Can Magnesium Help Suppress Appetite and Aid in Weight Loss?
Magnesium is an essential mineral that is necessary for over 600 enzyme systems in the body, including ones that regulate metabolism and blood sugar.1 Some research suggests that magnesium may also be important in appetite control, leading researchers to investigate whether magnesium and weight loss are linked. There is a stronger link between low magnesium levels, increased inflammation, and obesity, and between magnesium levels and blood sugar control. It is currently not clear whether magnesium supplementation can make it easier to lose weight.
Besides potential weight loss benefits, magnesium supports heart health, reduces inflammation, maintains bone density, and reduces headaches.
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Magnesium Sources and Intake
Magnesium can be found in dietary sources. Some excellent dietary sources of magnesium include dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, whole grains, legumes, fish, and fortified foods. However, it is essential to note that some factors, such as soil depletion and food processing, can affect the magnesium content of foods. Tap, mineral, and bottled water may also contain magnesium.
Besides dietary sources, magnesium supplements come in a variety of forms, including magnesium oxide, citrate, and chloride.
According to the National Institutes of Health, even though magnesium is available from a wide variety of sources, almost half of all Americans, regardless of age, are consuming less magnesium from food and beverages than their estimated average requirement (EAR).
Symptoms associated with low magnesium levels include:
- Nighttime leg cramps
- Numbness or tingling in hands or feet
- Irregular heartbeats
Magnesium deficiency is rare. People at the highest risk for magnesium deficiency are those with gastrointestinal diseases, type 2 diabetes, and alcohol dependence. Older adults tend to have lower magnesium intake than younger adults, putting them at increased risk for magnesium deficiency.
Excessively high magnesium intake increases the risk of nausea, diarrhea, and abdominal cramping.
Magnesium and Weight Loss
Magnesium plays several roles in the body that may contribute to a potential link between magnesium and weight loss.
Magnesium and Appetite Regulation
One potential mechanism by which magnesium and weight loss may be related is through magnesium’s impact on appetite. Research has shown that magnesium can stimulate the release of cholecystokinin (CCK). This hormone helps to suppress hunger and reduce food intake. CCK acts on the brain to signal feelings of fullness, leading to a decrease in appetite.2
Magnesium and Metabolism
Maintaining a healthy metabolism is crucial for weight management. Magnesium plays a role in hundreds of metabolic processes, including converting food into energy and regulating insulin sensitivity.
Insulin is a hormone that helps to control blood sugar levels, and magnesium has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. This makes it easier for your body to maintain healthy blood sugar levels, which can aid in weight-loss efforts.3
Low magnesium levels can worsen insulin resistance and increase your risk of type 2 diabetes. Having insulin resistance can also contribute to low magnesium levels, setting up a cycle.
It is unclear whether supplementing with magnesium improves blood sugar control in people with diabetes.4 While magnesium supplementation increases insulin sensitivity, it doesn’t increase insulin secretion from the pancreas.5 Insulin sensitivity may be a potential mechanism linking magnesium and weight loss.
Magnesium and Inflammation
Obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes are three interrelated medical conditions that are all characterized by increased inflammation. Magnesium deficits are common in people with these three chronic diseases.6,7
Chronic inflammation can disrupt hormone signaling. This suggests a potential link between low magnesium levels, chronic inflammation, hormonal imbalances, and metabolic conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome.
In one study, researchers tracked C-reactive protein (CRP), a marker of inflammation. They noted that taking magnesium supplements was associated with reduced inflammation and better blood sugar control.8
In another study, researchers found that weight loss is a critical factor needed to reduce inflammation when people meet the criteria for being overweight or having obesity.9
Inflammation is increased in obesity, and magnesium may reduce inflammation, suggesting a potential link between magnesium and weight loss.
Magnesium and Sleep Quality
Getting adequate sleep is essential for overall health and weight management. Magnesium has been found to play a role in improving sleep quality. It helps to regulate the body’s circadian rhythm, balances hormones associated with falling asleep and staying asleep, and promotes relaxation.
By improving sleep quality, magnesium may indirectly support weight-loss efforts by reducing fatigue and promoting optimal metabolic function. Poor sleep quality and quantity are associated with weight gain and obesity.10
Magnesium and Mood
Mood and emotional well-being can significantly impact weight management. Research has shown a link between magnesium deficiency and an increased risk of depression and anxiety.
Magnesium plays a role in the production and regulation of neurotransmitters and hormones associated with mood, such as serotonin and GABA.
Depression is associated with an increased risk of obesity. Likewise, obesity is associated with an increased risk of depression.11 Restoring magnesium levels can reduce depression and anxiety, which can make it easier to lose weight.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that your body needs for hundreds of chemical reactions. Its ability to potentially suppress appetite, regulate metabolism, improve sleep quality, and improve mood can all help you lose weight. While increasing your magnesium levels will not cause weight loss, it may help promote weight loss by ensuring your body has adequate magnesium to function optimally.
Most Americans do not get as much magnesium in their diet as they should. Incorporating magnesium-rich foods into your diet and supplementing as needed can help ensure you have optimal magnesium levels and support your overall health and well-being.
Magnesium supplementation will not likely play a large part in your weight-loss plans. Achieving and maintaining a healthy weight involves a holistic approach that includes consuming a balanced diet, engaging in regular physical activity, and making any necessary lifestyle changes necessary to support your weight loss goals. Although magnesium can be a valuable tool in your weight loss journey, it should be viewed as part of a comprehensive plan for long-term success.
Suppose lifestyle changes are not enough to help you meet your weight-loss goals. Very effective anti-obesity medications are available to suppress your appetite, reduce your cravings, and increase insulin release from your pancreas. Talk to a treatment specialist at Invigor Medical to learn more about these weight-loss prescription medications.
Get started today with one of our Weight Loss Treatment Plans.
- Fiorentini D, Cappadone C, Farruggia G, Prata C. Magnesium: Biochemistry, Nutrition, Detection, and Social Impact of Diseases Linked to Its Deficiency. Nutrients. 2021; 13(4):1136. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13041136
- Kreft S, Štrukelj B. Influence of Magnesium Sulphate on Cholecystokinin, Hunger, and Obesity. Progr Nutr [Internet]. 2021 Oct. 11 [cited 2023 Dec. 15];23(3). Available from: https://www.mattioli1885journals.com/index.php/progressinnutrition/article/view/9081
- de Baaij JH, Hoenderop JG, Bindels RJ. Magnesium in man: implications for health and disease. Physiol Rev. 2015;95(1):1-46. doi:10.1152/physrev.00012.2014
- Wan Nik WNFH, Zulkeflee HA, Ab Rahim SN, Tuan Ismail TS. Association of vitamin D and magnesium with insulin sensitivity and their influence on glycemic control. World J Diabetes. 2023;14(1):26-34. doi:10.4239/wjd.v14.i1.26
- Solati M, Kazemi L, Shahabi Majd N, Keshavarz M, Pouladian N, Soltani N. Oral herbal supplement containing magnesium sulfate improve metabolic control and insulin resistance in non-diabetic overweight patients: A randomized double blind clinical trial. Med J Islam Repub Iran. 2019 Feb 6;33:2. doi: 10.34171/mjiri.33.2. PMID: 31086781; PMCID: PMC6504991.
- Nielsen FH. Magnesium deficiency and increased inflammation: current perspectives. J Inflamm Res. 2018;11:25-34. doi:10.2147/JIR.S136742
- Piuri G, Zocchi M, Della Porta M, Ficara V, Manoni M, Zuccotti GV, Pinotti L, Maier JA, Cazzola R. Magnesium in Obesity, Metabolic Syndrome, and Type 2 Diabetes. Nutrients. 2021 Jan 22;13(2):320. doi: 10.3390/nu13020320. PMID: 33499378; PMCID: PMC7912442.
- Mazidi M, Rezaie P, Banach M. Effect of magnesium supplements on serum C-reactive protein: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Med Sci. 2018 Jun;14(4):707-716. doi:10.5114/aoms.2018.75719
- Bianchi VE. Weight loss is a critical factor to reduce inflammation. Clin Nutr ESPEN. 2018;28:21-35. doi:10.1016/j.clnesp.2018.08.007
- Antza C, Kostopoulos G, Mostafa S, Nirantharakumar K, Tahrani A. The links between sleep duration, obesity and type 2 diabetes mellitus. J Endocrinol. 2021;252(2):125-141. doi:10.1530/JOE-21-0155
- Milaneschi, Y., Simmons, W.K., van Rossum, E.F.C. et al. Depression and obesity: evidence of shared biological mechanisms. Mol Psychiatry 24, 18–33 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41380-018-0017-5