Magnesium Chloride: Benefits & Side Effects

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

Adding magnesium chloride supplements to your daily regimen can have a number of excellent health benefits.

Magnesium Chloride

Magnesium chloride (MgCl2) is a form of magnesium that is commonly sold as a supplement. Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral in the body that is a crucial component of muscle and nerve function. It is necessary for cell-to-cell communication, and over 300 enzymes rely upon it to activate. It also helps produce ATP, DNA, and RNA, as well as proteins. In fact, magnesium is the fourth most common element in our body. Most people usually receive enough magnesium from their daily diet. Foods like spinach, quinoa, almonds, cashews, and whole grains are all great natural sources of magnesium.

There are many conditions and illnesses that can cause magnesium to leach from your body, including alcoholism, a bad diet, or untreated diabetes. Even severe mental or emotional stress can cause magnesium levels to plummet. Older women are particularly prone to low magnesium as they get older and experience bone deterioration. [1] [2]

Symptoms of magnesium deficiency can include muscle weakness and involuntary twitching, seizures, headaches, insomnia, depression, anxiety, and fatigue. Very severe deficiency can result in glucose imbalance and metabolic problems.

A close-up shot of a plate of magnesium chloride flakes

Magnesium Flakes are a highly concentrated form of magnesium chloride. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Magnesium chloride is the most common supplemental form of magnesium and is used primarily to treat deficiency. However, even if you have healthy levels of magnesium, there are still some benefits to taking magnesium supplements.

Magnesium Chloride Benefits

Magnesium chloride is good for improving bone density, strengthening heart health, treating magnesium deficiency, and relieving stress and anxiety among others. Let us look at the benefits in detail.

Bone Density

Magnesium is required for the body to absorb or produce vitamin D, and without vitamin D, the body is unable to produce calcium naturally. Calcium is the mineral that supports healthy, dense bones with a strong structure. According to a study conducted by Dr. J.E. Sojka, published in Nutrition Reviews, magnesium supplementation is able to reduce the likelihood and occurrence of fractures, particularly in elderly subjects. [3]

Postmenopausal women or women suffering from osteoporosis are particularly at risk for low bone density due to magnesium deficiency. However, it should be noted that excessive levels of magnesium can also be detrimental to bone density, so maintaining healthy levels is key. [4]

Cardiovascular Health

Magnesium has many important roles in the cardiovascular system. Not only is it responsible for the healthy electrical activity of the heart itself, but it is also required for blood vessel dilation, fat metabolism, and for preventing clotting. A diet that includes magnesium-rich foods can lower your chance of heart disease by almost 30%. Magnesium chloride is also recommended for lowering blood pressure and effectively supports other blood pressure medications as well. [5]

Brain and Nerve Health

Magnesium has been shown to help support recovery from neurological disorders or injury. In various studies, magnesium improved learning ability and nerve regeneration. Magnesium deficiency has been linked to arterial brain spasm, and people suffering from chronic migraines or tension headaches often have low magnesium levels. High doses of magnesium chloride have reduced the flare-up of headaches and alleviated the severity and duration of migraines. [6]

Reducing Anxiety and Depression

Magnesium is useful in the treatment of several mood and psychological disorders. Low magnesium levels have been linked to OCD and chronic high anxiety. It is also suspected to be a culprit in the development of ADHD. Furthermore, low magnesium levels have been found again and again in patients suffering from depression. Magnesium chloride supplements can help alleviate symptoms of depression, premenstrual syndrome, postpartum depression, and chronic fatigue. [7]

Supports Mitochondrial Function

Without magnesium, your cellular mitochondria would cease to function. Magnesium assists in key mitochondrial functions, like the production of ATP (cellular energy), electron transport, and oxygen detoxification. Without magnesium, your cells are not able to provide power to your body and would be extremely vulnerable to oxidative stress. With all the talk about antioxidants, magnesium is one of the most important minerals you can take to improve your cellular resistance to free radicals. Consequently, it is also believed that magnesium can help slow down signs of aging. [8]

Healthy Kidney and Pancreatic Function

Low magnesium levels have been linked to a risk of increased mortality in both chronic kidney disease sufferers and patients undergoing dialysis. Low magnesium levels can also lead to elevated levels of calcium in the pancreas, increasing the risk of pancreatitis. Magnesium supplements are often used to reduce kidney toxicity as the result of chemotherapy. [9]

Side Effects of Magnesium Chloride

Too much magnesium can be just as dangerous as too little. High magnesium levels have been linked to thyroid disorders, reduced bone mineralization, and diarrhea. Magnesium chloride supplements may cause stomach upset, nausea and vomiting, and gastrointestinal distress. An extremely high build-up of magnesium in the body can result in the lowered heartbeat, coma, trouble breathing, and even death. Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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