Does Magnesium Help With Asthma?

Asthma is a chronic condition that causes your airways to become swollen and inflamed, which can make it difficult or impossible to breathe (via Mayo Clinic). Some people may only experience mild symptoms while the disease can be life-threatening for others. There is no cure for asthma, but symptoms can be managed in a variety of ways.

According to WebMD, researchers are currently looking at magnesium as a potential way to improve asthma symptoms. Although there is not enough evidence to support prescribing this mineral as part of a treatment plan, several studies have shown that it may help reduce inflammation in the lungs. A 2012 study found some promise that taking an asthma supplement could help with mild asthma symptoms, but stated that more research is necessary (via National Library of Medicine). Magnesium may also affect how quickly you are able to breathe out, which is a function affected by asthma. Scientists are continuing to study the possibility of this mineral being able to treat asthma.

What to know about magnesium

Whether it is able to treat symptoms of asthma or not, magnesium is an important mineral that everyone needs in their diets. According to the National Institutes of Health, most people do not get enough magnesium. This mineral plays a role in over 300 enzyme reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, the regulation of blood pressure, and muscle and nerve function. The recommended daily intake of this mineral varies by age and gender, but adults should consume anywhere from 360 to 420 milligrams per day (via Healthline). Magnesium deficiencies are uncommon but can lead to fatigue, muscle cramps, and abnormal heart rhythms.

The best way to get more magnesium is to consume it naturally through foods like nuts and seeds, dark green vegetables, whole grains, legumes, and many proteins. Foods that are very high in magnesium include dark chocolate, avocados, tofu, and spinach (via Healthline). If you have trouble getting enough magnesium through food alone, you can also take a supplement.