What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body. It plays several essential roles in the health of your body and brain.
Magnesium is a mineral that is important for typical bone structure in the body. People get magnesium from their diet, but sometimes magnesium supplements are needed if magnesium levels are too low. Dietary intake of magnesium may be low, particularly among women. Magnesium deficiency is also not uncommon among African Americans and the elderly. Low magnesium levels in the body have been linked to osteoporosis, high blood pressure, clogged arteries, hereditary heart disease, diabetes, and stroke.
What does magnesium do for the body?
Magnesium is a nutrient that the body needs to stay healthy. Magnesium is vital for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA.
A deficiency due to low dietary intake is not common in healthy people. However, ongoing low intakes or excessive magnesium losses due to certain health conditions, chronic alcoholism, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or intestinal surgery, and/or the use of certain medications can lead to magnesium deficiency.
The early signs of magnesium deficiency include: Loss of appetite, Nausea, Vomiting, Fatigue, and Weakness.
As magnesium deficiency worsens, other symptoms may occur, including Numbness, Tingling, Muscle contractions and cramps, Seizures, Personality changes, Abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms.
Sources of Magnesium:
Rich sources of magnesium are greens, nuts, seeds, dry beans, whole grains, wheat germ, wheat, and oat bran. The recommended dietary allowance for magnesium for adult men is 400-420 mg per day. The dietary allowance for adult women is 310-320 mg per day.
Benefits of Magnesium
Magnesium Is Involved in Hundreds of Biochemical Reactions in Your Body
Magnesium is a mineral found in the earth, sea, plants, animals, and humans.
About 60% of the magnesium in your body is found in bone, while the rest is in muscles, soft tissues, and fluids, including blood. Every cell in your body contains it and needs it to function.
One of magnesium’s leading roles is acting as a co-factor or helper molecule in the biochemical reactions continuously performed by enzymes. It is involved in more than 600 reactions in your body such as:
- Energy creation: Helps convert food into energy.
- Protein formation: Helps create new proteins from amino acids.
- Gene maintenance: Helps create and repair DNA and RNA.
- Muscle movements: Part of the contraction and relaxation of muscles.
- Nervous system regulation: Helps regulate neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout your brain and nervous system.
Magnesium May Boost Exercise Performance
Magnesium also plays a role in exercise performance. You may need 10–20% more magnesium during exercise than when you’re resting, depending on the activity.
Magnesium supplements have been shown to enhance exercise performance in several studies, but research results are mixed.
Magnesium Fights Depression
Magnesium plays a critical role in brain function and mood, and low levels are linked to an increased risk of depression. There may be a link between depression and magnesium deficiency. Supplementing with it can reduce symptoms of depression in some people.
Benefits Against Type 2 Diabetes
Magnesium also benefits people with type 2 diabetes. People who get the most magnesium have a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Moreover, supplements have been shown to lower blood sugar in some people.
Magnesium Can Lower Blood Pressure
Magnesium helps lower blood pressure in people with elevated levels but does not seem to have the same effect on normal levels.
It Has Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Low magnesium intake is linked to chronic inflammation, one of the drivers of aging, obesity, and chronic disease. Magnesium has been shown to help fight inflammation. It reduces the inflammatory marker CRP and provides several other benefits. Low magnesium intake is linked to chronic inflammation, one of the drivers of aging, obesity, and chronic disease.
Magnesium supplements can reduce CRP and other markers of inflammation in older adults, overweight people, and those with prediabetes.
Magnesium Can Help Prevent Migraines
People with frequent migraines may have low magnesium levels. Some studies show that supplementing with this mineral can provide relief from migraines. Additionally, magnesium-rich foods may help reduce migraine symptoms.
It Reduces Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is one of the leading causes of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. It’s characterized by an impaired ability of muscle and liver cells to absorb sugar from your bloodstream properly. Magnesium plays a crucial role in this process, and many people with metabolic syndrome are deficient.
Magnesium Improves PMS Symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is one of the most common disorders among women of childbearing age. Its symptoms include water retention, abdominal cramps, tiredness, and irritability. Magnesium has been shown to improve mood, reduce water retention and other symptoms in women with PMS.
Magnesium Is Safe and Widely Available
Magnesium is essential for good health. The recommended daily intake is 400–420 mg per day for men and 310–320 mg per day for women.
WHAT IS THE PROPER DOSAGE WHEN TAKING MAGNESIUM?
Under 6 months: 30 mg
7-12 months: 75 mg
1-3 years: 80 mg
9-13 years: 240 mg
14-18 years: 410 mg male/360 mg female
19-30 years: 400 mg male/310 mg female
19-30 years pregnant female: 350 mg
19-30 years nursing female: 310 mg
31+ years: 420 mg male/320 mg female
31+ years pregnant female: 360 mg
31+ years nursing female: 320 mg
Studies suggest that magnesium supplementation is inexpensive, generally safe, and well-tolerated at recommended dosages. Magnesium supplementation has been suggested to decrease airway resistance in asthma, decrease the frequency and duration of migraine headaches, decrease blood pressure in mild hypertension, decrease maternal mortality rates due to pre-eclampsia, decrease insulin resistance, and delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. Magnesium has also been noted to influence the natural progression of diabetic-associated neuropathy favorably and help treat constipation.
Findings indicate that supplemental magnesium could play an essential role in preventing and managing many common diseases. Nevertheless, more substantial evidence and more long-term research studies investigating the potential benefits of supplemental magnesium in different disease states are needed.