Which Magnesium Is Best for Weight Loss and Belly Fat?
So you're on a mission to lose weight. While maintaining a caloric deficit is crucial, magnesium deficiency is another important factor to consider. Research shows that magnesium may play a significant role in your ability to shed those unwanted pounds.
Ensuring you have sufficient magnesium levels may positively impact your weight loss journey, making it easier to reach your goals.
Often overlooked, magnesium plays a crucial role in metabolism and blood sugar control, making it a key player in the battle against stubborn fat, particularly belly fat. This article delves into the relationship between magnesium and weight loss. We’ll explore which types of magnesium are best to address your physique goals.
Does Magnesium Help With Weight Loss? – The Clinical Evidence
Let’s dig into what research tells us about magnesium and weight loss.
Magnesium And Obesity
In a meta-analysis, researchers looked at data from 32 studies to see if taking magnesium supplements affects obesity. They found that when people took magnesium supplements, their body mass index (BMI) decreased. This effect was strongest in two groups:
- Those who took 350 mg or more of magnesium daily
- Those who started the study with a magnesium deficiency (having less than 2 grams of magnesium per deciliter of blood).
Additional analysis within the study revealed that magnesium supplements may help women reduce their body weight. Women naturally have lower blood magnesium and magnesium stores, partly because women typically have less muscles. In both genders, muscles store a large amount of magnesium.
Researchers also noticed that taking magnesium supplements effectively helped those with blood sugar control issues manage their weight and waist size. Those who took magnesium supplements lost weight ranging from one to eight pounds and reduced their waist size by 0.5 to 5 centimeters.
Those who combined magnesium intake with a healthy diet and exercise saw the greatest improvements. Magnesium and blood sugar have a special relationship that we will dig deeper into later in this article.
Magnesium And Metabolic Health
Magnesium can also improve your metabolic health. This includes factors such as your:
- Blood pressure
- Blood sugar levels
- Triglyceride levels
A placebo-controlled study included 47 magnesium-deficient subjects with normal weight but considered obese based on their metabolic factors (metabolically obese). Subjects took 382 mg of magnesium chloride once daily for four months.
Taking magnesium supplements positively affected subjects’ metabolic profiles compared to those who didn’t take them. At the end of four months, they had healthier:
- Systolic and diastolic blood pressure
- Insulin sensitivity
- Fasting glucose levels
- Triglyceride levels
Additionally, the intervention group had higher magnesium levels in their blood, while the control group’s magnesium levels stayed the same. These findings suggest that correcting a magnesium deficiency may improve various metabolic health markers.
Improving your metabolic health factors can support healthier blood sugar control and inflammation, which in turn can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight.
Which Magnesium Is Best For Weight Loss?
While magnesium is naturally present in various plant-based foods, Americans typically don’t consume enough of these vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Also, our soil is depleted of magnesium, making it harder to get enough magnesium from food alone. The rampant magnesium deficiency has contributed to widespread poor metabolic health.
Most people need to supplement with magnesium to ensure adequate intake to support your weight management goals. Let’s take a closer look at some of the commonly available forms of magnesium and their potential impact on weight loss. You can make informed decisions regarding the most suitable magnesium supplement by gaining insights into these options.
The same meta-analysis we explored earlier highlighted the different types of magnesium used in the studies.
In a placebo-controlled study, 57 subjects took 365 mg of magnesium oxide daily for three months combined with diet and exercise. Compared to the placebo group, those that took magnesium oxide reduced their waist circumferences by an average of five cm.
In another study, women took 250 mg of magnesium oxide for eight weeks. They experienced a decrease in BMI on average of .3 kg/m2, whereas the control group’s BMIs increased by about the same amount (.4 kg/m2).
Magnesium chloride may help improve your body composition. A placebo-controlled study included 74 overweight but healthy women. Subjects taking 250 mg of magnesium chloride daily for eight weeks decreased their body fat by about four percent and increased lean muscle mass by more than 1.5 percent.
This specific form of magnesium, known as magnesium citrate, can potentially improve metabolic biomarkers. In a study involving 14 healthy overweight women, participants took 500 mg of magnesium citrate daily for four weeks.
The results revealed that those who received magnesium supplementation experienced a decrease in insulin concentration and C-peptide concentrations. Elevated levels of these biomarkers are often associated with insulin resistance. This suggests that magnesium citrate supplementation may positively impact insulin sensitivity and metabolic health.
Magnesium Taurate And Orotate
Magnesium taurate and orotate both play a role in your heart health. Magnesium taurate helps support healthy blood pressure, and magnesium orotate may support energy production in your heart and blood vessels.
While no studies are directly linked to weight loss for these two types of magnesium, having a healthy heart is vital to stay physically active. And being physically active is critical for losing and maintaining a healthy weight.
Can Magnesium Help With Belly Fat?
Your blood sugar levels, stress, and inflammation affect how much belly fat you carry. And magnesium also helps regulate all of these areas.
Blood Sugar Levels
Magnesium is important for maintaining healthy blood sugar levels, which can directly impact belly fat. By improving insulin sensitivity, magnesium helps regulate glucose uptake by cells, preventing excess sugar from being stored as fat.
Additionally, magnesium supports the function of enzymes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, aiding in the breakdown of glucose for energy production. This balanced blood sugar response helps prevent spikes and crashes in insulin levels, which can contribute to increased belly fat accumulation.
In a meta-analysis of magnesium supplementation on insulin sensitivity in eight studies, healthy participants took between 300-500 mg of magnesium daily between one and six months. Overall, the magnesium group experienced better insulin sensitivity compared to the control group.
Stress And Cortisol
Stress and elevated cortisol levels are associated with weight gain, particularly in your belly. Magnesium can help modulate your stress response and reduce cortisol levels.
It acts as a cofactor for enzymes involved in cortisol production and breakdown, helping maintain a healthy balance. By regulating cortisol levels, magnesium can help mitigate the adverse effects of chronic stress, which may include:
- Increased appetite
- Cravings for unhealthy foods
- Gaining belly fat
- Poor blood sugar control
- Poor sleep
Chronic lifestyle-related inflammation can disrupt various metabolic processes and contribute to weight gain, particularly around the abdomen. Magnesium helps to regulate the body’s inflammatory response.
By contributing to a healthier inflammatory response, magnesium promotes better metabolic function and can contribute to healthier body composition. Additionally, magnesium supports adiponectin production, a hormone that regulates fat metabolism and inflammation. In these ways, magnesium aids in managing inflammation, potentially assisting in reducing belly fat.
A meta-analysis of the role of magnesium supplementation on inflammation included 17 studies. Subjects took between 250 and 500 mg of magnesium for an average of 12 weeks. Those who took magnesium supplements experienced decreased c-reactive protein and increased nitric oxide levels. Both of these indicate a healthy inflammatory response.
Magnesium And Belly Fat – The Evidence
A comprehensive meta-analysis investigated the impact of magnesium supplementation on waist circumference, an indicator of belly fat. The analysis encompassed twelve studies involving 997 subjects. The results consistently demonstrated decreased waist circumference, primarily among individuals with a BMI over 30 (indicating obesity).
Those who took magnesium supplements reduced their waist by about two centimeters. These findings suggest that magnesium supplementation may reduce belly fat and waist size, particularly in individuals with higher body mass indexes. While the 2-cm waist reduction is clinically small, it suggests that magnesium can be much more effective along with diet and exercise.
Supplementing with magnesium offers a promising approach to supporting balance in blood sugar levels, stress management, and inflammation. By addressing these key factors, magnesium supplementation can further support your weight loss journey and help minimize belly fat accumulation.
You can learn more about what causes belly fat and tips to combat it in this article.
Magnesium And Vitamin D For Weight Loss: The Power Combo
Magnesium and vitamin D are closely interconnected within the body, working together in numerous physiological processes. The enzymes that synthesize and metabolize vitamin D depend on magnesium.
The Relationship Between Vitamin D And Magnesium
A placebo-controlled study of 180 adults explored the relationship between magnesium and vitamin D levels. Researchers found that how magnesium levels affect vitamin D levels depends on your initial vitamin D levels. Let’s break it down:
- When your starting levels of vitamin D are around 30 ng/mL, taking magnesium supplements increases blood vitamin D3.
- If your starting levels of vitamin D are already higher (between 30 and 50 ng/mL), magnesium supplements decrease blood vitamin D3 levels.
While researchers aren’t sure why this happens, it highlights the intricately intertwined relationship between magnesium and vitamin D. Maintaining optimal levels of both is necessary to ensure your body works at its best.
It’s important to be mindful of high doses of vitamin D, as they can potentially deplete your magnesium levels. Therefore, monitoring your magnesium levels is also recommended if you’re taking vitamin D supplements. Optimal vitamin D levels are around 50 ng/mL.
Vitamin D And Weight Loss
Improving your vitamin D status can benefit your weight loss journey (particularly if you’re overweight) and support a healthy inflammatory response. Vitamin D deficiency is very common among individuals with obesity. Larger individuals tend to need higher vitamin D doses to correct a deficiency.
In a placebo-controlled study involving 44 obese individuals with vitamin D deficiency, researchers examined the effects of vitamin D supplementation on inflammation and fat mass. Subjects followed a weight-reducing diet for 12 weeks while taking 50,000 IU of vitamin D weekly.
The group receiving vitamin D experienced improved weight loss and a decrease in fat mass compared to the placebo group. Additionally, the vitamin D group exhibited a decrease in MCP-1 (a marker of inflammation) suggesting a reduction in inflammation levels.
One reason for the effectiveness of vitamin D on weight loss may be from appetite reduction. Have you ever noticed that you tend to feel hungrier during winter compared to summer? This could be because our bodies are naturally programmed to store calories during darker months when food sources may be limited, thereby increasing appetite.
Researchers believe that when there is a vitamin D deficiency, the hypothalamus (a part of the brain) can respond by increasing appetite and decreasing energy expenditure. This means the body may feel hungrier and burn fewer calories when vitamin D levels are low. Vitamin D supplementation may help regulate this appetite increase and support weight loss efforts.
If you are aiming for weight loss, it is essential to ensure that your magnesium and vitamin D levels are healthy. These nutrients significantly affect the body’s functioning, including metabolism and appetite regulation.
Fixing Your Magnesium And Vitamin D Deficiencies
Magnesium and vitamin D deficiencies are very common among the US population. An estimated 48% of people in the US do not consume enough magnesium. Overall vitamin deficiency rate in the US is estimated to be around 41.6% and varies by race due to skin pigment affecting the ability to absorb vitamin D from sunlight.
|Race||Rate of Vitamin D Deficiency|
These deficiency rates are even higher among the overweight or obese.
A study examining magnesium levels found that people of normal weight had normal magnesium levels. In comparison, those who were overweight and obese were magnesium deficient, with average magnesium levels of less than 1.7 mg/dL.
The same is true for vitamin D levels. A study examining vitamin D levels in the United States found that of those who were vitamin D deficient, 42.5% of them were obese, with only 31% of normal weight. This is consistent with other studies which linked higher percentages of body fat with lower levels of vitamin D.
Both of these deficiencies can make it harder to lose weight. If you’re looking to optimize your vitamin D and magnesium levels, there is no one-size-fits-all dose. What’s important is to aim for:
- Healthy blood 25- vitamin D levels of 20 ng/mL (50 nmol/L) or above
- Magnesium red blood count (RBC) levels between 4.2 and 6.8 mg/dL, while some experts recommend a minimum of 6.0 mg/dL (.33 mmol/L).
Testing is a much more effective way to determine your body’s needs for optimal health rather than relying on recommended dietary allowances (RDA). Many people find that they need significantly higher than RDA doses to correct their deficiencies and achieve their blood optimal ranges.
Testing magnesium levels in red blood cells (RBC) is considered more reliable than testing in blood serum. This is because magnesium is an electrolyte that your body maintains within a narrow range in the serum. It can quickly become very life-threatening if your electrolytes fall outside of normal range.
When your magnesium serum levels begin to decline, your body pulls from inside your cells and bones to regulate the magnesium levels. As a result, your serum magnesium test may appear normal even in the presence of magnesium deficiency. An RBC magnesium test can indicate low magnesium levels inside your cells overall.
One of the best ways to ensure you get the magnesium you need is by taking many forms at once. Our Magnesium Breakthrough contains seven forms of magnesium to support virtually every function in your body. These forms, especially sucrosomial and glycinate, can effectively boost RBC magnesium.
A clinical trial exploring the bioavailability of sucrosomial magnesium compared to other forms. In 24 hours, subjects’ magnesium concentration in red blood cells increased significantly higher than other forms of magnesium.
In another clinical trial comparing magnesium glycinate and magnesium oxide, subjects took 100 mg of both. While both forms had similar bioavailability, magnesium glycinate was better absorbed.
Magnesium and vitamin D deficiencies could be the barrier to your weight loss and ability to shed unwanted belly fat. Ensuring you have sufficient magnesium and vitamin D levels can be very beneficial for fat loss. Here are some steps to take to reach optimal levels:
- Get your magnesium RBC and 25-vitamin D levels checked.
- Address any magnesium deficiency and maintain healthy magnesium levels with Magnesium Breakthrough.
- If your vitamin D levels are low, use a vitamin D3 or D3/K2 supplement.
- Askari M, Mozaffari H, Jafari A, Ghanbari M, Darooghegi Mofrad M. The effects of magnesium supplementation on obesity measures in adults: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2021;61(17):2921-2937. doi:10.1080/10408398.2020.1790498
- Rodríguez-Moran M, Guerrero-Romero F. Oral magnesium supplementation improves the metabolic profile of metabolically obese, normal-weight individuals: a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Arch Med Res. 2014;45(5):388-393. doi:10.1016/j.arcmed.2014.05.003
- DiNicolantonio JJ, O’Keefe JH, Wilson W. Subclinical magnesium deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis. Open Heart. 2018;5(1):e000668. doi:10.1136/openhrt-2017-000668
- Chacko SA, Sul J, Song Y, et al. Magnesium supplementation, metabolic and inflammatory markers, and global genomic and proteomic profiling: a randomized, double-blind, controlled, crossover trial in overweight individuals. Am J Clin Nutr. 2011;93(2):463-473. doi:10.3945/ajcn.110.002949
- McCarty MF. Complementary vascular-protective actions of magnesium and taurine: a rationale for magnesium taurate. Med Hypotheses. 1996;46(2):89-100. doi:10.1016/s0306-9877(96)90007-9
- Torshin IY, Gromova OA, Kalacheva AG, Oshchepkova EV, Martynov AI. Meta-analysis of clinical trials of cardiovascular effects of magnesium orotate. Ter Arkh. 2015;87(6):88-97. doi:10.17116/terarkh201587688-97
- Simental-Mendía LE, Sahebkar A, Rodríguez-Morán M, Guerrero-Romero F. A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials on the effects of magnesium supplementation on insulin sensitivity and glucose control. Pharmacol Res. 2016;111:272-282. doi:10.1016/j.phrs.2016.06.019
- Genske F, Kühn JP, Pietzner M, et al. Abdominal fat deposits determined by magnetic resonance imaging in relation to leptin and vaspin levels as well as insulin resistance in the general adult population. Int J Obes (Lond). 2018;42(2):183-189. doi:10.1038/ijo.2017.187
- Cuciureanu MD, Vink R. Magnesium and Stress. University of Adelaide Press; 2011.
- Veronese N, Pizzol D, Smith L, Dominguez LJ, Barbagallo M. Effect of magnesium supplementation on inflammatory parameters: A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrients. 2022;14(3):679. doi:10.3390/nu14030679
- Heidary Z, Khalili H, Mohammadi M, Beigmohammadi MT, Abdollahi A. Effect of magnesium loading dose on insulin resistance in patients with stress-induced hyperglycemia: A randomized clinical trial. J Intensive Care Med. 2020;35(7):687-693. doi:10.1177/0885066618777431
- Rafiee M, Ghavami A, Rashidian A, Hadi A, Askari G. The effect of magnesium supplementation on anthropometric indices: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of clinical trials. Br J Nutr. 2021;125(6):644-656. doi:10.1017/S0007114520003037
- Dai Q, Zhu X, Manson JE, et al. Magnesium status and supplementation influence vitamin D status and metabolism: results from a randomized trial. Am J Clin Nutr. 2018;108(6):1249-1258. doi:10.1093/ajcn/nqy274
- Reddy P, Edwards LR. Magnesium supplementation in vitamin D deficiency. Am J Ther. 2019;26(1):e124-e132. doi:10.1097/MJT.0000000000000538
- Vitamin D. Nih.gov. Accessed June 8, 2023. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminD-Consumer/
- Vranić L, Mikolašević I, Milić S. Vitamin D deficiency: Consequence or cause of obesity? Medicina (Kaunas). 2019;55(9):541. doi:10.3390/medicina55090541
- Sheikholeslami-Vatani D, Rostamzadeh N. Changes in appetite-dependent hormones and body composition after 8 weeks of High-Intensity Interval Training and vitamin D supplementation in sedentary overweight men. Front Nutr. 2022;9:827630. doi:10.3389/fnut.2022.827630
- Rosanoff A, Weaver CM, Rude RK. Suboptimal magnesium status in the United States: are the health consequences underestimated? Nutr Rev. 2012;70(3):153-164. doi:10.1111/j.1753-4887.2011.00465.x
- Forrest KYZ, Stuhldreher WL. Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults. Nutr Res. 2011;31(1):48-54. doi:10.1016/j.nutres.2010.12.001
- Al-Hetty H, Rajab W, Al-Kubaisi F, Ali A. Evaluation of serum magnesium in obesity and overweight and normal weight. Egypt J Chem. 2022;0(0):0-0. doi:10.21608/ejchem.2022.119956.5384
- Parva NR, Tadepalli S, Singh P, et al. Prevalence of vitamin D deficiency and associated risk factors in the US population (2011-2012). Cureus. 2018;10(6). doi:10.7759/cureus.2741
- Razzaque MS. Magnesium: Are we consuming enough? Nutrients. 2018;10(12):1863. doi:10.3390/nu10121863
- Brilli E, Khadge S, Fabiano A, Zambito Y, Williams T, Tarantino G. Magnesium bioavailability after administration of sucrosomial® magnesium: results of an ex-vivo study and a comparative, double-blinded, cross-over study in healthy subjects. Eur Rev Med Pharmacol Sci. 2018;22(6):1843-1851. doi:10.26355/eurrev_201803_14605
- Schuette SA, Lashner BA, Janghorbani M. Bioavailability of magnesium diglycinate vs magnesium oxide in patients with ileal resection. JPEN J Parenter Enteral Nutr. 1994;18(5):430-435. doi:10.1177/0148607194018005430