Does Magnesium Help Boost Fertility?

Magnesium is an essential mineral, similar to zinc or iron, that helps the body remain healthy and function properly. Some of the roles that magnesium plays are in keeping blood pressure normal, leveling heart rhythms, and strengthening bones, according to WebMD.

Unfortunately, foods that contain a lot of magnesium are not consumed regularly by the average person in the United States. This can lead to deficiencies in many people, reports Medical News Today.

While magnesium can help with many physical ailments, research has also shown that magnesium might possibly play a part in fertility. According to a 2015 study, a common denominator between women who are infertile or have trouble conceiving a child is magnesium deficiency. However, when these infertile women were given proper magnesium supplementation, they became pregnant within eight months. But is there evidence to show what the mechanism is for how magnesium might help women become pregnant?

Magnesium's potential role in fertility

A woman becomes pregnant through the process of conception. During sexual activity, sperm travels through the woman's vagina, into her uterus, and then into one of the fallopian tubes, where it can fertilize an egg. The fertilized egg then begins to divide into multiple cells. After about a week, it will travel to the uterus, where it can implant in the uterine wall and eventually develop into a full-grown infant, explains Cleveland Clinic.

Can magnesium supplementation help a couple conceive a child? Possibly.

It is not known whether magnesium directly affects the egg. However, magnesium has been shown to help with inflammation. A 2010 study showed that in a group of 100 adults, the participants who took magnesium rather than a placebo showed fewer markers of inflammation. Why is this important? Because inflammation can affect fertility rates. In fact, a 2011 study concluded that "inflammation is a major cause of infertility affecting essentially all components necessary for reproduction."

According to the National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements, the recommended daily allowance for pregnant women between 19 and 30 years old is 350 milligrams of magnesium per day while pregnant women 31 to 50 need slightly more at 360 milligrams per day. However, if possible, it's better to receive magnesium from actual food than from supplements. Good sources of magnesium include beans, nuts, whole grains, and yogurt, just to name a few, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.