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Last modified on October 27th, 2022
Does magnesium lower estrogen? If you can get enough magnesium, it may help balance your hormones. Magnesium is needed for hundreds of enzyme responses. These responses affect your hormone balance.
Many women are deficient in magnesium, and if you can take easy steps to reverse it, you can balance your hormones and feel better overall.
The Importance of Magnesium
Magnesium is a mineral abundantly found in our bodies and food. The mineral is essential and serves as a cofactor for more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate your body’s reactions.
- These include protein synthesis, nerve and muscle function, control of blood glucose, and regulation of blood vessels and blood pressure, which helps prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Magnesium is needed for energy production, the synthesis of DNA and RNA, and the production of glutathione.
- Dietary magnesium intake can come from foods that include leafy greens, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, black beans, and avocado.
- Chicken breast, ground beef, and fish can also provide magnesium from food.
- Your body stores around half of your magnesium in your tissues and organs. The rest combines with calcium, where it’s then stored in your bones, strengthening them and keeping them healthy.
- You only have around 1% of your total magnesium free in your blood, so blood tests aren’t a very effective way to determine your levels and whether or not you have a deficiency.
Magnesium works alongside calcium. If you take a calcium supplement, but you aren’t getting enough magnesium, you could experience increased anxiety or joint pain.
Some of the many roles magnesium has include:
- Energy production—magnesium attaches to ATP, which is how it creates energy
- Builds and creates healthy bones
- Manages hormone levels, including steroid hormones and sex hormones
- Turns food into fuel
- Muscle relaxation
- Body temperature regulation
- It helps in the digestion of carbs, fats, and proteins
- Filters toxins like mercury and aluminum
- Glutathione production, which is one of the most powerful antioxidants
- Helps your internal clock work more effectively
Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
There is research showing that up to 75% of Americans aren’t meeting the recommended intake of magnesium.
Early signs of magnesium deficiency include:
- Decreased appetite
- Feeling on-edge
- Quick exhaustion during exercise
Complications and severe signs of magnesium deficiency can include:
- Twitches, tremors, and muscle cramps
- Mental health disorders, including anxiety and deficiency
- Muscle weakness
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Kidney stones
- Blood clots
- Memory problems
If you don’t have enough magnesium, it’s known as hypomagnesemia.
Causes of Low Magnesium
Low magnesium is usually due to one of two general factors. The first is decreased absorption in the gut. The second is increased excretion of magnesium through your urine.
Some of the conditions that can raise the risk of low magnesium include:
- GI conditions like Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease, and chronic diarrhea can impair magnesium absorption or lead to increased magnesium loss
- Type 2 diabetes because your kidneys tend to excrete more urine
- Heavy alcohol use
- Using diuretics that lead to loss of electrolytes
- Aging can cause gut absorption of magnesium to decrease
- Excessive sweating
- Medicines like cisplatin, cyclosporine, proton pump inhibitors, and diuretics
There are also less direct causes of magnesium deficiency that are important to understand.
- For example, when your gut isn’t healthy, even if you don’t have a diagnosable condition, it can cause you to be magnesium deficient.
- Chronic stress or always feeling like you’re in fight-or-flight mode can deplete magnesium.
- Soil depletion and food processing are other issues that can impact your levels. The use of harsh chemicals in farming depletes the minerals in the soil where crops are grown, so we’re likely getting less magnesium from our food.
- As far as food processing, even in healthy foods, it can diminish the nutritional value. You might be having magnesium-rich foods but still not getting much of the mineral because of the adverse effects of processing.
- If you have low stomach acid, which is especially common in people with autoimmune disorders, it can negatively affect your absorption of magnesium.
- Taking too much zinc can lower magnesium levels in some people, and iron can bind to magnesium, lowering the amount available to enter your cells.
- If you eat oxalates at the same time as food or supplements with magnesium, they can bind to the mineral and prevent it from being absorbed. Oxalates include chocolate, nuts, soy, spinach, and Swiss chard.
- Magnesium binds to fluoride, so if you’re drinking unfiltered water, it could impair your magnesium absorption.
- Alcohol abuse can impact magnesium levels, but even just drinking occasionally might have an effect. Alcohol can leach the magnesium from your body, and the more you drink, the greater the risk for depletion.
- Carbonated drinks can deplete magnesium because of something in them called phosphoric acid.
- If you eat a lot of sugar, your body has to use magnesium to process it rather than be put to better use.
- Caffeine forces your body to excrete magnesium and other vital minerals.
The Effects of Magnesium on Hormones
We’re going to talk more specifically about the relationship between magnesium and estrogen and answer “does magnesium lower estrogen,” but first, it’s valuable to understand the overall effects the mineral can have on our hormones.
We talk a lot about the importance of magnesium, but not necessarily in terms of hormones. There are a lot of ways getting it from food or taking a magnesium supplement can correct hormone imbalance or prevent it altogether.
The specific role of magnesium on hormones other than your levels of estrogen include:
- The mineral helps convert the T4 thyroid hormone, which is less active, to more active T3, affecting thyroid function
- Magnesium helps reduce overactivity in the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis, which can help reduce anxiety and manage your reaction to stress through the reduced production of stress hormones.
- Magnesium can help lower blood sugar, so much so that you’ll sometimes see it referred to as natural metformin for pre-and diabetic patients. Since magnesium plays a role in stabilizing blood sugar, women may experience fewer cravings when they have adequate levels, allowing them to lose weight more easily or maintain optimal healthy weight. When you’re magnesium deficient, it can increase the risk of impaired insulin and the development of type 2 diabetes along with metabolic syndrome.
- Anabolic hormones like DHEA and human growth hormones are produced when we sleep. Magnesium helps by promoting better quality of sleep. When you’re getting enough sleep, and it’s high-quality, your body can optimally produce hormones and repair cellular damage.
- Magnesium aids the conversion of an amino acid called tryptophan into serotonin. Serotonin is a key mood-boosting hormone. Serotonin also produces melatonin.
- Magnesium will also regulate calcium ion flow in calcium channels in your brain. When you’re deficient, you may experience reductions in brain function, leading to symptoms of depression.
- The more magnesium-deficient you are, the greater your risk of anxiety and depression. Some of the most compelling positive effects of magnesium include its benefits for mental health.
Does Magnesium Lower Estrogen?
Now, back to our original question—does magnesium lower estrogen?
Magnesium can potentially lower estrogen, and more than that, it promotes optimal hormone balance if you have a hormonal imbalance, including estrogen dominance.
For example, research shows magnesium may be a treatment for PMS. Researchers theorize that it may calm the nervous system and normalize the actions of hormones. For PMS, magnesium works especially well with vitamin B6, and it can be used for the prevention of premenstrual migraines also in premenopausal women.
Magnesium supports something called COMT enzyme in the liver, so it allows your body to clear excess estrogen in a healthy way. Magnesium, as a result, may help reduce the risk of symptoms and conditions related to an excessive rise in estrogen or a chronically high level of estrogen, including fibroids.
In women going through menopause, magnesium may relieve hot flash symptoms, and it can continue to help postmenopausal women.
When you have adequate levels of magnesium, it helps your hormones move through the proper pathways, solving multiple imbalances.
Final Thoughts—Does Magnesium Lower Estrogen?
Does magnesium lower estrogen? It can, but only if you have excess levels. Essentially, when you have enough estrogen, it helps you to have optimal hormone balance in general. Your estrogen levels can balance out, as can your brain neurotransmitters because magnesium helps all of your pathways and detox mechanisms work properly.
There are a lot of different forms of magnesium in supplement forms, such as magnesium glycinate and magnesium oxide. We encourage you to take a look at our other posts on the mineral to learn more about the benefits of magnesium, the right dose of magnesium, and how to choose the best supplemental magnesium.
Magnesium can also help with other hormone-related symptoms, such as PMS and migraines.