The many benefits of magnesium for men’s health

Men – do you suffer from migraines, poor glucose control, or experience irregular heartbeats? One possible reason for these conditions affecting your health and well-being could be a lack of the mineral magnesium in your diet.  Even though it’s estimated that less than 2% of Americans experience a magnesium deficiency, one study has suggested that up to 75% of us are not getting the recommended daily amount of this nutrient. 

Magnesium’s role in your health

Research has confirmed magnesium’s crucial role in our bodies with important brain, heart, and muscle physiological functions.  It is also a key player involved in energy production, cell growth, blood pressure, and bone health.  Magnesium just about does it all. The mineral also has a role in blood sugar regulation and calming effect on the nervous system. Individuals deficient in magnesium may experience cravings for sugar and have increased bouts of anxiety and poor sleep. 

Many of us may not be consuming a sufficient magnesium intake, which is why we must understand and appreciate the health benefits of this mineral.  Here’s a look at why you should consider consuming more magnesium-rich foods daily to improve your health: 

  1. Reducing the risk of diabetes

Magnesium is emerging more and more to play a major role in the possibility of preventing type 2 diabetes.  A 2011 study conducted a meta-analysis of 13 prospective cohort studies involving over 500,000 participants did find a significant inverse dose-response association between the amount of magnesium intake and the risk of type 2 diabetes.  

Another study tracked more than 42,000 men in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study for 12 years.  Its findings showed that participants who consumed the most magnesium (about 450 milligrams a day for men) had a 27 percent lower risk of diabetes than those who consumed the least magnesium (about 270 milligrams for men).  

  1. Reducing the risk of migraines

The throbbing ache of a migraine is enough to make anyone want to find a natural way to prevent another painful episode.  Researchers have found that people with migraines tend to have low brain magnesium levels during an attack and are more likely to have low magnesium levels overall. So, taking a magnesium supplement might help reduce the number of migraines in addition to eating more magnesium-rich foods.

  1. Reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease

Insufficient intake of magnesium appears to increase cardiovascular risk.  Magnesium is essential for the activity of the heart muscle and the nerves that initiate the heartbeat, and it also helps regulate blood pressure.  An adequate intake helps prevent arrhythmias, reduces cardiac damage from oxidative stress, keeps blood vessels healthy, prevents spasms of coronary arteries that can cause angina, and boosts HDL (good) cholesterol.  

Studies have found that people with a high dietary magnesium intake have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.  Also, people who live in homes with hard water (which is high in magnesium) have a lower coronary death rate.  

  1. Reduces inflammation

Every major disease, from heart disease to diabetes to cancer, is associated with uncontrolled inflammation as a part of the development of those conditions.  One factor predisposing a person could be a magnesium deficiency for chronic inflammatory stress.  A 2014 study found that participants with a magnesium deficiency caused by not eating sufficient amounts of dietary sources of the mineral were put at a greater risk of developing chronic inflammation conducive to chronic diseases.  This is why increasing magnesium-rich foods like nuts, leafy greens, and bananas can be an excellent start to obtaining the amount you need to reduce inflammation.  

  1. Reduces depression

An inadequate magnesium intake appears to reduce serotonin levels, while taking an antidepressant has been shown to raise magnesium within the brain.  One study found that magnesium was as effective as tricyclic antidepressants in treating depression among people with diabetes.  

Best food sources of magnesium

The best way for men to obtain sufficient magnesium is to consume the recommended daily allowance of 400 to 420 milligrams of this mineral. Foods high in fiber are some of the best sources of magnesium so think leafy vegetables such as kale, Swiss chard, or spinach. Fortunately, there are many good sources of magnesium to choose from.  Each day, have several foods that are rich sources of this mineral which include the following:

  • Tofu
  • Legumes
  • Whole grains
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Wheat bran
  • Brazil nuts
  • Soybean flour
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Pumpkin and squash seeds
  • Pine nuts
  • Black walnuts 

Other good dietary sources of this mineral include:

  • Peanuts
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Oat flour
  • Beet greens
  • Spinach
  • Pistachio nuts
  • Shredded wheat
  • Bran cereals
  • Oatmeal
  • Bananas
  • Baked potatoes (with skin)
  • Chocolate
  • Cocoa powder

What about magnesium supplements?

It’s always best to obtain nutrients from whole food sources.  However, if a man is having difficulty getting enough magnesium from food, then a magnesium supplement would suffice. The daily dose of a magnesium supplement for adults is 100 to 300 milligrams. Choose magnesium glycinate when taking a magnesium supplement, as this form is readily absorbed in the gastrointestinal tract.  It’s also recommended to divide your intake of a magnesium supplement by taking a 100 mg supplement up to three times daily. 

Before taking a magnesium supplement or any nutritional supplement, always consult with your doctor or registered dietitian to assess your diet and other medications or supplements, you may be taking for potential interactions or adverse effects. 


 Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy.  Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncology and prostate cancer 911. 

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