The Link Between Asthma and Magnesium

The Link Between Asthma and Magnesium

Magnesium is an important mineral needed by every organ in the body (especially the heart, muscles and kidneys) but research is showing that magnesium may also be vital for asthma sufferers.

There has been significant research to tie low levels of magnesium to increased asthmatic symptoms as well as a higher risk of developing asthma. Studies have shown that upping magnesium levels can be extremely beneficial for asthmatics, improving the lungs ability to move air in and out.

Many people suffering with asthma and other bronchial diseases already have low levels of magnesium due to the body requiring higher levels to cope with asthmatic symptoms. Ironically, some asthmatic drugs can cause a loss of magnesium as well, inevitably making symptoms worse. People suffering with asthma often find a marked improvement in their symptoms when supplementing magnesium.

Although there are high levels of magnesium in nuts, whole grains and green leafy vegetables, most of us aren’t able to get enough magnesium from diet alone. Certain health conditions can also lower magnesium levels as well as excessive sweating, diarrhoea and prolonged stress.  High consumption of coffee, soda, salt and alcohol can also lower magnesium levels. Typical symptoms of magnesium deficiency levels are varied but can include anxiety, restless leg syndrome, irritability, abnormal heart rhythms, low blood pressure, muscle spasm and weakness, hyperventilation, and insomnia. In children, low magnesium levels can present as hyperactivity, restlessness and sleeping problems. 

Here’s what magnesium can do for an asthma sufferer:


  • It can make their airways less likely to constrict. If calcium levels are high in your body and magnesium levels are low, the likelihood of your airways constricting increases. 

  • It can help their vitamin D levels. Many asthma sufferers also have low vitamin D. This is because your body requires adequate levels of magnesium to utilise vitamin D properly. 

  • Their Ventolin will work better when taken with magnesium.

  • Asthmatics have a better rate of airflow (they can blow more air out) with good levels of magnesium in their body.  Even though you think asthmatics’ problem is that they can’t get enough air in – the problem is really that they can’t get enough CO2 out of the body to allow more O2 to get in.


Why do asthma sufferers need Magnesium? 

Asthma occurs as a result of the airways narrowing due to spasms in the bronchial tubes. This triggers inflammation and mucus production, which further contributes to breathing difficulties. Magnesium dilates and eases lung spasms, relaxing the smooth muscles in the respiratory system. Magnesium also has a calming effect on the whole body, especially the nervous system, which helps to treat the anxiety associated with asthma attacks. 

Another benefit of magnesium lies in its antihistamine qualities. Asthma attacks can be triggered by airborne allergies which irritate the mucus membranes lining the respiratory tract. Toxins, dust, pollen, mould, dust mites and animal fur are all things that can irritate these membranes. Magnesium lowers the production of histamine in response to allergies.

Asthma can be caused or worsened by a range of other contributing factors, including deficiencies in omega 3 or 6, food sensitivies (most common are citrus fruit, dairy, eggs, soy, wheat and yeasts), drops in temperature, cigarette smoke, blood sugar fluctuation and emotional, mental or physical stress.


Good Health Magnesium Sustained Release is a unique high strength 500mg elemental marine magnesium product, specifically designed to slowly release magnesium in your body over 8 hours, allowing your body to properly absorb and utilise magnesium as it needs it, without any negative digestive effects.

Good Health Opti Mag Powder is a great tasting magnesium powder to add to water for a refreshing drink. Ideal for people who have difficulty swallowing tablets. Opti Mag Powder contains a high dose of oxide-free magnesium, which is more easily absorbed by the body, so it works faster and more effectively. 

Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time.

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Not all products recommended may be available in South Africa at this time