Magnesium and Menopause: A Vital Mineral for Women's Health Over Fifty

by David Zelniker on June 12, 2024

Are you a woman over fifty, navigating the ups and downs of the menopause? Meet magnesium, the mineral which can help you tackle symptoms like hot flashes, mood swings and sleep apnea.

Magnesium is crucial for regulating muscle and nerve function, ensuring bone health and preserving energy levels. However, as people age and go through menopause their magnesium levels may decline.

In this article we'll explore the benefits of magnesium for menopause, the best ways to use it to relieve symptoms and how much you should be taking to feel at your best.

The Role of Magnesium for Women Over Fifty


As women enter their fifties their bodies undergo significant changes due to menopause. At this time magnesium becomes increasingly important for maintaining overall health and managing menopausal symptoms.

Benefits of Magnesium for Menopause

  1. Reduces hot flashes and night sweats: Magnesium helps regulate body temperature, reducing the frequency and intensity of hot flashes and night sweats.
  2. Supports bone health: Women over fifty are at a higher risk of osteoporosis. Low intracellular magnesium level results in low absorption of Calcium even if you dramatically increase your Calcium supplementation. 

There is also a downside to over supplementation of Calcium, as our body does not exhaust excess amounts. Before increasing Calcium supplementation, start taking magnesium for a few months to absorb Calcium which is already “floating” in your body and has not been absorbed due to lack of Magnesium.

  1. Promotes better sleep: Magnesium calms the nervous system, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep, even during menopause.
  2. Eases mood swings and anxiety: Magnesium plays a role in regulating the neurotransmitters which affect mood, helping reduce anxiety and irritability.
  3. Relieves muscle aches and cramps: Magnesium helps relax the muscles, reducing the severity of the cramps and aches often experienced during menopause.

Magnesium's Impact on Menopause Symptoms

Magnesium can significantly impact the severity and frequency of menopause symptoms. By understanding how magnesium works in the body, women over fifty can make informed decisions about incorporating this nutrient into their diet and supplementation routine.

How Does Magnesium Help With Menopause?

  1. Regulates hormonal balance: Magnesium helps balance estrogen and progesterone levels, which can fluctuate dramatically during menopause.
  2. Reduces inflammation: Magnesium has anti-inflammatory properties which can help alleviate joint pain and reduce the risk of chronic diseases associated with menopause.
  3. Supports heart health: Women over fifty are at a higher risk of heart disease. Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure and maintain a healthy heartbeat.
  4. Manages blood sugar levels: Magnesium plays a role in insulin sensitivity, helping to control blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Scientific Evidence Supporting Magnesium's Effectiveness

Several studies have investigated the potential benefits of magnesium for menopause symptom relief:

  1. A 2011 pilot study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research found that magnesium supplementation improved insomnia in menopausal women. 
  2. A 2012 review published in the Journal of Mid-life Health suggested that magnesium may play a role in preventing osteoporosis, but more research is needed to establish its effectiveness in postmenopausal women specifically.
  3. A 2019 cross-sectional study published in the journal Biological Trace Element Research found an association between higher magnesium intake and reduced depression symptoms in postmenopausal women. 

Best Forms of Magnesium for Menopause Relief

Magnesium is available in many different forms. The most common is capsules, available under several different brand names. 

These generally contain the purest forms of magnesium available, sourced from the Dead Sea or other places where it is not exposed to modern contaminants. Magnesium capsules are the primary means of maintaining consistent blood pressure and heart rhythm and strengthening bones.

Magnesium Spray, gel or lotion have also become popular. This also helps preserve bone health, relax muscles and improve skin elasticity and softness. 

Magnesium gel is particularly suitable for those with dry skin, who might otherwise find it difficult to absorb a magnesium intake. It can be used before or after exercise, or as part of a bedtime routine.  

If you aren’t comfortable using gel, there is magnesium Spray. This is applied directly to the skin in the same way as a gel, but diffused slightly easier. 

The magnesium in a body spray is absorbed faster, going straight into the blood vessels rather than being absorbed over time. It raises nutrient levels in the applied area and can be used anywhere, at any time, as your lifestyle dictates.

Recommended Magnesium Intake for Menopause

For women going through menopause ensuring adequate magnesium intake is crucial. However it can be a challenge to determine the right amount, as individual needs may vary based on factors such as age, overall health and the presence of specific menopause symptoms.

How Much Magnesium for Menopause?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for magnesium varies based on age and sex. For women over fifty, the RDA is 320 mg per day. However, some experts suggest that higher doses may be beneficial for managing menopause symptoms.

A 2011 pilot study published in the Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology Research found that a daily dose of 800 mg of magnesium improved insomnia in menopausal women. Another study published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research in 2012 showed that a daily intake of 250 mg of magnesium reduced the frequency and severity of hot flashes in postmenopausal women.

However, while these studies do suggest there are potential benefits to using higher magnesium doses it's essential to consult with a healthcare professional before exceeding the RDA, as excessive magnesium intake can lead to side effects such as diarrhea, nausea and abdominal cramping.

Adjusting Magnesium Intake for Women Over Fifty

In addition to considering the RDA and specific menopause symptoms, women over fifty should also take other factors which may affect their magnesium needs into account:

  1. Dietary habits: Women who consume a diet rich in processed foods, or have a low intake of magnesium-rich foods like leafy greens, nuts and whole grains, cacao may require higher doses of magnesium supplements.
  2. Medication use: Certain medications, such as diuretics, proton pump inhibitors and statins, which are very popular, can increase the risk of deficiency.
  3. Gastrointestinal disorders: Conditions like celiac disease and inflammatory bowel disease can impair magnesium absorption, leading to a greater need for supplementation.
  4. Alcohol consumption: Excessive alcohol intake can increase magnesium excretion through urine, leading to a higher risk of deficiency.

Precautions and Considerations

While magnesium is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, there are certain precautions and considerations women over fifty should keep in mind when incorporating magnesium supplements into their menopause management plan.

  1. Drug interactions: Magnesium can interact with certain medications, such as antibiotics, bisphosphonates (used to treat osteoporosis) and diuretics. These interactions can affect the absorption or effectiveness of the medications or lead to adverse effects.
  2. Overuse: Although rare, excessive magnesium intake from supplements can lead to symptoms such as diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and in severe cases irregular heartbeat and low blood pressure.
  3. Underlying health conditions: Women with kidney disorders or heart block should exercise caution when taking magnesium supplements, and should first consult with their physician. 
  4. Quality and purity of supplements: Not all magnesium supplements are created equal. It's essential to choose high-quality supplements from reputable manufacturers to ensure purity, potency and safety.

When to Consult a Healthcare Professional

While magnesium supplements are readily available over the counter, it's worthwhile for women over fifty to consult with a healthcare professional once they feel new side effects.. A qualified healthcare provider can help:

  1. Assess individual magnesium needs based on age, overall health, menopause symptoms and lifestyle factors.
  2. Identify potential drug interactions and adjust medication dosages if necessary.
  3. Recommend the most appropriate form and dosage of magnesium supplements based on individual needs.
  4. Provide guidance on combining magnesium supplementation with other lifestyle changes, such as dietary modifications and stress management techniques, to optimize menopause symptom relief.