Magnesium is an electrolyte and is necessary for over 300 biochemical reactions within the body, it helps maintain normal nerves and muscle function, boosts the immune system, steadies the heart rate, stabilises blood sugar and promotes the formation of strong bones and teeth.

It has also been shown to improve sleep in those that have poor sleep patterns. If magnesium is deficient then the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin is disturbed.

The RDA for magnesium is 300mg for men and 270mg for women, this may be achieved by consuming foods that are high in Magnesium such as:- almonds- 25g – 20% RDA) , legumes (1 cup – 30% RDA) , avocados (1 avocado- 15% RDA) , dark chocolate – 70% coco or higher (25g portion-16% RDA) , pumpkin seeds (26g – 30% RDA), Whole grains, (Brown rice 1006 – 10% RDA) , Salmon (178g – 13% RDA), Banana (One – 9% RDA) , Spinch ( 1 cup – 39% RDA)

All these foods also contain many other beneficial vitamins, minerals and fibre.

Some may need supplements however Magnesium comes in many forms with research showing different forms are beneficial for different symptoms.

Magnesium Citrate – This is found in citrus foods and is also high in vitamin C. Used to raise Magnesium levels and may be useful for constipation.

Magnesium Chloride – Well absorbed, good multi-purpose supplement.

Magnesium Lactate– Well absorbed and gentle on the digestive system.

Magnesium Malate – Well absorbed and gentle on the digestive system

Magnesium Taurate – Used in some medical studies

Magnesium sulfate– Common name Epsom Salts – normally used as a bath soak

If you don’t have low magnesium levels, no evidence suggests that taking a supplement will provide any measurable benefit.

However, if you’re unable to get enough magnesium from your diet, a supplement may be worth considering, before taking a supplement always check for interactions between any medications and the supplement.

Certain populations may be at a greater risk of deficiency, including older adults and people with type 2 diabetes, digestive disorders, and alcohol dependence.

High-quality supplements with scientific backing can be purchased from Natural Dispensary which stocks a large variety of brands.