Stress, magnesium and food supplements 1024 512 admin-pyc
Aurélie SIFFRE, French doctor of pharmacy

Stress, magnesium and food supplements

Here we are! Back to school, back to work, a new routine, fresh days and first rains as the days get shorter…

Several studies are unanimous: the French are increasingly stressed, with a rise of 38% in three years. The health crisis has also reinforced this phenomenon: 53% of French people say they are more stressed than before, 59% of whom are women.

And this naturally has negative consequences for their professional and social lives [1].

So what exactly is stress?

Stress is a physiological process in which the body responds to an aggression. There are three phases: the alarm reaction, resistance and then the exhaustion phase. This is particularly the case in burnout [2].

Stress should not be confused with anxiety: anxiety is an emotion that can result from stress.

Although it can be positive in some cases, chronic stress can lead to many serious diseases. For this reason, gentle methods can limit the effect of stress on the body, such as sophrology or relaxation, but also food supplements, before turning to allopathic medicine, or a combination of them [3].

These products are already recognised by consumers: sales in the stress and sleep segment increased by 9.3% in 2020! [4].

Some key actives for dealing with stress

Magnesium, of course.
It is an essential mineral that contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism.

A lack of magnesium results in anxiety, irritability, fatigue, insomnia, but also in muscle cramps or tightness in the chest. Moreover, it has been established that stress causes magnesium to be eliminated through the urine. It’s a vicious circle: more stress = less magnesium, less magnesium = more stress… [5] [8].

According to the SU.VI.MAX study, more than 7 out of 10 French people have an insufficient intake of magnesium, the recommended daily intake being 360 to 400 mg for women and 420 to 500 mg for men [9]. It is found in interesting quantities in chocolate, pulses, wholegrain cereals, nuts, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ and certain mineral waters enriched with magnesium [5].

Many food supplements are also available at a maximum dosage of 300 mg, often in combination with vitamin B6, which promotes the entrance of magnesium into the cell [6] [7].

It is also important to check the magnesium salt used.

  • Inorganic salts are poorly assimilated and cause diarrhoea (chloride, magnesium hydroxide).
  • Organic salts are better assimilated and better tolerated (citrate, magnesium malate, etc.), and offer good value for money; they are most frequently found in formulas.
  • Soluble organic complexes (magnesium bisglycinate) are highly absorbable but much more expensive [10].


It should be noted that several plant extracts have been the subject of clinical studies on mood and stress regulation. For example: saffron extract, lemon balm and rhodiola rosea. They are frequently found in the formulations of “anti-stress” food supplements.

Don’t let stress affect you

Don’t let stress affect you: a balanced diet, a good night’s sleep, regular physical activity… Otherwise, if you are exhausted and stressed after dining on the go and working until late, with your eyelids twitching regularly, you now know what you must do!

For food supplement development:

[1] Sources: Synadiet press conference on 8/12/2020 – Harris Interactive (November 2020) and Frost & Sullivan (June and December 2019) studies

[2] Medical dictionary, stress

[3] Wikipedia, stress

[4] Source : Synadiet General Assembly March 2021

[5] Vidal, food supplement, magnesium

[6] ANSES, nutritional references for vitamins and minerals

[7] Vidal, food supplement, vitamin B6

[8] PubMed, Magnesium Status and Stress: The Vicious Circle Concept Revisited

[9] French study e “SUpplémentation en VItamines et Minéraux Antioxydants” SU.VI.MAX, 1997

[10] PubMed, Study of Magnesium Formulations on Intestinal Cells to Influence Myometrium Cell Relaxation

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