4 Amazing Health Benefits of Magnesium and How to Get More of it 

How magnesium benefits were accidentally discovered

Magnesium was first discovered outside the Greek city of Magnesia and named after it, but one of the earliest stories about its benefits dates back to 1618. A farmer from the town of Epsom in Surrey, England brought his cattle to drink from a well on the town commons but the cattle would not drink the water. The farmer tasted the water himself and found that it was very bitter. He also noticed that the water seemed to heal scratches and rashes. The fame of the Epsom salts and their soothing properties spread. Eventually, it was recognized to be magnesium sulphate, one of the most common forms of magnesium. Today, Epsom salts are used in bath water, for relaxation of sore muscles and to remove rough skin. 
Magnesium and modern research
Magnesium is one of the best-researched minerals and even though it is less talked about than calcium, it is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body and is crucial for the proper functioning of all the body’s organs. It is the second most abundant mineral in the body; however the body is not good at storing magnesium, so it is vital to get enough of it in the diet or through supplementation. 
Magnesium is depleted by the use of certain medications, and magnesium levels are typically low in people who have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease. Excess consumption of coffee, alcohol, salt, and soda drinks, as well as heavy menstrual periods, excessive sweating, and prolonged stress can also contribute to low magnesium levels, and ultimately to magnesium deficiency. 
Magnesium deficiency is difficult to diagnose and is not associate with any symptoms at first, but inadequate magnesium reserves may contribute to many conditions including muscle pain and weakness, restless leg syndrome, abnormal heart rhythms, low blood pressure, headaches, nausea and vomiting, agitation and irritability, poor nail growth, and more.
1. Healthy Muscles
Magnesium is crucial to muscle health and the production of energy, making it a key element for the maintenance of cardiovascular health. It plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium across cell membranes, a process that is important to muscle contraction and normal heart rhythm.  1,2,3
2. Strong Bones
Magnesium is involved in bone formation, the conversion of vitamin D into its active form in the body and it supports the activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts, major cellular components of bone.
3. Migraine Headaches
A number of studies suggest that taking magnesium supplements may help prevent migraine headaches. In addition, magnesium supplements may shorten the duration of a migraine and reduce the amount of medication needed.  4,5
4.. PMS Relief
Monthly PMS symptoms can range from annoying and inconvenient to severe and debilitating. Drugs commonly used by sufferers can have side effects and though they may help treat the symptoms temporarily, they do nothing to prevent them from recurring. There are many studies that suggest that magnesium can help reduce fluid retention, bloating, breast tenderness, leg swelling, and even mood swings thanks to its role in supporting healthy serotonin levels. 6
Magnesium is widely distributed in the plant kingdom and high amounts are concentrated in a number of foods, including green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. In general, foods containing dietary fiber provide magnesium, but it is also one of the nutrients significantly lowered during the refining and processing of food which is why our diet may not provide enough.
Magnesium supplements are available in different forms and are an easy way to ensure consistent adequate intake of this crucial mineral. Given the wide variety of magnesium formulations, choosing the most suitable one might be challenging. 
1. Chiuve SE, Korngold EC, Januzzi Jr JL, Gantzer ML, Albert CM. Plasma and dietary magnesium and risk of sudden cardiac death in women. Am J Clin Nutr 2011;93:253-60. [PubMed abstract]
2. Joosten MM, Gansevoort RT, Mukamal KJ, van der Harst P, Geleijnse JM, Feskens EJM, Navis G, Bakker SJL. Urinary and plasma magnesium and risk of ischemic heart disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;97:1299-306. [PubMed abstract]
3. Del Gobbo LC, Imamura F, Wu JHY, Otto MCdO, Chiuve SE, Mozaffarian D. Circulating and dietary magnesium and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective studies. Am J Clin Nutr 2013;98:160-73. [PubMed abstract]
4. Loder, Elizabeth, MD, MPH; Burch, Rebecca, MD; Rizzoli, Paul, MD. "The 2012 AHS/AAN Guidelines for the Prevention of Episodic Migraine: Summary and Comparison with other Recent Clinical Practice Guidelines." Headache. Accepted manuscript online: April 26, 2012.
5. Silberstein, S.D.; Holland, S.; Freitag, F.; et. al. "Evidence-based guideline update: Pharmacologic treatment for episodic migraine prevention in adults : Report of the Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Headache Society." Neurology 2012;78;1337.
6. Obstet Gynecol. 1991 Aug;78(2):177-81.; Oral magnesium successfully relieves premenstrual mood changes. Facchinetti F, Borella P, Sances G, Fioroni L, Nappi RE, Genazzani AR.  University Centre for Adaptive Disorders and Headache, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Pavia, Italy.