Magnesium is one of those nutrients that is essential to modern life. It’s a big statement but we think it’s likely that most of western society are deficient or at the very least would benefit deeply, from more in their diets. Why? Because magnesium is involved in more bodily processes than one could count.
We could even safely call magnesium the multitasking mineral - it’s essential for proper muscle function, flexibility, post exercise recovery and for facilitating the transmission of nerve signals between our brain and our body. It’s also needed for bone density, heart health and protein synthesis which involves growth, repair, and maintenance of all tissues in the body!
How Is Magnesium Good for Arthritis Pain?
As if magnesium wasn’t already a superhero, it also fights inflammation in our bodies by helping to calm down the production of troublemaking inflammatory molecules. In fact, when it comes to arthritis, using magnesium can be likened to giving your joints the extra love they need, so adding magnesium-rich foods into your diet or opting to supplement each day is certainly something to think about for anyone dealing with arthritis. But don’t just take our word for it, the research is also catching up.
One cross sectional study in 2020 found that lower magnesium levels were linked to a higher risk of rheumatoid arthritis, while another looked into how magnesium supplements might help with the pain and movement in knee osteoarthritis.
Another study from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people with higher dietary magnesium intake had lower levels of an inflammation marker known as C-reactive protein (CRP). We know that higher CRP levels relate to arthritis progression and acute inflammation.
Lastly, a study published in the Journal of Sports Science and Medicine found that magnesium supplementation improved muscle function in elderly women. With arthritis hugely impacting people’s mobility, and capacity to exercise and build muscle, this seems like a necessary nutrient for all sufferers.
So it’s pretty clear that magnesium maintains healthy joints and it does so in a great number of ways. Magnesium plays a role in:
- Reducing inflammation
- Supporting overall musculoskeletal function
- Easing tension through muscle relaxation
- Normalising muscle contraction
- Joint flexibility and mobility
- Supporting strong and resilient joints
- Aiding in the absorption and metabolism of calcium
- Working in tandem with calcium to promote the development and maintenance of strong bones
- Nerve transmission and neurotransmitter regulation which influences our perception of pain.
- Cushioning and protecting joints through synthesis of cartilage components (glycosaminoglycans)
How to Increase Your Magnesium Intake
The best way is to start by including magnesium-rich foods in your diet.
- Dark chocolate
- Fatty fish: salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, anchovies, herring.
- Leafy greens: Spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and collard greens
- Nuts and Seeds: Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds
- Whole Grains: brown rice, quinoa, oats, millet.
Consider Taking Supplements
Magnesium supplements, like all nutrients are unstable in nature and thus we must bind them to something in order for them to be consumed. Well absorbed forms are bound to amino-acids - because the body recognised these so well (from the proteins we eat!) they get immediately absorbed into the blood stream. Unfortunately there are many cheap and poorly absorbed forms out there.
This is part of the reason we created Magnesium, Sleep, Pain (MSP) which not only has the most bioavailable forms of magnesium but also combines copper, boswellia, turmeric, lemon balm, and glycine for a powerful anti-inflammatory supplement that also assists with sleep - a necessary process for healing and pain relief.
If you need more support with your arthritis we also have an online naturopathic clinic where you can get the 1:1 attention and guidance you deserve.