magnesium for menopause?
From whether magnesium really helps menopause symptoms to how much and what types to take, here’s the 411 on magnesium in menopause.
In this article: 📝
- Does taking magnesium help with menopause?
- What form of magnesium is best for menopause?
- What type of magnesium for menopause is best?
- Does magnesium raise estrogen levels?
- How much magnesium for menopause is helpful?
- How much magnesium should a 50-year-old woman take?
Does taking magnesium help with menopause?
First up — is magnesium good for menopause?
Lots of women swear by magnesium supplements.
They say this “miracle mineral” is good for all sorts of things, including improving sleep, reducing depression and anxiety, increasing energy levels and helping with that dreaded brain fog.
But why is this?
Let’s look at four common menopause symptoms, and how magnesium helps.
1. Bone health
When we think of bone health, lots of us jump straight to calcium.
While it’s no doubt important, did you know magnesium changes vitamin D to active forms in the body — which then supports calcium absorption?
Because of this, magnesium helps prevent osteoporosis (a health condition that weakens bones), which impacts around 30% of postmenopausal women.
2. Sleep quality
Tossing and turning each night is all too common in menopause.
But magnesium can improve sleep by calming your nervous system.
It works alongside a naturally produced hormone, melatonin, to help control your body clock and sleep-wake cycle.
With 35-60% of menopausal people experiencing insomnia or sleep problems, this can be a massive help.
3. Emotional wellbeing
Mood swings, depression, and anxiety all have strong ties to the menopause transition.
And while health professionals aren’t exactly sure how, magnesium appears to play a key role in brain function and mood regulation.
Many scientific studies have linked low magnesium levels with higher rates of depression; over 80% of postmenopausal women also have low magnesium.
So, could it be time for a top-up?
4. Heart health
Did you know postmenopausal women have a significantly increased risk of high blood pressure and cholesterol?
In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death in postmenopausal women.
Low magnesium also links with poor heart health.
This is because magnesium helps control nerve impulses and heart muscle contractions — essential ingredients of a healthy heartbeat.
Many magnesium-rich foods (like oily fish and dark leafy greens) are also great sources of heart-healthy fats, protein, and antioxidants.
What form of magnesium is best for menopause?
Given all the benefits of magnesium, it’s important to try and get enough.
The good news is magnesium is found in lots of common foods.
- Leafy dark green veggies like kale, spinach, or broccoli
- Legumes. Think black beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas
- Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa or oats
- Oily fish like tuna, salmon and mackerel
- Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Dark chocolate — a common craving if you’re low in magnesium.
- Tofu and soybeans
Even so, many people find it hard to get enough magnesium from diet alone.
It’s also tricky to know exactly how much you’re getting unless you start researching every meal you eat.
And let’s face it, with all the other menopause changes going on, who’s got time for that!?
This is where magnesium supplements come in.
What type of magnesium for menopause is best?
Now, there are loads of different types of magnesium.
There’s magnesium glycinate, citrate, threonate, oxide, chloride, carbonate and malate — the list goes on.
You’ll see these words written on the ingredients list of supplements found at almost every pharmacy and online health store.
For the best magnesium for menopause, it’s important how “bioavailable” each type is.
This just means how easy it is for your body to absorb.
Magnesium citrate, chloride, aspartate, and malate are the most bioavailable types.
But your healthcare provider might recommend other forms of magnesium.
This depends on your personal reasons for taking it.
For instance, magnesium glycinate is good for depression and anxiety.
And while magnesium malate is often recommended for energy levels, magnesium threonate is useful for memory.
Magnesium citrate can even help with things like constipation and bone health.
If you’re taking magnesium for overall health, you might also be OK with regular multivitamins.
Just make sure they definitely contain magnesium, and check in with your doctor before taking any new supplements.
Does magnesium raise estrogen levels?
Magnesium really is magic for hormonal balance.
It supports almost all hormone functions in the body and promotes healthy estrogen levels.
But instead of thinking about magnesium raising estrogen levels, it’s about how it supports your balance of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
Magnesium helps with both the creation and excretion of estrogen.
It’s a bit complicated but essentially works through supporting the COMT enzyme in the liver.
Through this, magnesium helps with the healthy expulsion of estrogen (i.e., in the right amounts).
This not only helps with low estrogen but also with estrogen-excess conditions like fibroids.
How much magnesium for menopause is helpful?
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, adult women should have 310 to 320mg of magnesium a day.
(You might see broader estimates ranging from 250mg to 400mg.)
For magnesium in menopause, 320mg of magnesium (whether through food or supplements) is helpful.
For most people, if you accidentally consume too much magnesium (for instance, through eating lots of magnesium-rich foods as well as supplements) — it’s not a big problem.
So don’t worry too much here.
Your body’s pretty good at getting rid of any excess magnesium through urine.
Even so, if you’re experiencing things like diarrhea and stomach upsets, you might want to chat to your doctor about blood tests.
It’s possible you could have too much magnesium.
How much magnesium should a 50-year-old woman take?
Recommended magnesium for adult women, whether nineteen, fifty, or seventy years old, is the same.
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is between 310 and 320mg.
The only difference is during pregnancy when a woman’s RDA goes up to 350-360mg.
If you’re taking supplements, the recommended upper limit is 350mg.
This is because some high-dose supplements can lead to side effects like cramping, nausea, or diarrhea.
Generally, though, if you’re getting magnesium just through food, your kidneys can get rid of any excess just fine.
We know — navigating the menopause transition can be complicated and stressful.
The good news is, you don’t have to do it alone.
Join our menopause community.
We’re having the conversation.