8 Benefits of Magnesium and Zinc

Benefits of zinc and magnesium

Quick Health Scoop

  • Magnesium and Zinc are both essential nutrients for health.
  • Magnesium supports muscle relaxation, nerve, heart, and bone health.
  • Zinc is vital for normal growth and development, and supports the body’s natural immune defense system.
  • Taking a Magnesium and Zinc supplement together can support well-being.

Magnesium and Zinc benefits are numerous, and they are both crucial nutrients your body needs to function at its best. They are found in certain foods, and in supplements as single dietary ingredients but are also increasingly found together in a Zinc and Magnesium supplement for enhanced convenience.

Did you know that many of us don’t get in enough Magnesium and Zinc every day? According to research, approximately 15-20% of the U.S. population is Magnesium deficient and around just over 15% of Americans do not consume enough of this essential trace mineral from diet alone and are at risk for Zinc deficiency.[1][6]

In this article, we’ll discuss the nine benefits of Magnesium and Zinc and key food and supplement sources of these essential nutrients.

What is Magnesium Good For?

You may be wondering what does Magnesium do for the body?

Magnesium is an abundant mineral found throughout our body and is primarily stored in our bones. It is considered an electrolyte and it plays an important role in maintaining mineral balance, which supports many vital functions in the body.

As noted above, despite the known importance of Magnesium, many Americans don’t meet the Food and Nutrition Board’s Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) guidelines for this nutrient.

Magnesium benefits include:[1]

  • Supports muscle relaxation
  • Supports nerve, muscle, heart, and bone health
  • Supports essential nerve, muscle, and heart function
  • Essential mineral required in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body

Getting in enough via food or Magnesium supplements supports health. A Magnesium-rich diet may also contain other key nutrients that collaboratively work together to support health such as soybeans which are an great source of Magnesium and Zinc. This is also the case in terms of a Magnesium supplement combined with other nutrients such as ZincZinc and/or Calcium.[3]

Learn more about Magnesium: Magnesium Benefits & Sources – A Complete Guide

What is Zinc Good For?

Like Magnesium, Zinc is an essential mineral involved in many important bodily processes.At least 15% of Americans have a Zinc nutrient gap so it is critical to understand how to get in enough of it.[6,7]

One of the most common reasons many people take Zinc is to support their immune system.

In addition to supporting the body’s natural immune defenses, Zinc provides the following key benefits: [4]

  • It is vital for normal growth and development.
  • Helps support a healthy immune system.
  • Antioxidant Support
  • Supports the body’s natural immune defense system.

As you can see, Zinc benefits are numerous. The body doesn’t naturally produce Zinc, so we have to obtain it through food and/or supplements. To reap the benefits of Zinc, both food and supplements may be needed, depending on your typical diet.

Learn more fun facts about Zinc: Benefits of Zinc

Can You Take Magnesium and Zinc Together?

You may be asking yourself can you take Zinc and Magnesium together? Absolutely!

In fact,some  supplements  contain both Magnesium and Zinc and even added calcium to get the best of both worlds. In addition, mineral supplements containing calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc are a good option for those looking to support their bone health with calcium and Magnesium, and their healthy immune systems with Zinc.

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While some nutrients compete for absorption with each other, this is not the case with Magnesium and Zinc when taken in the right doses. At adequate doses, these minerals work synergistically and have shown promising benefits for health.

This is why at Nature Made® we offer a combined Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc supplement for those looking to support their health with adequate intakes of these 3 nutrients in one single tablet.

Food Sources of Magnesium and Zinc

Magnesium and Zinc are found in a variety of foods, but many people don’t get enough for various reasons which may be related to food preferences, certain health conditions or even some medications. In these cases, considering food sources of Magnesium and Zinc as well as Magnesium and Zinc supplements that can help fill in these gaps.

As you can see, many of these foods overlap in terms of Magnesium and Zinc content. Knowing that they work well together, it makes sense that they are found in a lot of the same foods.

Good food sources of Magnesium include:

  • Dark green, leafy vegetables
  • Whole grains – oatmeal, fortified breakfast cereals, brown rice, whole wheat bread
  • Beans and legumes – soybeans, lentils, beans, and peanuts
  • Dairy – low-fat milk and yogurt
  • Nuts and seeds – pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, almonds

How much Magnesium do you need?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults for Magnesium is 420 mg per day for men and 320 mg for women.[5]

Good food sources of Zinc include:

  • Red meat
  • Shellfish
  • Legumes – chickpeas, lentils, beans
  • Nuts – peanuts, almonds, cashews
  • Seeds – pumpkin, squash, sesame, hemp seeds
  • Dairy – cheese and milk
  • Whole Grains – wheat, quinoa, oats, rice
  • Eggs

How much Zinc do you need?

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for adults for Zinc is 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women.[9]

While some may be striving to get enough of these nutrients through their diet, ~55 % of Americans do not get enough Magnesium, and ~15% do not get enough Zinc from their diet [7]. In these cases, a quality Magnesium and Zinc supplement can ease your worries and provide peace of mind.

Check with your doctor or preferred health care practitioner to determine if you have a Zinc or Magnesium short fall and what to do to improve your levels.

Magnesium and Zinc Supplements

A Magnesium and Zinc supplement may help fill nutrient gaps for these essential minerals and provide peace of mind that you are meeting your daily requirements if your diet doesn’t always go as planned. It’s not always easy getting enough nutritious food in your diet on a consistent basis, and a supplement can help fill in these gaps to provide an adequate intake.

The Bottom Line

Eating a nutritious diet along with Magnesium and Zinc supplements can help you meet your daily needs of these necessary minerals for health. There are many delicious foods high in Magnesium and Zinc such as whole grains, seafood, meat, leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, and dairy.

Even so, it is common to have nutrient gaps in both Magnesium and Zinc, and this is why a supplement can be critical for many people.

Furthermore, taking Zinc and Magnesium together may offer additional benefits. You can choose to take Zinc and Magnesium separately or a Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc combination that helps support strong bones with Calcium, helps support a healthy heart with Magnesium, and supports a healthy immune system with Zinc.

Above all else, get your vitamin and mineral levels checked and speak to your doctor or preferred health care practitioner to discuss your individual needs. They can help you determine which supplements if any, are best for your health goals.

Shop Now: Calcium, Magnesium, and Zinc

Learn More About the Benefits of Magnesium and Zinc:

  • Why You May Need More Magnesium
  • What Does Zinc Do For The Body?
  • Nutrient Shortfalls: Common Vitamins You Might Be Lacking, And Why

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† These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


References

  1. Wessells KR, Brown KH. Estimating the global prevalence of Zinc deficiency: results based on Zinc availability in national food supplies and the prevalence of stunting. PLoS One. 2012;7(11):e50568. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0050568. Epub 2012 Nov 29. PMID: 23209782; PMCID: PMC3510072.
  2. Al Alawi AM, Majoni SW, Falhammar H. Magnesium and Human Health: Perspectives and Research Directions. Int J Endocrinol. 2018 Apr 16;2018:9041694. doi: 10.1155/2018/9041694. PMID: 29849626; PMCID: PMC5926493.
  3. Harvard, The Nutrition Source – Magnesium.” Harvard School of Public Health. Accessed on October 12, 2022. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/magnesium/.
  4. Roohani N, Hurrell R, Kelishadi R, Schulin R. Zinc and its importance for human health: An integrative review. J Res Med Sci. 2013 Feb;18(2):144-57. PMID: 23914218; PMCID: PMC3724376.
  5. National Institutes of Health. “Office of Dietary Supplements – Magnesium.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Accessed on October 12, 2022. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/.
  6. National Institutes of Health. “Zinc: Fact Sheet for Consumers.” October 4, 2022. Accessed on December 20, 2022. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-Consumer/
  7. Reider CA, et al. Inadequacy of Immune Health Nutrients: Intakes in US Adults, the 2005-2016 NHANES. Nutrients. 2020 Jun 10;12(6):1735.    

— Update: 30-12-2022 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Move Over Magnesium, These Zinc Benefits Will Give It a Run for Its Money from the website www.wellandgood.com for the keyword benefits of zinc and magnesium.

See, zinc is one of 16 essential minerals that we need to survive. Yet it’s considered a trace mineral, meaning we only need small amounts of it. Perhaps that’s why we don’t hear as much about it as we do major minerals—including iron, sodium, potassium, and, yes, calcium and magnesium—which our bodies use in larger amounts. But zinc actually plays a mega-important role in skin health, immunity, and more, so it’s definitely worth keeping tabs on your intake. Keep reading for everything you need to know about the nutritional superstar:

5 benefits of zinc to know about

  1. Zinc may help boost the immune system: “One of zinc’s most-researched benefits is immunity—especially when it comes to decreasing cold length and severity,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN. For one thing, zinc is critical for the normal development of immune cells, which is why it’s important to consistently get enough of the mineral in your diet. But a 2011 meta-analysis of 13 randomized, placebo-controlled trials found that zinc supplements can be used in SOS moments to reduce the duration and severity of a cold. (Just be sure if you do try this to take the lozenge, syrup, or tablet within 24 hours of symptoms appearing, as zinc’s impact on a cold lessens over time.)
  2. It can help heal skin—acne included: Jackson Blatner points out that zinc also plays a key role in wound healing—in fact, it’s involved with every stage of the process, from blood coagulation and inflammation to tissue renewal and scar formation. So if you find that it takes a while for cuts, scrapes, and burns to heal, you may want to take a look at your zinc intake. Some studies have also found that certain forms of the mineral can soothe breakouts when supplemented orally or as an ingredient in topical acne treatments—however, many of these studies had small sample sizes, so it’s best to talk with your dermatologist and see if this option’s right for you.
  3. Zinc may help keep your vision healthy as you age: Several studies—including a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial of 3,597 people—found that supplementing with zinc can help protect against advanced age-related macular degeneration. This is a condition that can lead to vision loss, and it’s most common in those over 50. However, it’s unclear exactly what dose of zinc is most beneficial, or even if zinc alone has a significant impact, so talk to your doctor if you’re thinking about taking zinc for this purpose.
  4. It could also help keep your breath fresher: Jackson Blatner says that dental products containing zinc might help reduce bad breath. One small randomized, controlled trial of 187 people found that a zinc toothpaste was more effective at combatting halitosis than a placebo, while an even smaller study of 10 people determined zinc mouthwash to be highly effective in eliminating the volatile sulfur compounds that cause bad breath. However, more research is required (on larger samples of people) to confirm this benefit.
  5. It could help reduce inflammation: Some researchers believe that low zinc levels are associated with systemic inflammation, a condition that’s linked with everything from heart disease to cancer. One recent study showed that mice who received zinc supplementation showed lower levels of inflammation than a control group—however, more research needs to be done on humans before any definitive conclusions can be made.

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How much zinc should you get getting, and should you take it every day?

Luckily, it should be easy to get all the zinc you need—eight milligrams per day for women and 11 milligrams per day for men—through your diet, as long as you’re eating a variety of whole foods. According to Jackson Blatner, animal protein and dairy are high in zinc, as are plant foods such as cashews, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, and oatmeal. (Here’s a cheat-sheet of the best zinc sources to get you started.)

But there’s one caveat. “Plant-based foods [like grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds] contain phytates, which may bind to zinc and make it less absorbable,” says Jackson Blatner. So if you’re vegan, vegetarian, or just don’t eat a ton of meat, you’ll just want to ensure you’re doubling down on zinc-rich foods, says Jackson Blatner—or take a multivitamin containing zinc if you’re concerned that your diet’s not doing the job. In which case, it’s best to take it every day, or as directed.

How worried should I be about a zinc deficiency?

Zinc is an essential trace mineral…but a deficiency isn’t that common in North America. However, there are certain groups of people who are at risk of not getting enough zinc, such as vegetarians and vegans (as Jackson Blatner mentioned), people with gastrointestinal issues like ulcerative colitis, and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.  Those groups should take extra care to get more zinc in their diets, or supplement zinc.

Are there any side effects to taking zinc?

Jackson Blatner always recommends trying to reap zinc benefits (and those of every other vitamin and mineral) through whole-food sources, as opposed to relying on supplements to meet your nutritional needs. But, as mentioned before, there are some cases in which an added boost of the mineral could be helpful. “Someone could take extra zinc at the first sign of a cold to decrease the length of the cold and decrease severity of symptoms,” she says. “Plus, the need for zinc goes up during pregnancy to help with healthy cell growth, so that’s why zinc is in prenatal vitamins.” Your doctor may also recommend zinc supplements in certain situations, says Blatner—for instance, if you’re on blood-pressure medication that causes you to lose more zinc in your urine.

If you do decide to take a zinc supplement, just know that it can interact with certain medications. According to Jackson Blatner, zinc shouldn’t be taken at the same time as antibiotics, Penicillamine, or iron supplements—it’s best to wait two to three hours in between. It’s also worth noting that getting too much zinc can prevent your body from properly absorbing copper, so be sure to stay under 40 mg per day. But if you’re getting zinc through your diet, you don’t have to worry about any of that. As Jackson Blatner says, “Food first is always the best advice, for all nutrients.”

To up your zinc game in the most delicious way possible, whip up this almond butter cashew banana cheesecake and these sweet-and-savory tahini overnight oats. 

References

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