Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome
Magnesium is an essential mineral that is crucial for our bones, muscles, heart, brain, immune system and nerve health. After all, it’s critical for 300 different body processes and is a natural anti-inflammatory. But what is the connection between magnesium and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS)? A very important one, indeed! And sadly, women with PCOS could easily become magnesium deficient, thus worsening their PCOS symptoms.
Magnesium can help a variety of PCOS symptoms. From controlling blood sugar to improving sleep and boosting energy, this essential mineral is particularly critical for PCOS patients.
Research has shown that women with magnesium deficiency are at 19 times higher risk of PCOS than those with normal magnesium levels. PCOS patients with insulin resistance can exhibit significantly lower serum levels of magnesium, further linking magnesium and PCOS. Insulin and blood sugar balance is critical to reversing PCOS. The good news is that magnesium can enhance the secretion of insulin, thus facilitating sugar metabolism. According to trial studies, increasing dietary magnesium intake can improve insulin resistance.
Always tired? You may be magnesium deficient. Magnesium is critical for the functioning of the nervous system and adrenal glands. Magnesium deficiency contributes to fatigue and mood disorders. Low levels of magnesium are linked to exaggerated stress response as well as depression. Magnesium regulates cortisol levels to calm your nervous system and prevent excessive cortisol. Cortisol is our stress hormone; excessive levels of cortisol are not good for you health.
You probably already know that PCOS increases your risk of heart disease. By improving insulin resistance and stress response, magnesium improves your heart health. Additionally, magnesium helps relax all muscles; remember, the human heart is also essentially a muscle. Adequate magnesium levels also help prevent the deposition of calcium in the inner walls of blood vessels, preventing hardening of arteries.
Magnesium is nature’s very own anti-inflammatory mineral. Since PCOS is linked to chronic low-grade systemic inflammation, a magnesium supplement is great for PCOS management.
Magnesium is required for both proper glucose utilization and insulin signalling. Without adequate magnesium, insulin and glucose levels are elevated. Excess glucose gets stored as fat, contributing to belly fat. A magnesium supplement helps improve blood sugar control, stress response and low-grade inflammation, which is why it can also aid in PCOS weight loss.
For PCOS patients, sleep is crucial for blood sugar control, mood disturbance, energy levels, weight control, and hormonal balance. A magnesium supplement before bedtime is a natural cure for insomnia. It activates the parasympathetic nervous system, thus helping you relax and drift off to sleep. Additionally, magnesium is crucial for the production and regulation of melatonin – the natural sleep hormone of your body.
PCOS patients are at an increased risk of high blood pressure. Insufficient magnesium levels in the body can cause blood vessels to spasm, which leads to high blood pressure. Magnesium deficiency is also linked to high cholesterol levels.
If you have PCOS, chances are that your periods bring with them cramping, pain, migraines, and bloat. Magnesium is a natural detoxifier, muscle relaxant, and anti-inflammatory. As a result, it helps alleviate PMS symptoms — like mood swings, irritability, depression, anxiety, bloating, fluid retention, breast tenderness, sugar cravings, headaches and poor sleep.
PCOS increases your risk of depression and other mood disorders. Studies have found a variety of neuromuscular and psychiatric symptoms, including different types of depression, can be linked to magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is crucial for the release and uptake of serotonin – the body’s natural ‘feel-good’ brain chemical. With adequate magnesium levels, your body produces sufficient serotonin, promoting emotional balance.
Since most symptoms of magnesium deficiency are very similar to PCOS symptoms, it may be a good idea to supplement with additional magnesium.
The current Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of Magnesium for women is between 350 and 400mg. But, experts like Dr. Mercola recommend that this figure is on the lower side, and daily intake of around 700mg might be better for PCOS patients. Here’s how you can increase your magnesium intake:
All leafy green vegetables like kale, kelp, spinach, and chard are rich in magnesium, as are nuts and seeds. Quinoa, buckwheat, and oats are other good natural sources of magnesium. Another excellent source is homemade bone broth.
Before you buy magnesium supplements, know that not all forms of magnesium are the same. Magnesium Glycinate/Bisglycinate is a chelated form of magnesium that is more readily absorbed. The typical dosage is 500-1000 mg magnesium daily. Always take it with meals to facilitate absorption. I personally prefer to take magnesium supplements after dinner, as it also promotes restful sleep.
Soaking in an Epsom salt bath facilitates the absorption of magnesium sulphate via the skin. Don’t worry if you don’t have a bathtub. Soaking your feet in a tub of water with Epsom salts will also do the trick.
Magnesium oil that comprises of magnesium chloride is another great option for topical application and absorption of magnesium via skin. This method works particularly well for those who experience tummy issues when taking magnesium supplements (magnesium citrate is often the culprit).
It’s always wise to discuss with your doctor before starting any magnesium supplements, oil or spray. This is especially important for those with pre-existing heart or kidney disease.
If you have a positive experience to share about magnesium and PCOS, we would love to hear from you!
Serum magnesium concentrations in polycystic ovary syndrome and its association with insulin resistance – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21696337
Dietary Magnesium Intake Improves Insulin Resistance among Non-Diabetic Individuals with Metabolic Syndrome Participating in a Dietary Trial – http://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/5/10/3910
Altered trace mineral milieu might play an aetiological role in the pathogenesis of polycystic ovary syndrome – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23322284
Long-term HRV analysis shows stress reduction by magnesium intake – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27933574
Intracellular magnesium and insulin resistance – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15319146
Evaluating the effect of magnesium and magnesium plus vitamin B6 supplement on the severity of premenstrual syndrome – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3208934/
Magnesium in depression – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23950577