Magnesium for hot flushes

Magnesium has been found to reduce hot flushes in women experiencing early menopause as the result of treatment for breast cancer.

Chronic magnesium deficiency affects the large number of people in western society, so research into the use of magnesium for hot flushes might be useful for all menopausal women, not just cancer patients.

In a pilot study of 29 women magnesium was offered as magnesium oxide in a dose of 250mg day, and if symptoms were not reduced with this dose, the dose was doubled.  The majority of women opted for the higher dose, indicating they weren’t getting the desired effect but at the higher dose about half experienced significant improvements.

For some women the one-month trial might not have been long enough.  Magnesium is stored your tissues, and levels  may take some months of supplementation to replenish. For others another type of magnesium, although more expensive, might have been better absorbed as magnesium oxide is possibly not the best choice for absorption.

What Can You Do?

Spinach - a great natural source of magnesium

Discuss magnesium supplementation with your complementary medicine practitioner.  Meanwhile, incorporate generous amounts of green vegetables and herbs into your diet – say two cups per day.  Also useful are nuts, whole grains and natural mineral water with a high magnesium level.  Check the label as many are too high in salt and calcium, which will only deplete magnesium more.  Perrier Vittel is a good brand which has been the subject of research into mineral water as a dietary source of magnesium.  It was found that magnesium was better absorbed when the water was taken with a meal.  So is magnesium oxide (used in the trial above). That’s probably why it’s not unusual to find bottles of mineral water on the breakfast buffet in French hotels, together with the range of fruit juice.

You are likely to suffer from magnesium deficiency if you also:

  • have an inadequate dietary intake (as is the case in most industrialized countries)
  • drink too much alcohol, coffee, softdrink
  • take prescription drugs – it’s a side effect in many cases
  • use diuretics
  • suffer long-term stress
  • experience vomiting and diarrhoea
  • suffer from gastrointestinal problems, including IBS and ulcerative colitis
  • are diabetic
  • have an overactive thyroid
  • sweat excessively (from hot weather or training)

Other signs and symptoms that might indicate magnesium deficiency include:

  • anxiety
  • abnormal heart rhythms
  • low blood pressure
  • insomnia
  • restless leg syndrome
  • muscle tics, cramps, spasm and weakness




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