We share a lot about the importance of replenishing magnesium throughout our site. We find ourselves reminding folks of the shocking fact that 2 out of 3 people suffer from magnesium deficiency in numerous articles and product pages. But we have not previously focused on the power of magnesium if you’re experiencing menopause. Magnesium is a mineral that can balance hormones and help minimize and reduce the all too familiar symptoms of menopause.
We talked with our advisory board member Dr. Soyona Rafatjah about exciting new research on magnesium and how consistent usage can help women feel more connected with--and in control of--their bodies during perimenopause and menopause.
Team Asutra: Let’s start with the basics. We share a lot about the many benefits of magnesium on our site but what makes magnesium particularly important and helpful for women in the stages of perimenopause and menopause?
Dr. Soyona: Magnesium is a mineral that acts as a regulating agent within the body, meaning it can help the body absorb or release nutrients and hormones that trigger uncomfortable side effects of menopause. For example, as a result of estrogen dominance (aka an excess of estrogen compared to progesterone in the body), many women experience hot flashes and mood swings. Magnesium acts as a hormone regulator, helping the body absorb and excrete estrogen properly. When our estrogen levels are balanced, many times, the symptoms surrounding menopause go away. When estrogen dominance is left untreated, it can create a ripple effect of uncomfortable symptoms women must navigate: mood swings, hot flashes, and excess weight gain, to name a few. As we experience these additional stressors, our cortisol levels spike, causing these inconvenient symptoms to become even more prevalent throughout the body.
Team Asutra: What are some common less than ideal remedies women make when seeking relief from what seems like a never-ending cycle of uncomfortable and inconvenient menopause symptoms?
Dr. Soyona: It is not uncommon for many women to turn to caffeine after a bad night’s sleep or wind down from a hard day with a glass of wine. Unfortunately, both can make the symptoms worse. Instead, I encourage women to adjust their magnesium intake as a first-line therapy. First, there is some evidence that magnesium can help lower cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol is often referenced as the stress hormone because it tends to spike when we are dealing with high levels of stress and leads to a host of digestive and metabolic issues. Second, alcohol and caffeine can impact your body’s ability to absorb magnesium, the very mineral that helps regulate both estrogen and cortisol . Consuming large quantities of alcohol and sugar is also detrimental to gut health, causing inflammation in the small intestines and making it difficult for the body to absorb the nutrients you ingest. When you add in the fact that our bodies become less efficient at breaking down food and extracting nutrients as we age, it becomes even more important for women in menopause to supplement magnesium. Otherwise, those very foods many of us crave when stressed can end up reducing the body’s ability to reach homeostasis - a state of balance in the body. And we deplete our magnesium stores at the exact time when our body needs them most.
Team Asutra: Beyond helping to regulate estrogen and cortisol levels to restore balance or homeostasis, are there other benefits to increasing magnesium intake during menopause?
Dr. Soyona: Magnesium is also essential for helping the body absorb and metabolize vitamin D and calcium. Women who have too much calcium can suffer from muscle cramping. Women who do not have enough calcium can suffer from poor bone health, leading to conditions like osteoporosis. Magnesium helps regulate our body's calcium levels, allowing us to absorb the calcium we need and also deactivate the calcium we do not.
Team Asutra: At Asutra, we focus on topical magnesium rather than ingestible magnesium. What are the unique attributes of topical magnesium?
Dr. Soyona: Using a topical magnesium treatment such as Asutra’s Magnesium Body Butter or Spray Pain Away Magnesium Oil regularly can have an added positive impact on women’s health. As I shared earlier, as we age, our bodies are less efficient at processing the food we eat and extracting all of the nutrients. Increased stomach acid and inflammation in the gut can lead some people to experience discomfort from an oral supplement. And even if you are consuming a magnesium rich diet, your body may not be able to access all of the nutrients. Topical creams, sprays, and salts are absorbed through the skin for a faster, more effective delivery that bypasses the GI tract altogether. Users get both immediate relief from muscle aches and pains and long-term relief through more calcium, cortisol, and estrogen regulation. And whether you are using a spray, lotion, or bath flakes as part of your daily routine (or any combination), it can be a quick and easy way to replenish magnesium with the added benefit of relaxation or moisturization. Consistent and regular replenishment is the key to achieving the best balance that magnesium can provide.
- Li B, et al. Dietary magnesium and calcium intake and risk of depression in the general population: A meta-analysis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 2016 Nov 1.
- Guo W., et al. Magnesium deficiency in plants: An urgent problem. The Crop Journal, Volume 4, Issue 2, April 2016, Pages 83-91.