At this point we’re well aware of the benefits magnesium has for muscle health, sleep, mood, and immunity, but did you know of the benefit it can have on your sexual health? Neither did we, until recently! Proper magnesium supplementation can boost testosterone levels, ameliorate some symptoms of erectile dysfunction (ED), augment libido, and help with conception and fertility.
Getting the Magnesium You Need
A common misconception is that we get all the magnesium our bodies need from our diets, and while that is partially true, a whopping ⅓ of Canadians are still magnesium deficient.
In the context of your sexual health, magnesium is essential not only for better sleep, but for maintaining a healthy sex drive. Magnesium is found naturally in nuts, seeds, and dark, leafy greens, although many people choose to simply take a daily supplement instead to stay healthy both in and out of the bedroom.
Increasing Libido with Magnesium
Many people experienced lower sex drive with age, and this can be a result of a number of different things, most commonly the simple fact that change comes with age.
Over time, the body’s production of key sex hormones such as testosterone declines (yes, in both men and women!).
For women, this is a result of their ovaries becoming less active around the time of menopause, and the swift drop in hormone levels that follow it.
For men, the typical decrease in sex drive and with it, testosterone levels also comes with age, but more gradually. Starting at age 40, it is common for men to start seeing a nominal drop in testosterone, that averages just over 1% per year, making it not uncommon for men in their 60s and 70s to see much reduced levels of testosterone. There is a range of symptoms that men can experience if testosterone drops more than is healthy, but most likely not much will change in their day to day life, with the exception of a decreased sex drive.
So, although altered levels of certain hormones can be the result of a number of different things (depression, traumatic events, anxiety, or even chronic kidney disease), it is more likely that any reduction is the simple result of age.
The mineral, magnesium, works by stopping testosterone in its tracks on its way to latch onto other proteins in the body. This allows for more testosterone to enter the bloodstream, strengthening sex drive. The key here is testosterone levels, and studies suggest that magnesium plays a role in boosting levels for everyone, but especially athletes and active individuals. More on that later!
There is also evidence to support the claim that insufficient sleep can lead to a drop in sex drive for both men and women. And this makes intuitive sense. For people of all ages, exhaustion kills libido — even in your prime.
Thank goodness for Calmful Sleep! Not only will the magnesium content help you to maintain the testosterone to keep your sex drive alive and well, but the melatonin, GABA, and l-theanine will give you a full night of restful sleep.
Erectile Dysfunction (ED) and Magnesium
Up to 4% of men in their 50s and up to 17% of men in their 60s have ED. Johns Hopkins Medicine predicts that in 2025, the prevalence of the condition will be approximately 322 million worldwide. ED can be a result of a number of different things, or even indicative of a more serious health concern such as heart disease or diabetes.
Although low testosterone can contribute to ED, it is rarely the only cause. The condition can be caused by depression, drug-induced, hormone-induced, or rooted in other causes. Because of the relationship between ED, depression, and cardiovascular disease, it is important that men are evaluated for all three conditions if you show the symptoms of one.
Although ED is a somewhat self-explanatory condition, the symptoms are as follows:
- Difficulty getting and/or maintaining an erection
- Avoiding intimacy/losing interest in sex
- Premature ejaculation
Risk factors include:
- Prostate problems
- Advanced age
- Use of pharmaceutical medications to treat medical or psychological issues
- Repeated and substantial use of alcohol, drugs, or tobacco products
This condition is equally contributed to by the brain and the body. It is recommended that if you experience the symptoms or have risk factors, and especially if both apply to you, that you consult your doctor.
So What Does Magnesium Do To Help?
Although the direct connection between magnesium and ED remains somewhat enigmatic, we do know that magnesium is a natural treatment for low testosterone production (see below) and depression, both of which sometimes contribute to the condition.
Additionally, there has been one study that explored the connection between insufficient levels of magnesium and premature ejaculation. The results were inconclusive but sparked a larger-scale discussion in many online medical communities about the potential of magnesium as a treatment for ED.
Magnesium Supplements for a Testosterone Boost
Testosterone exists in two ways in the human body. It can be bound to one of two proteins (called sex hormone-binding globulin, shortened to SHBG, or albumin), which will move it through the body. In this form it will remain biologically inactive, meaning that it will not serve its regular purpose or have its normal effects on the body.
Conversely, when testosterone is unbound and biologically active, we see the expected effects of the hormone. In this form, it is referred to as “free testosterone” and this structure of the hormone accounts for about 2-3% of the testosterone in the human body.
As mentioned, magnesium allows for more of the body’s testosterone to be unbound.
Many would refer to testosterone as the “male hormone” and although men generally have it in higher quantities (after puberty, men produce about 20 times more than women), it plays an equally important role for women.
For men, testosterone is key in:
- Maturation during puberty
- Sperm production
- Muscle and bone strength
- Sex drive
For women, some of the same things apply, along with others, including:
- Maintaining other hormone levels
- New blood cell production
- Fertility and sex drive
Your body naturally regulates hormone levels, and having low testosterone is more common than having high testosterone. So, what can you do?
A study published in 2013 supplemented 12 men with magnesium, and 14 others with placebos to act as controls. Both groups were asked to complete a certain amount of exercise over the 7 week period of the study.
As expected, both groups showed improved strength and athletic performance, but those who had been supplemented with magnesium showed a marked increase in testosterone compared to the control group. These results suggest that magnesium indeed plays a notable role in testosterone production, particularly hand in hand with resistance training.
Additional studies have concluded that magnesium used in conjunction with other types of exercise, such as low resistance activities like Taekwondo, also shows increases in testosterone levels.
Other observations have found that magnesium has a connection to testosterone production, particularly in older men, however, the basis of that connection is still somewhat mysterious.
In answer to the question of what you can do, research points towards maintaining some sort of exercise regime, and making sure your magnesium levels are what they need to be with a supplement of the magical mineral.
Magnesium as “The Mommy Mineral”
Beyond simply helping to boost libido, magnesium continues to support families-to-be with conception and fertility.
Not only does proper magnesium intake promote the right amount of blood flow to the uterus, but it also plays an integral role in the production of progesterone. Progesterone is a hormone important to a healthy menstrual cycle, and in turn, a healthy pregnancy.
After you have conceived, magnesium can help prevent some birth defects, premature birth, and decrease the possibility of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
For these reasons, magnesium is the “Mommy Mineral” throughout pregnancy and even afterward!
One thing that could be preventing you from successfully conceiving is spastic fallopian tubes, which can be the result of excess calcium in your system. This results in the egg being unable to move into the uterus to be fertilized. While calcium’s job is to contract and excite muscles and nerves, magnesium’s is to soothe and relax. Both are important, but they must be in the right proportions.
In some cases, miscarriages are the result of blood clots in the umbilical cord preventing oxygen from getting to the fetus. Because of this, some women are put on blood thinners (called “baby aspirin”), however, this blood thinner may have long-term adverse effects such as gastric irritation or bleeding. Magnesium, on the other hand, is an all-natural blood thinner that can be taken without the fear of long term side effects.
Pregnancy and Delivery
Of course, the need for magnesium only increases when you’re eating for two! Magnesium along with other important nutrients (folic acid, zinc, etc.) is essential for both mom-to-be and fetal health. It helps immensely in infant growth and development.
Adequate magnesium intake will help prevent problems during pregnancy and labour such as toxemia, high blood pressure, and seizures. In preventing high blood pressure, magnesium also protects women from pre-eclampsia and eclampsia.
As the name suggests, pre-eclampsia precedes eclampsia, a condition experienced by about 2-5% of mothers in the US, Canada, and Western Europe. In less affluent countries, however, the percentages remain higher and account for more infant and maternal deaths. You can read in more detail about eclampsia here, but the key is that magnesium can help you avoid this condition during pregnancy.
Magnesium is the most widely used treatment for pre-eclampsia because it works to reduce stress hormones, relax muscles, and regulate the nervous system. By working with calcium in the body, magnesium helps to contract and relax muscle cells, meaning that inadequate magnesium levels can lead to contacted blood vessels and higher blood pressure which moms-to-be may want to avoid.
It’s paramountly important that new or soon to be mothers get enough magnesium because the majority of Canadians, especially women, do not meet the recommended intake. If you aren’t getting what you need every day, your body will begin feeding your own reserves to the fetus, and you may experience certain clinical signs of magnesium deficiency.
The good news is that getting enough magnesium is simple with Natural Calm magnesium.
Once your bundle of joy has arrived, it remains important to continue getting enough magnesium. Breastfeeding will draw from the mother’s own magnesium stores, making them more likely to be magnesium deficient, and as such, at risk of things like poor sleep, depression, weight gain, and muscle cramps (to name a few).
Additionally, we’re sure everyone can agree that getting enough sleep is never more difficult than immediately postpartum. Because it is so often interrupted, it’s important that moms can get the good quality sleep they need to raise a tiny human all day, and most of the night too! No surprise here, the mommy mineral can help here too.
We’re happy to report that magnesium has helped other moms already, and it could help you too! Take Candice M., for example who says:
“Natural Calm was an essential part of getting through pregnancy. Honestly, a life saver.”
Are Natural Calm Magnesium Supplements Safe to Take While Pregnant?
We get this question a lot. Because everyone’s health profile is different, we can’t speak in the place of your doctor or naturopath, however, we can say that in the vast majority of cases, Natural Calm Magnesium is absolutely safe and beneficial to take during pregnancy.
That said, we always recommend consulting an MD or ND if you are unsure, to make sure Natural Calm is right for you.