Magnesium and Intestine: Does It Work in Clinical Practice?

Tempo de Leitura: 3 minutos

In recent years, studies have brought
new perspectives to the gut
, especially showing its
role within the gut-brain axis
. This complex two-way mechanism,
it connects the emotional and cognitive centers of the nervous system with enteric peripheral functions
, such
as immune activity, intestinal permeability, enteric reflexes, and endocrine signaling.

The modulation of the intestine-brain axis serves as an intervention in gastrointestinal and neuropsychiatric pathologies. For this,
dysbiosis treatments
, using probiotics
, prebiotics, dietary supplementation and fecal matter transplantation show promising results
. With this, the association of gastrointestinal and neuropsychiatric dysfunctions, developed the idea of
in the medical community,
and magnesium has become an important asset to the concept, because of its benefits in the gut and central nervous system.

Magnesium absorption

Magnesium absorption occurs in the small intestine

, mainly in the distal zone, from food intake.

The level of absorption on a normal basis

is 25%,

and in a poor state it can increase by up to 80%

. As the site of absorption is the intestinal area, the links between intestinal health and magnesium are even more important.

Magnesium is perhaps the latest micronutrient that has emerged in the scientific literature that strongly binds with the axis of the intestinal brain and the microbiome. His deficiency has been related to multiple somatic dysfunctions, such as neurological, metabolic, musculoskeletal and cardiac diseases. On the gastroenterology side, it is known that is linked to gastric disorders during all phases of life.

What are the effects of magnesium supplementation in the gut?

Several studies have followed the effects of magnesium on bowel functions, for example magnesium-rich mineral water consumption promoted improvements in bowel mobility, unwanted symptoms in the gastrointestinal tract, and stool consistency during a six-week follow-up in patients with functional constipation

. Furthermore, Magnesium oxide is used for antiacid properties and has proven to be effective in short-term relief of symptoms of functional dyspepsia.

Some new studies have shown that the intestinal microbiota is directly affected by fluctuation in magnesium intake in the diet. As such, a study revealed that the concentration of short-chain fatty acids and the diversity of the microbiota were increased by the joint administration of magnesium oxide and dietary inulin fiber, instead of the exclusive administration of inulin. Furthermore, a low magnesium diet showed a qualitative decrease in intestinal microbiota, lower intestinal barrier and higher levels of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), Interleukin 6 (IL-6) and oxidative stress activation.

Several animal model studies claim that the
deficiency of this mineral not only alters the microbial profile, but also causes psychiatric symptoms
. One study proved that magnesium-deficient diet over six weeks resulted in anxiety behavior. Another study showed a altered microbial profile and found increased neuroinflammatory markers.

Clinical practice

Magnesium supplementation is able to interact with the gut-brain axis.

This communication plays a key role in maintaining the homeostatis of the gastrointestinal

system, but also in maintaining the integrity of emotions, motivation and superior cognitive functions

. From stress, medication, diet, environmental impact, social and emotional interactions to genetics and epigenetics that shape the physiology of each person. Studies have proven its ability to improve intestinal dysbiosis, the production of short-chain fatty acids, intestinal barrier, decrease the signaling of inflammatory markers and consequently improve depression and anxiety.


Study suggestion: Use
of magnesium in aging – Science Play

Watch the video on Science Play with Ana Beatriz Baptistella:
Detoxification Pathways

Article: Schiopu C, Ștefănescu G, Diaconescu S, Bălan GG, Gimiga N, Rusu E, Moldovan CA, Popa B, Tataranu E, Olteanu AV, Boloș A, Ștefănescu C. Magnesium Orotate and the Microbiome–Gut–Brain Axis Modulation: New Approaches in Psychological Comorbidities of Gastrointestinal Functional Disorders. Nutrients

. 2022; 14(8):1567.

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