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Magnesium Chloride: Properties, Uses And Side Effects

This article will present the benefits attributed to magnesium chloride, which is known in Japan as “nigari”.

Magnesium chloride can be extracted from seawater.

 

 

In the last few years, magnesium chloride has become so popular that, nowadays, it can be easily found in a wide variety of stores, including herbalists, health stores and even supermarkets.

So, what are its properties and benefits? Does it have any contraindications and side effects? Does it help to lose weight? But, above all, how to prepare and use it? You will find everything you need to know in the following article.

What is magnesium chloride?

Basically, it is a chemical compound consisting of chlorine and magnesium. It is a mineral compound based on chlorine (negatively charged) and magnesium (positively charged), with the chemical formula MgCl2. It is also known as magnesium dichloride.

It can be extracted from seawater and also from the brine found in salted rivers and lakes, where the excess of salt makes life impossible to flourish. In fact, brine consists of a dissolved salt concentration of more than 5% (NaCl).

Main uses

Although, in the last few years, this chemical element has become very popular, its use goes beyond that of a natural remedy for the treatment or prevention of different diseases or health problems.

For example, in Japan, a country which is renowned all over the world for the wide diversity and richness of its cuisine, magnesium chloride is used as a coagulant, especially in the preparation of tofu from the traditional soy drink.

Moreover, there is sold a white powder that is produced from seawater after the sodium chloride and water have been removed, which is known as “nigari”.

In Japan, magnesium chloride or "nigari" is used to make tofu.

 

Benefits and properties

There is no doubt that magnesium chloride is a supplement well-known for its different properties and benefits, which positively helps to treat a wide variety of diseases and health disorders, such as heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis or excess acid in the kidneys.

These are the most important benefits of magnesium chloride:

1. Reduces tiredness, weakness and fatigue

There are more and more athletes who choose to consume on a regular basis magnesium chloride supplements, especially those who carry out a high physical performance.

This happens because this compound is ideal for the natural strengthening of the muscles. It is very useful when its consumption is combined with the corresponding workout for strength and weight. It is also used to cure muscle injuries and, at the same time, it prevents muscle fatigue, cramps and fatigue. 

For this reason, it is usually used to increase your physical performance, since it helps to reduce the lactic acid, improving and subsequently making your recovery easier.

2. Benefits the bones (ideal against osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis)

Magnesium chloride positively helps to keep both bones and teeth in good health by actively participating in their formation.

In fact, some studies have found its qualities as an adjuvant in the treatment of osteoarthritis caused by calcium deficiency, as well as in case of rheumatoid arthritis.

Besides, as it was showed in a scientific study published in 2015, transdermal magnesium chloride applied on both upper and lower limbs could have benefits for patients with fibromyalgia, a syndrome characterized by chronic pain, fatigue, sleep disorders and depression.

3. Benefits the kidneys

Although its excess consumption can cause imbalance in blood pressure and increase the risk of kidney stones, when it is taken in appropriate doses, it can become a good supplement for kidneys, since it stimulates different kidney functions.

4. Lowers cholesterol and purifies the blood

Magnesium chloride helps stimulate the functioning of the cardiovascular system, preventing, for example, the onset of heart diseases. Besides, in case of high cholesterol, this supplement helps to reduce high LDL levels, also commonly known as bad cholesterol.

It also acts as a blood purifier, since it balances the pH of the blood, helping to keep it clean.

5. Stimulates the brain and fights depression

Among other things, it has been shown that magnesium chloride helps improve different functions of the brain. For example, it creates new neurotransmitters, as well as facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses, and so, it improves learning and stimulates memory.

But this is not all, since, due to its benefits to improve brain functions, it also brings some mental balance, which is useful to fight depression, anxiety and stress.

Does magnesium chloride help to lose weight?

Magnesium chloride seems to help you lose weight, especially when weight gain is due to emotional causes, since it is useful when it comes to reducing stress and anxiety, which are indirectly related to different unhealthy habits, such as snacking between meals, eating too much or usually choosing unhealthy foods, rich in carbohydrates and fats. This is due to the fact that it acts as a natural relaxant.

Besides, this chemical compound helps to prevent constipation in a completely natural way, by stimulating and improving digestion. This results in a decrease of feeling bloated, since it reduces flatulence and other related digestive problems. 

How to prepare magnesium chloride at home?

If you choose to buy crystallised magnesium chloride, it is necessary to prepare it before consuming it. To do this, pay attention to the ingredients you need and the steps you have to follow to prepare it:

Ingredients

  • 30 grams of crystallised magnesium chloride

  • 1 litre of water

Preparation

Pour one litre of water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. When the water is boiling, turn off the heat, remove the saucepan and let it cool down a bit. Once lukewarm, pour the water in a glass container and dissolve the magnesium chloride (the indicated quantity).

Finally, mix it well with a spoon until the magnesium chloride dissolves. To finish, cover and store it.

Magnesium chloride's formula is MgCl2 and it can be taken as crystallised magnesium chloride or pills.

 

How to use magnesium chloride?

There are two main ways to take magnesium chloride:

  • As crystallised magnesium chloride: The dose to be taken directly depends on the disorder or problem to be treated, the age of the person, and the dosage form. If you have chosen crystallised magnesium chloride, the recommended daily dose is the following: for people over 35 years old, it is advisable to take between 1 to 2 tablespoons per day. However, if you are younger and, as long as its consumption is not contraindicated, it is advisable to take half a tablespoon of magnesium chloride.

  • As capsules or pills: In this case you should follow the instructions from the information leaflet or the package.

Contraindications

It is not advisable to take magnesium chloride in the following cases:

  • In case of kidney failure: since it helps to improve the function of the kidneys, when you suffer from kidney failure, it may cause the formation of painful kidney stones.

  • Diarrhoea and colitis: due to its laxative effect.

  • If you take antibiotics: magnesium chloride has been shown to reduce the effect of this drug.

Side effects

As it is the case with any other medication or food supplement, before taking magnesium chloride, it is highly recommended to consult your doctor, as it will help you find out if it is appropriate for you, or if there is some kind of contraindication that advises you against its consumption.

However, in addition to certain contraindications, when its consumption is not recommended, there can also appear certain side effects:

  • Nausea and diarrhoea

  • Metallic taste in your mouth

  • Excessive sweating

  • Trouble breathing

  • Itching (itching of the skin) 

  • Blood pressure decompensation

  • Kidney failure

  • Hypermagnesemia (a hydroelectrolytic disorder caused by a very high level of magnesium in the blood).

In spite of being a food supplement useful for a wide variety of disorders and health problems, either as adjuvant, treatment and/or preventive treatment, whose use, in most cases, is safe, it is advisable to consult your doctor, especially if you have questions related to its use and benefits.

Check out the original article: Cloruro de magnesio: qué es, propiedades, para qué sirve y contraindicaciones at viviendolasalud.com

 

References:

Engen DJ, McAllister SJ, Whipple MO, Cha SS, Dion LJ, Vincent A, Bauer BA, Wahner-Roedler DL. Effects of transdermal magnesium chloride on quality of life for patients with fibromyalgia: a feasibility study. J Integr Med. 2015 Sep;13(5):306-13. https://doi.org/10.1016/S2095-4964(15)60195-9

Gröber U, Schmidt J, Kisters K. Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients. 2015 Sep 23;7(9):8199-226. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095388

Guerrero-Romero F, Simental-Mendía LE, Hernández-Ronquillo G, Rodriguez-Morán M. Oral magnesium supplementation improves glycaemic status in subjects with prediabetes and hypomagnesaemia: A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized trial. Diabetes Metab. 2015 Jun;41(3):202-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.diabet.2015.03.010

Li M, Chen F, Yang B, Lai S, Yang H, Liu K, Bu G, Fu C, Deng Y. Preparation of organic tofu using organic compatible magnesium chloride incorporated with polysaccharide coagulants. Food Chem. 2015 Jan 15;167:168-74. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.foodchem.2014.06.102

Serefko A, Szopa A, Wlaź P, Nowak G, Radziwoń-Zaleska M, Skalski M, Poleszak E. Magnesium in depression. Pharmacol Rep. 2013;65(3):547-54. Retrieved May 14, 2019. Available at http://www.if-pan.krakow.pl/pjp/pdf/2013/3_547.pdf

Torikoshi-Hatano A, Namera A, Shiraishi H, Maeno Y, Kato H, Nagao M. A fatal case of hypermagnesemia caused by ingesting magnesium chloride as a folk remedy. J Forensic Sci. 2013 Nov;58(6):1673-5. https://doi.org/10.1111/1556-4029.12266

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