When it comes to PCOS, nutritional deficiencies can be quite commonplace., which gets me thinking: ‘Did the chicken or the egg come first?'. In this context, whether it is the nutrient deficiency that exacerbates the PCOS symptoms whether having PCOS in itself cause deficiencies? Today's article is going to discuss the evidence surrounding magnesium and PCOS symptoms. Why? Because studies have suggested that women with PCOS are 19 times more likely to have a magnesium deficiency…not a figure to be taken lightly eh?!
Let's get straight to it. Magnesium is an important mineral involved in many processes that occur in the body. Some of these include:
Blood sugar control
Blood pressure control.
Creating energy from food.
Since magnesium is involved in many key processes within the body, it becomes evident why a deficiency can worsen many of the common symptoms that women with PCOS are afflicted with, such as intense cravings, mood disorders, extreme fatigue and swings in blood sugar.
What are the benefits of supplementing with magnesium?
Anxiety and mood disorders occur quite commonly in women with PCOS, and studies have suggested that a magnesium deficiency can exacerbate mood disorders. This may be due to the role that magnesium plays in increasing serotonin levels- a brain chemical that regulates mood, in addition to allows the brain and the cells of the nervous system to communicate with each other.
Reduces insulin resistance
We know that 70-90% of women with PCOS suffer with insulin resistance., which in turn is a key exacerbator of many common PCOS symptoms. Magnesium helps to shuttle glucose into the cells, subsequently fueling our body. If there is insufficient magnesium, glucose is unable to enter the cells in adequate quantities which can then lead to blood sugar dysregulation, chronic fatigue and increasing the risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
Chronic inflammation is another driver of PCOS symptoms. A marker of inflammation in the body is called CRP and if this is raised without an acute cause or underlying illness, then it can be suggestive of chronic inflammation. One study explored the effects of magnesium supplementation on lowering inflammation. Women with PCOS were assigned to take either a supplement that contained zinc and magnesium, or one which contained only a placebo. The group that took the magnesium-containing group had marked improvements in their inflammatory markers.
How much should you supplement?
Health guideline have set an upper safe daily limit of 350mg magnesium from supplements. This is because higher doses can lead to symptoms such as diarrhoea, nausea, heart disturbances and cramping. The extra magnesium from food sources such as wholegrains, fish, nuts, legumes, poultry and beef is not a concern since the kidneys are able to eliminate any excess amount through urine. If you do wish to supplement with magnesium, it is best to speak with a healthcare professional to ascertain whether this is right for you. As a rule of thumb, avoid supplementing with any supplement that contains more than 350mg of magnesium. In addition, the biglycinate and glycinate forms of magnesium tend to be better absorbed. The other forms are more likely to cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhoea, nausea and cramping.
Liked what you read? I have so MANY MORE gems to offer that can help you reverse your PCOS symptoms. If you are struggling to manage your PCOS and want to have more treatment options than 'just lose weight', or 'start the pill', then contact me here for a FREE discovery call to find out more on how my science-backed nutrition strategies can get you on the road to massive success.