Does Magnesium Increase Testosterone Levels?

Magnesium is a mineral that regulates several enzyme reactions in the body. These ions exist in the body in three forms:

  • Free circulating
  • Chelated fraction
  • Protein-bound serum fraction

Magnesium performs over 300 hormonal/enzymatic functions. It is involved in various biochemical reactions such as muscle contractions, protein synthesis, nerve conduction, blood glucose regulation, blood pressure and many more. It is also responsible for modulating the bone strength, muscle mass, and strength by affecting the biosynthesis of testosterone.

The recommended daily dosage of magnesium is 400 mg. You can easily meet these requirements by consuming nuts, green leafy vegetables, fish, whole grains and beans. However, poor dietary habits, soil depletion and modern lifestyle habits have led to increasing magnesium deficiency. This can, in turn, disturb the delicate interplay of vitamins and minerals that maintain testosterone levels. So, it is interesting to study whether magnesium supplementation can help increase testosterone levels. Let us have a look at some clinical studies to find out if magnesium is really a testosterone booster.


How does Magnesium boost testosterone?

Magnesium seems to help testosterone levels by:

Inhibiting sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG): Magnesium frees testosterone from SHBG not by binding it to another compound, but by altering the electrostatic attraction that helps the bond between testosterone and SHBG. This frees more bioactive testosterone in the bloodstream.

Reducing oxidative stress: Inflammatory cytokines decrease secretion of Luteinizing Hormone (LH) responsible for signaling testosterone production. Supplementing magnesium can help testosterone level by reducing the oxidative stress caused by inflammatory cytokines.


Research on the efficacy of magnesium as a testosterone booster

Several clinical studies have been conducted to establish the role of magnesium in boosting testosterone levels. Some of these studies are summarized below.

Animal research

Effects of dietary magnesium on testicular histology, steroidogenesis, spermatogenesis and oxidative stress markers in adult rats.

The study was conducted on 60 sexually mature (90 days old) male albino rats to investigate the role of dietary magnesium on various reproductive parameters such as synthesis of reproductive hormones, testis cytology, oxidative stress and sperm production. They were administered 0.5gm magnesium salt/100gm diet and 1.5gm magnesium salt/100g diet for 13 days and 26 days. At the end of study period, it was found that there was:

·       A decrease in body weight with no effect on reproductive organs

·       Increased serum testosterone levels

·       Normal sperm production

Magnesium-deficient hairless rat: Spleen cells mitogenic responses and variations in hormonal status

In this study, rats were provided a diet containing 2mg magnesium/kg body weight and a semi-synthetic magnesium free diet to induce magnesium deficiency. It was found that:

·       Magnesium deficient rats had reduced testosterone levels

Human Research

Effects of magnesium supplementation on testosterone levels of athletes and sedentary subjects at rest and after exhaustion.

The study was conducted over a period of four weeks on athletes and sedentary workers to examine the effect of magnesium on testosterone levels. The participants were given 10mg/kg body weight magnesium supplements. The results were:

Magnesium and anabolic hormones in older men

In this study involving 399 older men with an average age of 74 years, researchers recorded testosterone and magnesium levels. The purpose of the study was to find a link between magnesium and testosterone levels in older human males.

The study showed:

  • A significant correlation between magnesium and testosterone levels
  • A Higher magnesium level corresponded with higher testosterone and insulin-like growth factor hormones.

Sources of magnesium

Magnesium is abundantly available in many food sources as discussed above. There are many different forms of magnesium supplements available in the market offering unique health benefits. Some common forms include Magnesium Amino Acid Chelate, Magnesium Citrate, Magnesium Oxide, Magnesium carbonate and more.

Side Effects of magnesium supplements

Magnesium is a safe mineral and rarely causes any serious side effects. However, there are certain mild side effects which are quite common. These include:

  • Nausea
  • Low blood pressure
  • Cramps
  • Soft Stool or Diarrhoea

The bottom line

Can magnesium help boost testosterone levels? Magnesium is more of a testosterone restorer than a booster. This means, taking supplements and increasing magnesium levels beyond the normal levels will not send testosterone levels through the roof. However, for those with magnesium deficiency, these supplements will often boost testosterone levels.

While extreme magnesium deficiency is rare, many people experience mild deficiency at some point due to lack of nutritionally rich wholesome diet. In such cases, magnesium supplements are highly recommended. Many experts recommend supplementing it with zinc for best results.