Thursday, September 15, 2011

Magnesium For Hot Flashes?

Letter to the editor in the Journal of Clinical Oncology that documented two cases where oral magnesium was thought to reduce hot flashes:

Magnesium Supplements for Menopausal Hot Flashes, Thomas J. Smith, 2009

1. 68-year-old woman, hot flashes hourly (24 per day) of moderate severity that interfered with sleep and drenched her nightclothes:
"She prepared for a routine colonoscopy with 300 mls of magnesium citrate, and that night had no hot flashes at all. Subsequently, she used over the counter magnesium 250 mg, and then 400 mg, with reduction in her hot flashes to three or four a day of mild severity that did not interrupt her life or sleep or cause drenching sweats. She categorized her hot flashes as very bothersome before magnesium and not bothersome after magnesium. Her sleep and overall well-being improved."
2. 54-year-old woman who went into natural menopause at age 52, 3 or 4 hot flashes each night, less common during the day:
"She watched “Dr. Phil” on TV, and the guest suggested a combination of Vitamin D at 400 U, calcium at 1,200 mg, and magnesium at 600 mg for weight loss (the purported mechanism was to turn fats into soaps that would not be absorbed). She began these supplements, and overnight her hot flashes diminished to half their frequency and severity. She also described her prior hot flashes as very bothersome, and nonexistent after beginning the regimen."
Hard to tell if it was the magnesium in the second case. The first case offers some strong anecdotal evidence. A 300 ml colonoscopy prep delivers about 2 grams of magnesium, almost 6 times the upper intake level. (The DRI for magnesium for these women is 320 mg/day, with an upper limit of 350 mg.) When she pulled back to 400mg she still had considerable relief.

They sure do sell a lot of magnesium citrate at Vitamin Shoppe. Maybe it has more to do with bowel stimulation.

Related post: Magnesium May Improve Sleep

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