It would be fair to say, given the challenges of estrogen, stress, autoimmune disorders, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, migraine, insomnia, bone health, and thyroid – to name just a few – that women need magnesium more than men.
Yet women get just 70% of their minimum requirements for magnesium while men get 80%. Pound for pound, women have less magnesium circulating throughout their bodies. And because of magnesium’s effect on hormones, women can suffer more noticeably from magnesium deficiencies during pregnancy, breastfeeding and with PMS.
Here’s a partial list of how magnesium particularly benefits women:
- Helps balance the entire hormone system, reducing complications with menstruation, fertility, pregnancy and menopause
- Builds strong bones, preventing osteoporosis
- Reduces anxiety by balancing the output of adrenaline and cortisol
- Activates B vitamins, essential for reducing stress
- Facilitates production, storage and transport of energy
- Helps stabilize RNA and DNA synthesis (stabilizing the genetic blueprint)
- Activates Omega 3s, supporting mood, brain health and reducing inflammation
- Relaxes muscles and nerves, reducing muscle pain, menstrual cramps, nervous anxiety and headaches
- Prevents thickening and clotting of the blood, which contributes to PMS, migraines, and stroke
- Reduces hypertension, preventing pregnancy complications (preeclampsia) and heart attack
How much? Women should aim for 6 – 8 mg of magnesium per kilogram of weight, daily (3 – 4.5 mg/lb). A 150 lb woman should get 450 – 675 mg a day through diet and supplements. During pregnancy, periods of intense exercise and stress, strive for the higher end of the intake spectrum.
Source: Dean, Carolyn, M.D., N.D. The Magnesium Miracle, Revised and Updated. Ballantine Books, 2007.