Does Magnesium Make You Poop?

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    Magnesium is an essential mineral with a range of health benefits. Now, it is even being used for its role in promoting digestive health.

    Magnesium is an essential mineral found in the earth's crust that is essential for many bodily functions. It has long been used as a supplement to help regulate muscle and nerve function, but more recently a growing body of research suggests it may also promote digestive health. Does magnesium make you poop? In this article, we’ll take a closer look at what magnesium is and what it can do for our bodies. We’ll also examine the potential connection between taking magnesium supplements and digestive function.

    What is magnesium?

    Magnesium is an essential mineral for the human body. It plays a role in over 300 enzymatic reactions, such as aiding in bone health, promoting heart health, and maintaining healthy blood pressure already within normal range. A magnesium deficiency can be caused by various factors, including age, alcohol use, stress, and poor digestion , as well as certain medications like proton pump inhibitors and diuretics.

    To prevent or correct a magnesium deficiency, it is important to eat foods rich in magnesium or supplement with additional magnesium. Magnesium is commonly found in fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, legumes, and some grains.

    Foods high in magnesium

    It is important to include magnesium in your diet whenever possible! Foods high in magnesium include nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, flaxseed, and pumpkin seeds, green leafy vegetables like spinach, legumes like black beans, fish, whole grains such as oatmeal, dark chocolate, avocados, bananas and more.

    What are the health benefits of magnesium?

    Magnesium serves a variety of important purposes in the body. The human body needs magnesium for proper functioning and relies on dietary sources to meet its needs. Magnesium helps to regulate nerve and muscle tone, as well as contractions throughout the body. It also enables energy production in cells, which can enhance exercise performance in those who engage in regular physical activity.

    In addition to improving muscle function, studies have shown that supplementing with magnesium can manage symptoms of PMS by decreasing mood swings and cramping due to its relaxing effects on muscles in the uterus. A recent study also found that magnesium supplementation can support PMS-related headaches.

    It’s not uncommon for pregnancy to temporarily cause high blood pressure. According to the CDC, it can occur in 1 out of every 12-17 pregnancies in those between the ages of 20-44. This can be dangerous for both mother and child. Fortunately, a controlled trial found that magnesium may help manage temporary blood pressure issues during pregnancy. Additional research is needed. Magnesium demands increase during pregnancy so it is important to make sure adequate levels are being consumed from foods or supplemented with to support a healthy pregnancy.

    In addition, magnesium plays a role in supporting healthy sleep patterns in those who experience occasional sleeplessness. Magnesium deficiencies can lead to occasional difficulty getting adequate, restful sleep. Research has found that supplementing with magnesium may benefit those dealing with occasional sleeplessness, due to its ability to manage stress hormones and relax muscle tension.

    Lastly, depending on the type, magnesium can support cardiovascular and cognitive health.

    What is constipation?

    Constipation is an uncomfortable and often distressing condition experienced by many individuals at some point in their lives. It is characterized by a lack of bowel movements and can be caused by a variety of factors. The prevalence of constipation varies from country to country and age group to age group; it has been estimated that approximately 20 percent of Americans suffer from the condition at some point in their lives.

    What can cause constipation?

    While causes may vary, typically constipation reflects either a lack of dietary fiber, lack of exercise, or other lifestyle factors. It can also be caused by certain health issues, like gut motility issues, among other digestive conditions. Although occasional constipation is common (due to external factors such as traveling and changes in diet), chronic constipation should always be addressed with your healthcare provider.

    Does magnesium make you poop?

    We’ve already discussed the numerous perks of magnesium. But, does magnesium also help make you poop? While research remains inconclusive , there are some key findings that suggest that magnesium can have a laxative effect on the digestive system depending on the dose and form of magnesium being used.

    Why magnesium may work for constipation

    One approach to managing occasional constipation is increasing dietary magnesium intake; studies suggest that supplementing one's diet with magnesium can help relieve symptoms due to its laxative effects on the body. It can help with occasional constipation due to travel changes in schedule or brief changes in diet.

    However, please note that it should not be used to address chronic constipation. Constipation that is chronic (meaning you experience infrequent bowel movements that persist for several weeks or longer) can be a sign of other health issues and should always be discussed with your doctor.

    What form of magnesium works best for combating constipation?

    Magnesium has been linked to counteracting occasional constipation, but not all forms of magnesium are effective for this purpose.

    One of the most commonly recommended forms of magnesium for occasional constipation is magnesium citrate. Magnesium citrate has a laxative effect and can help relieve occasional constipation quickly and effectively. It is often used in preparation for a colonoscopy. Magnesium citrate works by pulling water into the intestines, which helps soften stools so they are easier to pass. It may also help stimulate intestinal motility and secretion.

    Before looking into magnesium as a way to battle occasional constipation from traveling or temporary dietary changes, first consider taking a look at your current patterns of movement, dietary fiber intake, and hydration. It is important to note that you should not rely on any supplement to have bowel movements, as long-term use of certain stimulating herbs can result in dependency.

    Magnesium supplementation

    Because of the importance of magnesium, it’s recommended that adults get a certain amount each day through diet or supplements. Different forms of magnesium can be taken as dietary supplements, such as magnesium oxide, citrate, or chloride. The form will depend on individual needs and preferences as well as one’s goals.

    Recommended dosage

    According to the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA), adults should aim to get 320-420mg per day of magnesium from their diets and/or supplements.

    When to take the magnesium supplement

    For those looking for an answer on when to take a magnesium supplement, here are some tips to keep in mind.

    First and foremost, it is important to always consult your doctor before taking any kind of supplementation. If you are taking it only for bowel movement support, your doctor may have more personalized dosage recommendations.

    It is also important to take the supplement daily and with consistency so that you can properly raise serum levels.

    Potential side effects and risks of magnesium supplementation

    The most common potential side effect associated with magnesium supplementation is digestive discomfort with the potential for loose stools. This can occur due to the form or dosage of magnesium being used.

    Final takeaways

    Magnesium is an essential mineral with numerous health benefits. It can help promote many bodily functions, including digestion and bowel movements. It may relieve occasional constipation due to travel or changes in diet. Supplementing magnesium with vitamins or through food sources can ensure that the body has enough of this important mineral. However, it is important to consult with a doctor before starting any supplement regimen, especially for those who suffer from chronic constipation or other digestive problems.

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    Dr. Carla Montrond Correia ND, CNS
    Medical Content Manager
    Dr. Montrond-Correia is a licensed naturopathic physician and a certified nutrition specialist (CNS). She holds degrees from University of Bridgeport, Georgetown University, and University of Saint Joseph, and supplemented her education with internships in the health and wellness space. She's focused on research, herbal medicine, nutrigenomics, and integrative and functional medicine. She makes time for exercise, artistic activities, and enjoying delicious food.
    Jordana Tobelem, RD
    Freelance Contributor
    Jordana Tobelem is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys helping others become the best versions of themselves through proper nutrition education. Jordana is passionate about promoting lifestyle changes through nutrition, physical activity, and behavior to create a superior quality of life. She uses her experience in the clinical field of dietetics to provide consulting services to an array of healthcare brands and companies. Jordana loves finding the most current research in nutrition to create meaningful content to share with her clients. Jordana has been a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics since 2018 and also holds certifications in both Personal Training and Health Coaching.