Menopause occurs when a woman’s period stops for at least a year.
All women go through menopause – a hormonal shift linked to ageing (although a small proportion of women experience premature and early menopause).
These hormonal changes, most commonly experienced between 45 and 55, can trigger physical and mental symptoms.
So, will using magnesium for menopause help relieve some of these symptoms?
Much of what happens to women’s bodies during menopause is clouded in secrecy – the end of fertility is often seen as a signifier of age or hitting a particular ‘stage’ in life, and historically there is still a lot of stigma attached to the topic.
This means women often don’t feel able to discuss their symptoms and seek help.
So there’s still lots to learn about menopause – including which supplements and medications may help.
Here’s what women should know about:
- The benefits of magnesium for menopause
- Which type of magnesium is best for menopause
- How to use magnesium for menopause
In this guide:
Is magnesium good for menopause?
The million-dollar question: Does magnesium for menopause work?
Magnesium plays a crucial role in maintaining our health, including supporting muscle and nerve function and energy production.
The magnesium we store naturally in our bodies declines during menopause, so it’s particularly important to replace it at this time.
Why does this happen?
Well, during menopause, ovaries produce fewer hormones – including estrogen and testosterone. This leads to a myriad of symptoms, including mood changes, depression, insomnia, joint pain and hot flushes.
Replacing your body’s depleted magnesium can be achieved through a balanced diet, but supplements can also be an excellent way to maintain healthy magnesium levels.
Benefits of magnesium for menopause
Let’s look at how this vital mineral can ease common symptoms of menopause.
Up to 60% of women suffer from sleep problems when menopausal. Sleep quality and insomnia are commonly linked to the shift in estrogen and progesterone levels in the body.
Other symptoms may also disrupt sleep quality, including feelings of depression and hot flushes.
While more research is needed, studies have found that magnesium supplements can significantly improve sleep quality – and quantity – in older adults.
Research doesn’t intrinsically link magnesium with sleep issues triggered by menopause, but it does signify that magnesium can be helpful for older people experiencing sleep issues.
Other research also suggests magnesium may be more effective in helping women manage sleep issues than men.
More than 80% of women experience hot flashes during menopause.
Hot flushes can manifest as sensations of sweating, flushing, anxiety, and chills and generally last between 1 and 5 minutes. The experiences can be highly distressing, especially if they are severe or occur frequently.
One study tracked the effectiveness of magnesium in reducing hot flushes experienced by breast cancer patients who experienced hot flushes. It found that those consuming oral magnesium experienced more than a 50% reduction in symptoms compared to a placebo group.
Around 50 to 60% of the body’s magnesium is stored in our bones.
During perimenopause and menopause, women need to look after their bone health – particularly in light of the link between menopause and osteoporosis. This condition weakens bones and may cause fractures.
A growing body of research indicates magnesium supplements are an excellent way to support bone health naturally. Studies have found that consuming magnesium supplements increased bone mineral density and decreased fracture risk in participants.
Depression and Anxiety
Hormonal changes during menopause can impact mental as well as physical health. Many women report heightened feelings of stress and anxiety, as well as a greater tendency to feel depressed during menopause.
It’s not a cure-all, but preliminary studies have indicated magnesium may benefit those experiencing mental ill health. Research supports the theory that magnesium helps regulate neurotransmitters in the brain and contributes to healthy psychological functioning.
One study found that participants who took between 248 and 500 milligrams of magnesium daily showed reduced depressive symptoms. A second found that if menopausal women had higher levels of magnesium and zinc, they were less likely to report feelings of depression.
What type of magnesium is best for menopause?
Not all supplements are made equal – this includes magnesium!
As well as supplement quality varying, there are different types of magnesium to be aware of.
So, what type of magnesium is best for menopause?
Unfortunately, there’s also no ‘one answer fits all- the type of magnesium you choose may depend on the particular symptoms you’re most keen to find relief from.
Let’s take a look at the types of magnesium most (and least!) suited to menopause.
Magnesium L threonate
Magnesium threonate is an excellent choice of magnesium supplementation, as it’s widely thought to be the most bioavailable form of magnesium.
As well as being easily absorbed by the body. Magnesium threonate is thought to have neuroprotective qualities – although studies have so far only been conducted on animals.
Magnesium citrate is another form of magnesium with high bioavailability. Magnesium is an essential mineral for healthy bodily function – we mix citrate with magnesium threonate to produce our highly absorbable magnesium sleep blend – a great solution for those suffering from sleep issues!
Magnesium glycinate is considered an excellent supplement to take when trying to correct a deficiency. As such, glycinate is widely thought to be well-suited to relieve multiple symptoms of menopause.
Magnesium malate is also a great option if you’re looking for an energy boost. The mineral helps the body produce ATP – the molecule which provides our cells with energy. Magnesium malate works well for those struggling with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia.
Magnesium chloride can be a good option for women going through menopause who may struggle to absorb nutrients (for example, if they suffer from IBS) – as it can be applied topically. Magnesium chloride is also particularly good for those who struggle with sleep and anxiety.
Magnesium oxide and magnesium stearate
Both magnesium oxide and magnesium stearate – have very low bioavailability and are unlikely to help replenish your magnesium levels. Some people have also reported allergic reactions from consuming magnesium stearate.
How much magnesium should you take for menopause?
So what’s the correct dosage of magnesium for menopause?
While there’s no set guideline for how much magnesium should be taken for menopause, most studies have reported a positive impact of supplementation when observed participants consumed between 250 and 400mg of magnesium per day.
The NHS website advises not to take ‘too much’ magnesium and clarifies that having 400mg or less a day from supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.
The EU Nutrient Reference Value (NRV) of elemental magnesium is 375mg daily.
We’d advise always staying within these guidelines and consulting a medical professional before integrating a new supplement into any health or wellness routine.
A doctor, nurse or pharmacist can advise on a dosage that is right and safe for you.
How to choose the best magnesium supplement for menopause UK
Which are the best magnesium supplements for menopause? How do I choose a trustworthy brand?
In terms of how effectively the supplement gets absorbed, taking magnesium in powdered form over tablet form is most effective. This is because tablets requires stomach acid to break down the capsule and mineral, leading to a reduced absorption rate than when it’s ingested in a dissolved powder form.
Always ensure the brand you are purchasing your magnesium from provides lab reports for all supplements. This will ensure the product has been through proper testing, safety and quality procedures.
Brands with products that are certified as 100% natural, organic and non-GMO are always the best choice. This will ensure you aren’t consuming any heavy meals or unnecessary additives.
Final thoughts on magnesium and the menopause
While the best source of magnesium is a healthy, balanced diet, supplementation can be particularly beneficial for pre-menopausal, menopausal and also post-menopausal women.
So, while using magnesium for menopause is not a magic cure, but it might help relieve so symptoms.
If you think your magnesium levels could be low, a doctor can run a magnesium blood test to help determine whether supplements may be beneficial for you.