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.
Magnesium does help to increase testosterone levels. I have included all of my research into this below, including the different scientific studies I reviewed and exact dosages Magnesium should be taken in. If you do end up using testosterone boosters then I always recommended choosing one that includes Magnesium, it is actually one of my ‘must have’ ingredients.
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.
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
Magnesium supplements boost testosterone levels in athletes
Study: Cinar and co conducted a 4-week study on athletes and sedentary persons and investigated the effect of magnesium on testosterone levels. Supplements were given to sedentary individuals and athletes involved in rigorous physical activity at the concentration of 10mg per kg of body weight, which corresponds to 600mg for a 60kg person.
Result: Both the physically active and sedentary group of individuals experienced an increase of free as well as total testosterone levels. However, the increases in testosterone levels were higher among athletes post physical activity.
Conclusion: Magnesium supplementation improves testosterone levels, with the best results observed when supplements are taken for four weeks and combined with physical exercise.
Magnesium supplements improve muscle strength training outcomes
Study: This study by Brilla and co-workers was conducted on untrained individuals who were given 8mg of Magnesium per kg of body weight (which corresponds to 480mg per day for a 60kg individual) for seven weeks. During the study, the subjects performed specific exercises three times per week. The muscle performance or the gain in strength of these untrained subjects was measured as quadriceps torque before and after the 7-week study.
Result: Increases in muscle strength were observed after the workers consumed intakes of magnesium supplements for seven weeks.
Conclusion: Magnesium supplements help build muscle strength. This is probably due to increasing levels of testosterone, as this hormone has been implicated in building lean muscle mass and strength.
Magnesium supplementation improves testosterone levels in older men
Study: Researchers recorded the levels of testosterone and magnesium in 399 older men (the average age being 74 years). In addition to testosterone levels, they quantified the levels of hormones like IGF (insulin-like growth factor) hormones. The main idea of taking up this exploratory study was to establish the relationship between magnesium and testosterone levels.
Result: There was a positive correlation between magnesium and testosterone levels. Higher serum magnesium levels were associated with higher testosterone and other hormones like IGF.
Conclusion: Magnesium helps increase overall testosterone levels.
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:
- Low blood pressure
- 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.
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