The Wonders of Magnesium for Allergies

"Foods high in magnesium will help protect the immune system and detoxify the body, as well as work on hundreds of enzyme reactions in the body," explains Carolyn Dean, MD ND, a member of the medical advisory board of the Nutritional Magnesium Association.

Benefits of Magnesium for Allergies

Dean points out that magnesium can decrease histamine levels in your body and fight inflammation that commonly occurs with allergies and asthma. Getting adequate amounts of magnesium can improve lung function. This mineral can help relax the smooth muscles that line your airways by opening them up. In addition, magnesium can help reduce the bronchospasms that typically occur in an asthma attack.

Magnesium Deficiency

While getting enough magnesium for allergies through food would be ideal, it doesn't always happen that way. That is because cooking can strip away magnesium found in food. Additionally, consuming large quantities of coffee, soda, alcohol, meat, and dairy can also remove this mineral from your body. Some digestive disorders and other health conditions can also keep your body from properly absorbing magnesium.

Taking Magnesium for Allergies

That's why some doctors now recommend using magnesium supplements as a way to help prevent and treat allergies and asthma. Dean recommends taking magnesium citrate powder in a few small doses throughout the day in addition to incorporating more magnesium-rich foods into your diet. (Of course you should always check with your primary care doctor or allergist for recommendations as to what's best for your specific health needs and situation.)

Dean also advises paying attention not only to what you eat, but also what you should avoid. This includes processed foods and those high in sugar, since these can weaken the immune system and lead to yeast growth and irritation of the nasal passages that can make you more susceptible to the negative impact of your most troublesome allergy triggers.

Dr. Dean reviewed this article.



Carolyn Dean, MD, ND, Medical Advisory Board Member of the Nutritional Magnesium Association. Email interview. 15 Nov. 2012.

Jensen, Richard. "Managing Asthma Naturally." Nutritional Magnesium Association. N.d. Web. 12 Nov. 2012.

Seelig M. "Consequences of magnesium deficiency on the enhancement of stress reactions; preventive and therapeutic implications (a review)." Journal of the American College of Nutrition 13 (5) (1994): 429-446. Web. 12 Nov. 2012.