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Magnesium UK Supplements: Benefits & Best Options

Why is magnesium important for those in the UK, and how can you ensure that you’re getting enough? Magnesium is vital for health, yet many in the UK are not meeting their daily needs.

This article tackles the role of magnesium in your body, identifies signs of deficiency, and reviews the top magnesium supplements available in the UK to maintain optimal levels of magnesium UK.

Key Takeaways

  • Magnesium is essential in over 300 enzyme systems and is crucial for bone health, muscle and nerve function, and regulating blood glucose and pressure.
  • Magnesium deficiency is common in the UK, affecting from 30 to 80% of people. Supplements can help prevent health issues, but it’s important to understand how different types are absorbed and used by the body.
  • To maintain sufficient magnesium levels, consider a diet rich in magnesium-containing foods, supplements, and managing stress, but consult with a healthcare provider for the right supplement dosage and to avoid negative interactions with medications.

Understanding Magnesium: A Vital Mineral

Magnesium uk

Magnesium is involved in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse bodily functions such as protein synthesis, which includes amino acid formation, muscle and nerve operation, blood glucose control, and blood pressure management.

In addition to its other roles, magnesium is pivotal in energy production, contributing to oxidative phosphorylation and glycolysis. It also aids in the transportation of calcium and potassium ions, which are vital for nerve impulses, muscle contractions, and steady heart rhythms.

In an adult human body, there’s roughly 25 grams of magnesium, with the majority stored in bones, which underscores its importance for maintaining bone health.

The proper functioning of our bodies requires a regulated level of magnesium in the serum, typically maintained between 0.75 and 0.95 millimoles per liter. So, where can one find this vital mineral, and what are the consequences of not getting enough?

Functions of Magnesium

Magnesium is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to bodily functions. From energy production to muscle function and nervous system regulation, magnesium has a hand in it all.

Low magnesium levels can even render vitamin D ineffective, as magnesium is necessary for vitamin D metabolism. Additionally, magnesium plays a role in maintaining healthy low blood pressure levels.

But that’s not all. Magnesium also plays a key role in bone health. It influences parathyroid hormone and vitamin D levels, both essential for healthy bone formation.

A deficiency in magnesium may lead to bone conditions such as osteopenia, osteoporosis, and fractures, emphasizing its significance in maintaining bone strength.

So, where can this powerful mineral be sourced from?

Sources of Magnesium

If you’re looking to boost your magnesium intake naturally, foods like spinach, wholemeal bread, and nuts are your new best friends. These are all rich sources of magnesium. Foods high in dietary fiber, such as leafy vegetables and whole grains, commonly contain significant amounts of magnesium.

However, be aware that some food processing methods, such as grain refining, can diminish their magnesium content, thus reducing its availability in your diet.

Fortified foods, including certain breakfast cereals, are enriched with magnesium to help meet dietary requirements. Even the magnesium content in tap, mineral, and bottled waters can vary, offering an additional dietary source of this nutrient.

Magnesium Supplements in the UK

Despite the wide range of natural sources, magnesium deficiency is surprisingly common. In fact, it affects an estimated 30-80% of the UK population, indicating a widespread issue.

The National Diet and Nutrition Survey suggests that a significant number of adults in the UK consume less than the recommended intake of magnesium.

Insufficient magnesium levels can result in symptoms like muscle cramps, fatigue, and abnormal heart rhythms. Furthermore, long-term magnesium deficiency could escalate the risk of chronic ailments like cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes.

Given these startling statistics, magnesium supplements UK can play a crucial role in bridging the dietary gap and preventing long-term health issues. But how can we identify if we’re magnesium deficient?

Identifying Magnesium Deficiency

Detecting magnesium deficiency is crucial because of its broad array of symptoms, which can impact one’s well-being. On one hand, neurological symptoms may include tremors, muscle spasms, and general weakness. On the other hand, physical symptoms encompass reduced appetite, feelings of nausea or vomiting, fatigue, and general weakness.

Severe magnesium deficiency may lead to more serious conditions like muscle contractions, seizures, and abnormal heart rhythms. Recognising these symptoms is the first step in addressing magnesium deficiency.

So, how can we augment our magnesium levels?

Types of Magnesium Supplements Available in the UK

If you’re aiming to elevate your magnesium levels, UK supplements can serve as a potent aid. But not all supplements are created equal. The bioavailability of these supplements – that is, how much magnesium can be absorbed and utilized by the body – is a key factor to consider.

There are various formulations of magnesium supplements available in the UK, including:

  • citrate (derived from citric acid)
  • oxide
  • chloride
  • lactate
  • malate
  • taurate
  • L-threonate
  • sulfate
  • glycinate
  • orotate

Each of these has different absorption rates and health implications. For instance, magnesium glycinate is better absorbed by the body compared to magnesium oxide, underscoring the variation in bioavailability between different magnesium supplements.

Therefore, choosing the appropriate supplement is vital for tackling specific health issues, as some forms provide enhanced absorption and efficiency for those conditions.

Magnesium Citrate

One popular choice among magnesium supplements is magnesium citrate. Known for its high absorption rate, it’s an effective treatment for low magnesium levels and constipation.

But as with most good things, there’s a catch. A common side effect of magnesium citrate, as with most magnesium supplements, is its laxative effect. However, this often depends on the dose.

So while it’s great for those struggling with constipation, it might not be the best option if you have a sensitive stomach.

Magnesium Glycinate

If you’re looking for a magnesium supplement that is less likely to cause digestive upset, magnesium glycinate might be your answer. This form of magnesium is reported to possess calming properties that can be beneficial for mental health issues like anxiety and insomnia.

Furthermore, magnesium glycinate supports bone health, as it contributes to the maintenance of normal bone structure. It also aids in the breakdown of sugar and may decrease insulin resistance, which is beneficial for blood glucose control. Incorporating magnesium glycinate supplements into your daily routine can help you reap these benefits.

Magnesium Malate

Last but not least, let’s explore magnesium malate. The supplement has been utilised to aid a range of health conditions, such as:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • diabetes
  • asthma
  • fibromyalgia
  • high blood pressure
  • certain pregnancy-related issues

It has shown potential in managing a variety of health concerns. Magnesium malate offers several health benefits, thanks to the combination of magnesium and malic acid. However, as with other supplements, one may experience digestive side effects when taking magnesium malate.

How to Choose the Right Magnesium Supplement for You

So, you’ve made up your mind to take a magnesium supplement. But, how do you pick the one that’s right for you? The answer lies in assessing your individual health goals and needs.

For instance, if you’re struggling with constipation, magnesium citrate might be the best choice for you due to its high bioavailability.

On the other hand, if you require a supplement that is less likely to cause laxative effects, magnesium glycinate could be more suitable. Or if you’re suffering from fatigue or fibromyalgia, magnesium malate might be your best bet.

However, it’s not solely about health goals – the quality and purity of the supplement are also significant. It’s always a good idea to verify third-party testing and certifications to ensure the quality and purity of your magnesium supplements. And remember, factors such as age, diet, and health conditions can determine the proper dosage of magnesium supplements.

Assessing Your Needs

When selecting a magnesium supplement, it’s important to consider your personal health concerns. Are you susceptible to conditions such as:

  • type 2 diabetes
  • heart disease
  • osteoporosis
  • migraine

If so, a magnesium supplement could be beneficial due to magnesium’s role in these health issues.

Your specific health requirements should also guide your choice. Are you looking to manage stress or improve your sleep? Selecting a supplement like magnesium glycinate, known for its calming properties, could be useful.

Accounting for these individual health concerns and objectives is a central guiding principle when selecting a magnesium supplement or combining magnesium with other dietary supplements.

Quality and Purity

Finally, in selecting a magnesium supplement, it’s vital to ensure that the product is uncontaminated and that its label accurately displays its contents. Choosing supplements with third-party testing will help ensure their quality and purity.

Recommended Dosage and Safety Consideration

Once you’ve selected your magnesium supplement, the ensuing step is to ascertain the appropriate dosage. This can vary depending on factors such as age, gender, and specific needs such as pregnancy or lactation.

That’s why it’s always best to consult your healthcare provider or pharmacist to identify the appropriate dosage for your unique health needs and to avoid potential problems.

However, there’s more. Awareness of potential side effects and interactions with medications is also crucial. For instance, magnesium supplements may interact with heart medications, which can affect drug efficacy and safety.

Dosage Recommendations

So, what should be your intake of magnesium? The daily recommended amount of magnesium varies based on age, ranging from:

  • 30 mg for infants up to six months
  • 75-80 mg for children aged 1-3 years
  • 130-240 mg for children aged 4-8 years
  • 240-410 mg for children aged 9-13 years
  • 400-420 mg for adult men

However, the average intake of magnesium in developed countries is slightly over 4 mg/kg/day, which is lower than the recommended dietary allowance.

That’s where magnesium supplements can help bridge the gap and ensure you’re getting enough of this essential mineral. To achieve this, you can take magnesium as part of your daily routine.

Side Effects and Interactions

Although magnesium supplements can be advantageous, they may also have potential side effects. Excessive intake of magnesium from supplements can lead to excessive magnesium levels, causing symptoms like diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal cramping. Magnesium may also interact negatively with heart medications, which can affect drug efficacy and safety.

Certain medications such as blood thinning and anti-diabetes drugs can be affected by magnesium intake. Therefore, it is advisable to take them at least two hours apart from magnesium supplements. Magnesium supplements also have potential interactions with medications such as:

  • bisphosphonates
  • certain antibiotics
  • diuretics
  • drugs for acid reflux and peptic ulcers

So consulting a healthcare provider is advised, especially for those concerned about kidney disease or considering taking very high doses of any supplement.

Lifestyle Changes to Boost Magnesium Levels

Beyond supplements, there are alternative methods to enhance your magnesium levels. One effective approach is through dietary improvements. Incorporating a variety of magnesium-rich foods into your diet can naturally increase your magnesium levels. Some examples of magnesium-rich foods include:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole grains

It’s also beneficial to choose organic produce, as conventionally grown foods are often lower in magnesium due to soil depletion.

Alongside dietary changes, adopting stress reduction techniques such as meditation, yoga, and deep-breathing exercises can assist in preserving your magnesium levels. Chronic stress can lead to increased magnesium loss, so managing stress is an important part of maintaining healthy magnesium levels.

Dietary Improvements

Elevating your magnesium intake can be as straightforward as adjusting your diet. Incorporating magnesium-rich foods like:

  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole grains

can give your magnesium levels a natural boost. For instance, boiled spinach is a nutrient-rich vegetable with a high magnesium content, providing 157 mg of magnesium per cup.

Whole grains, like whole wheat flour, can also increase your magnesium intake, delivering 160 mg per cup when included in baking or replaced with whole wheat bread.

Diversifying your diet with foods like:

  • Quinoa
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Dark chocolate

can also contribute to your daily dietary requirements of magnesium. Beans such as black beans and soybeans (edamame) and fruits like avocados also contribute to magnesium intake.

Opting for healthier alternatives, like tofu and cultured yogurt, also provide additional sources of magnesium in a well-rounded diet. To maximise the health benefits, it’s recommended to integrate these magnesium-rich foods into your daily nutritional habits.

Stress Reduction and Exercise

Stress management is another crucial element in preserving optimal magnesium levels. Engaging in stress reduction exercises can influence your body’s magnesium levels, as stress can lead to increased magnesium loss.

Chronic stress may lead to a depletion of magnesium, which can reduce your body’s capacity to regulate normal stress responses.

Some stress reduction exercises that can help maintain magnesium levels include:

  • Deep breathing exercises
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Regular exercise
  • Spending time in nature
  • Practicing mindfulness

Incorporating these activities into your daily routine can help manage stress and support healthy magnesium levels.

Regular exercise and stress management can be beneficial in maintaining a magnesium balance, which is critical for various physiological functions including stress response regulation.

So why not try incorporating some yoga or meditation into your daily routine? Not only will it help your stress levels, it could also help keep your magnesium levels in check!


From energy production to bone health, magnesium plays a pivotal role in our health and well-being. Yet, a significant proportion of us are not getting enough of this essential mineral.

Whether through dietary improvements, lifestyle changes, or the use of supplements, increasing our magnesium intake can have profound health benefits. So why not take a step today towards ensuring you’re getting enough magnesium? Your body will thank you for it!

Other UK supplements that you may find interesting are:

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is magnesium important for our health?

Magnesium is important for our health because it is involved in over 300 enzyme systems that regulate various bodily functions, including muscle operation, blood glucose control, and blood pressure management. It’s essential for overall well-being.

What are the signs of magnesium deficiency?

If you are experiencing tremors, muscle spasms, reduced appetite, nausea, fatigue, and weakness, you might have a magnesium deficiency. It’s important to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and treatment.

What are some natural sources of magnesium?

You can find magnesium in foods like spinach, wholemeal bread, nuts, leafy vegetables, and whole grains. These natural sources can help you meet your magnesium needs.

What are the different types of magnesium supplements available?

There are various types of magnesium supplements available, including citrate, oxide, and chloride, among others. Consider consulting with a healthcare professional to determine which type is best for you.

How can I boost my magnesium levels naturally?

You can boost your magnesium levels naturally by adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet and practicing stress reduction techniques like meditation, yoga, and deep-breathing exercises. Give it a try!

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