Magnesium is a naturally-occurring mineral that is crucial for many systems in the body, particularly the muscles and nerves.
Magnesium oxide is used as a supplement to maintain or boost magnesium in the body.
In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about magnesium oxide, including its uses, benefits, dosage, and possible side effects.
What Is Magnesium Oxide?
Magnesium oxide is an over-the-counter mineral effective as treatment for magnesium deficiency. It is also used as a treatment for indigestion, constipation, irregular heartbeat, high blood pressure during pregnancy, asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, chest pain, weak bones, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) – among others.
Magnesium is a naturally-occurring mineral that is crucial for normal bone structure in the body. People get magnesium from their diet; however, magnesium supplements may become necessary if magnesium levels are too low.
Magnesium oxide is a type of magnesium mineral supplement that’s mostly made of magnesium – it actually contains more magnesium than other magnesium supplements. Typically, magnesium oxide is acquired by burning magnesium with pure oxygen. An alternative method of acquiring magnesium oxide is by exposing oxygen to magnesium salts using underground deposits, salt beds, or seawater. With this method, the source of magnesium salt determines the quality of the magnesium oxide that’s produced.
Magnesium Oxide Formula. Magnesium oxide has an empirical formula of MgO and consists of a lattice of O2 ions and Mg2+ ions held together by ionic bonding. Magnesium hydroxide forms in the presence of water (MgO + H2O → Mg(OH)2), but can be reversed by heating it to separate moisture.
Magnesium Oxide Benefits
Similar to other types of magnesium, magnesium oxide has numerous health benefits. When used regularly, magnesium oxide can help boost low magnesium levels, treat migraines, relieve constipation, alleviate depression, and more.
Listed below are some of the health benefits of magnesium oxide.
- Regulates Magnesium Levels
Magnesium deficiency can be caused by several factors, including diet, alcoholism, and poor kidney health. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency may include insomnia, fatigue, anxiety, depression, muscle pain, leg cramps, and high blood pressure. Magnesium oxide supplementation can help you boost and maintain healthy levels of magnesium.
- Reduces Migraines
Taking magnesium oxide supplements may reduce the intensity and number of migraines that you experience. Research shows that majority of migraine sufferers are magnesium deficient. The American Migraine Foundation finds magnesium oxide to be an ideal treatment for migraine prevention and relief.
- Treatment for Gastrointestinal Problems
When magnesium oxide is mixed with water, it is known as magnesium hydroxide. This mixture can help with naturalizing stomach acids. One study found that a combination of magnesium oxide, activated charcoal, and simethicone (an agent used to decrease gas) was more effective than a placebo for managing indigestion and other gastrointestinal problems.
- Ease Anxiety and Stress
Some people take magnesium oxide to ease symptoms of anxiety. There have been a few reports that low levels of magnesium may be associated with anxiety. A 2017 review that looked at 18 different studies found that magnesium did reduce anxiety. These studies look at mild anxiety, generalized anxiety, postpartum anxiety, and anxiety during premenstrual syndrome.
According to this review, one of the reasons why magnesium might help reduce anxiety is that it may improve brain function. Research shows that magnesium plays a crucial role in regulating neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout the brain and body – this is how magnesium plays a role in neurological health. Research has found that magnesium may help with brain functions that reduce anxiety and stress. It’s believed to affect the hypothalamus – part of the brain that regulates the pituitary and adrenal glands which are responsible for your response to stress.
- Relieves Depression
Aside from easing anxiety and stress, magnesium oxide may also help manage symptoms of depression. Several studies have confirmed a link between magnesium intake and depression, however, further studies are necessary.
- Sleep and Energy
Magnesium is usually recommended as a sleep aid those who find it difficult to fall asleep and rest throughout the night. Another way magnesium benefits sleep is that it can reduce the occurrence of chronic nighttime urination so that people are not getting up frequently to use the bathroom. Furthermore, magnesium helps to maintain healthy GABA levels to make it easier to get a deeper, more restorative sleep. GABA is a neurotransmitter that plays a crucial role as the central nervous system’s primary inhibitory neurotransmitter. Activating the GABA receptors is key to promote sleep. And in order for the body to have adequate GABA levels, it needs sufficient magnesium.
Restless leg syndrome is a condition that can disrupt sleep because it is characterized by uncomfortable sensations in the legs. One study showed that magnesium may help reduce the symptoms of restless leg syndrome – participants reported that their insomnia and restless leg syndrome improved with magnesium supplementation.
- Lowers Colorectal Cancer Risk
Some research indicates that magnesium oxide supplements may reduce the risk of colorectal cancer. Research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that high doses of magnesium are linked to a lowered risk of colorectal tumors. This study suggests that for every 100mg increase in magnesium, the risk of developing a tumor is reduced by about 12%.
- Boost Exercise Performance
Magnesium plays a crucial role in exercise performance. During exercise, you may need about 10-20% more magnesium than when you’re resting, depending on the activity. Magnesium helps move blood sugar into your muscles and dispose of lactate, which can build-up when you’re exercising and can cause fatigue.
Studies have shown that magnesium supplementation can boost exercise performance for athletes, the elderly, and for people with chronic diseases. In one study, athletes who took magnesium supplements for four weeks had faster cycling, swimming, and running times during a triathlon. They also experienced reductions in insulin and stress hormone levels.
- Helps Fight Type 2 Diabetes
Magnesium also benefits people with Type 2 diabetes. Studies suggest that around 48% of people with type 2 diabetes have low levels of magnesium in their blood. One study shows that people with type 2 diabetes taking high doses of magnesium every day experienced significant improvements in hemoglobin A1c and blood sugar levels, compared to a control group.
Moreover, research indicates that people with low magnesium intake have a higher risk of developing diabetes.
Dosage and Preparation
The recommended daily allowance of magnesium for young adults is 310 mg per day for women and 400 mg per day for men. In adults over 30 years old, the recommended daily allowance is 320 mg per day for women and 420 mg per day for men.
To reduce stomach upset, magnesium oxide supplements should be taken by mouth with meals. Supplements should not be chewed or crushed because doing so will increase the risk of side effects. If taken in liquid form, measure and shake the proper dose according to instructions on the supplement’s label.
If you take magnesium supplements, make sure to take them regularly and at the same time daily in order to get the most benefit. Never increase your dosage without your doctor’s approval. If you are taking a magnesium supplement, any missed doses should be taken as soon as you remember – if it’s already time for the next dose, then the missed dose should be skipped. Never double up your doses.
Consult your doctor if you think you have magnesium deficiency. The most common symptoms of magnesium deficiency are fatigue, irritability, depression, and muscle cramping.
Where To Buy Magnesium Oxide Supplements
Magnesium oxide supplements are available over-the-counter without a prescription at your local pharmacies. It is sold under several brand names, including Uro-Mag, Mag-Ox 400, and Magox. Your doctor can recommend which brand might be a good fit for your unique health needs.
Before buying a magnesium supplement, consult your doctor first and have your magnesium levels checked out. There’s no way to know if any symptoms you are experiencing are related to an illness, magnesium deficiency, or another deficiency. You should always disclose all medications and health conditions to avoid interactions and adverse reactions.
Possible Side Effects
Diarrhea and upset stomach are the most common side effects of magnesium oxide. Taking magnesium oxide supplements with food can reduce stomach issues. If side effects are persistent or if they worsen, talk to your doctor immediately.
Serious allergic reactions to magnesium oxide are rare. However, anyone who experience severe dizziness, itching, rashes, swelling, and/or trouble breathing should seek immediate medical care.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should avoid magnesium oxide as the risks are unknown. Also, people with kidney problems should consult their doctors before taking magnesium oxide supplements.
The Bottom Line
Magnesium oxide is an over-the-counter mineral effective as treatment for magnesium deficiency. It is also used as a treatment for gastrointestinal problems, migraines, insomnia, anxiety, depression, and other health problems.
Diarrhea and upset stomach are the most common side effects of magnesium oxide supplements; however, most people taking these supplements do not experience serious side effects.
Magnesium as one of the ingredients of Dr. Vita Maca, plays a crucial role in boosting physical performance. Most men who take Dr. Vita Maca are reportedly satisfied with their performance.
Just like the athletes who took magnesium supplements for four weeks had improved faster cycling, swimming, and running times during a triathlon.
But as always, it would be best to consult your doctor first before taking any supplements.