COVID-19: How Magnesium Can Help

The novel coronavirus (COVID-19), pandemic has added two phrases to our everyday vocabulary—‘social distancing’ and ‘self-mandated quarantine’. However, while scientists work on antivirals and vaccines, we can take a holistic approach and adopt age-old pillars of good health—\’good hygiene’ and a ‘strong immune system’.

Coronavirus transmits through person-to-person contact, via respiratory droplets passed during coughing or sneezing, and through contact with contaminated surfaces. How successful you are in fighting the infection depends upon your immune system—your body’s intricately-layered defence system that protects you from illnesses. The reaction of the immune symptom is central to COVID-19′s severity. A new study (1) indicates that COVID-19 triggers a cytokine storm, where one’s immune system can get out of control. For people whose immune systems are compromised (due to age or for other genetic /environmental reasons), their immune system goes into overdrive, leading to “a flood of immune cells into the lungs.” This has a cascading effect in the body, causing respiratory distress and subsequent shutdown of multiple organs.

Here are some ways in which daily magnesium supplementation can help support you in these uncertain times:

  • Magnesium strengthens your immune system: Magnesium is an important micronutrient and an immune system modulator. It increases the activity involved in the formation of antibodies (helps in immune response) and makes cells more active in protecting themselves from microbial, bacterial and viral attacks. [2]
  • Magnesium aids in a restful sleep: While sleep is not a cure for the coronavirus, it does give the immune system a boost to help fight off infection. Good quality and restful sleep is one of the vital components of good health. According to “Without sufficient sleep your body makes fewer cytokines…cytokines are both produced and released during sleep, causing a double whammy if you skimp on shut-eye. Chronic sleep loss even makes the flu vaccine less effective by reducing your body’s ability to respond.”[3] Magnesium helps restore good sleep habits. Increase your magnesium intake and you will likely see an impact on the time and quality of sleep you get every night.
  • Magnesium reduces stress and anxiety: People under stress have low magnesium levels. Magnesium blocks the action of the stress hormone adrenaline. It calms people with anxiety. In fact, the role of magnesium in relieving stress and anxiety is so deeply established that some of the best spas of the world offer magnesium massages. Taking magnesium can help you remain calm in these stressful times.
  • Magnesium promotes better lung health: High dietary magnesium intake is associated with better lung function, and a reduced risk of airway hyper-reactivity and wheezing. In France, Magnesium has been used as the number one natural remedy to prevent or fight the flu and the common cold for over 80 years. This can be extrapolated to current times as well, as magnesium chloride interacts with the cell itself, detoxifying the core. [4]

So, even as you maintain ‘social distance’ and ‘self-quarantine’, stay calm.  Practice smart hygiene practices such as frequently washing your hands with soap, avoiding close contact with people who are sick; up your daily intake of supplemental magnesium and hope for these times to pass, quickly.

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  1. Clinical predictors of mortality due to COVID-19 based on an analysis of data of 150 patients from Wuhan, China. (n.d.). Intensive Care Medicine.
  2. The Magnesium Miracle, Dr. Carolyn Dean MD ND.
  3. Boost Your Health with Better Sleep. (n.d.). National Sleep Foundation.
  4. Dietary magnesium, lung function, wheezing, and airway hyper-reactivity in a random adult population sample. (n.d.). | Science, health and medical journals, full text articles and books.

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