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Perimenopause & Magnesium

By Jessica Bruso

You need the mineral magnesium to form new proteins, bone and DNA as well as for proper muscle and nerve function, maintaining your heart rhythm and regulating your blood sugar and blood pressure levels. Adult women need at least 320 milligrams per day. Getting enough magnesium may boost your health during perimenopause and menopause, but there isn't any evidence that taking extra magnesium is beneficial.

Metabolic Syndrome

Being deficient in magnesium may make you more likely to develop metabolic syndrome after menopause, according to a study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2004.

Another study, published in Diabetes Care in June 2005, came to a similar conclusion, noting that middle-aged and older women who consume low levels of magnesium are more likely to experience systemic inflammation and metabolic syndrome than women who consume more magnesium.

The average magnesium intake for women in the United States is only 68 percent of the recommended dietary allowance, according to a 2009 Journal of the American College of Nutrition article, so women in perimenopause may want to watch their magnesium intake to make sure they're getting enough of this essential mineral.

Hot Flashes

Decreased estrogen levels can be responsible for the uncomfortable and embarrassing hot flashes up to 90 percent of women in perimenopause experience. An article published in the Official Journal of the American Society of Clinical Oncology noted that magnesium supplements may help limit hot flashes, although further research is necessary to verify these effects and determine the optimal amount of magnesium to take.

Another article, published in the Journal of Mid-Life Health in 2013, also noted that magnesium helps regulate body temperature, as well as limiting the heart palpitations and mood disorders that can occur during perimenopause.

Osteoporosis Risk

The decline is estrogen levels that occurs during perimenopause and menopause increases your risk for osteoporosis, especially if you don't get enough calcium and vitamin D during menopause and the years preceding menopause. Magnesium may help limit the risk of osteoporosis. A study published in Biological Trace Element Research in February 2010 found that taking magnesium supplements for 30 days helped postmenopausal women decrease bone turnover. While this study used postmenopausal women, it's possible magnesium could have the same benefits in women in perimenopause.

Another article, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in 2009, noted that magnesium deficiency can lead to bone loss and a reduction in osteoblasts, which are cells necessary for producing new bone, both of which could increase osteoporosis risk.

Increasing Magnesium

Eating more magnesium-rich foods is the healthiest way to increase your magnesium intake. Good foods to include in your diet for this purpose are almonds, cashews, peanuts and peanut butter, fortified breakfast cereal, spinach, black beans, edamame, whole-grain bread, baked potatoes with skin, brown rice, low-fat yogurt and avocado.

Speak with your doctor before taking magnesium supplements, as these could interfere with certain medications, including antibiotics and medications for diabetes, blood pressure, thyroid and osteoporosis. In some cases, taking these supplements at a separate time from your medications may limit any risk involved.

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