Magnesium is extremely important for your health because it is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium is fourth most prevalent mineral in the body and is partially responsible for countless aspects good, sound health. Roughly 50% of our body’s total magnesium is stored in our bones, while the remaining part of magnesium is predominantly found in the cells of body tissues and organs. Only 1% of magnesium is available in blood, although the human body is very good at regulating a constant level of magnesium in the blood.
Magnesium is needed to keep muscle and nerve functions normal and to keep the heart beating rhythmically. It also helps to support a healthy immune system, and keeps bones strong. Magnesium is important in terms of regulating blood sugar levels, thereby promoting normal blood pressure. Magnesium also supports energy metabolism and protein synthesis. Magnesium has a positive effect on the treatment of disorders such as cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Dietary magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines and is excreted through the kidneys.
Sources of Magnesium
Natural sources of magnesium include sea vegetables, leafy vegetables such as spinach, and whole grains that are usually major components of a person’s regular diet. Some other vegetables that can be classified as rich magnesium sources include tomatoes, beet greens, broad beans, lima beans, artichokes, sweet potatoes, buckwheat flour, pumpkin seeds, peanuts, wheat flour, oat bran, barley, cornmeal and chocolate. Also, you can consume dairy products such as milk and yoghurts, as well as non-vegetarian products like fish to acquire magnesium. Whole wheat bread containing bran and germ has twice the magnesium content compared to white bread. Water also has a high magnesium content; hard water has more magnesium than soft water, although hard water is not good for the body, especially the kidneys.
The deficiency symptoms of magnesium include pain in the neck and back, anxiety, fatigue, migraine attacks, muscle weakness and spasms, loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, insomnia, abnormal heart rhythms, diarrhea, muscle twitching and Raynaud’s spastic vessels.
When you are under stress, your body tends to quickly deplete its stores of magnesium. One very common symptom of magnesium deficiency is chocolate cravings, since chocolate is rich in this essential mineral. Magnesium deficiency can be a major cause behind diabetes, depression, and menopausal symptoms.
Health Benefits of Magnesium
Health benefits of magnesium include the maintenance of bodily nerves, muscles and bones. It also helps in protein synthesis and cellular metabolism. Magnesium is vital for sustaining a normal heart beat and is used by doctors to treat irregularities in heart rhythm. Other health benefits of magnesium are its positive impact on reducing osteoporosis, eclamptic seizures, and maintenance of sugar level, as well as its positive effects on asthma, diabetes, constipation, back pain and various psychiatric disorders.
Medical and health specialists often highlight the importance of including adequate vitamin and mineral intake to our daily diet. Magnesium is one of those essential minerals that aids the human body in absorbing calcium and plays an important role in the formation and strengthening of teeth and bones.
Prevents Asthma – Patients that suffer from chronic asthma may be able to normalize their breathing with the help of magnesium supplements that aid in relaxing the bronchial muscles and regulating breathing. Even wheezing and breathlessness can be relieved through administration of intravenous magnesium.
Keeps bones healthy - Magnesium is directly related to bone density, and subsequently, an inadequacy of this mineral in the body can be a cause of osteoporosis. Magnesium helps in the regulation of calcium levels in the body, along with vitamin D, copper, and zinc. Magnesium, along with calcium and Vitamin D, should be taken throughout the developmental years and adulthood, since it eliminates the chances of developing osteoporosis when you get older.
Essential during pregnancy - Magnesium is one of the vital elements to ensure a healthy pregnancy. Proper intake of magnesium supplements during pregnancy is extremely beneficial for reducing the risk of osteoporosis and increasing the pain tolerance level, thereby resulting in a smooth delivery process and an optimization of blood pressure. Magnesium sulfate is the best treatment for preventing eclamptic seizures in expectant mothers who may have hypertension.
Treats back pain and cramps – Magnesium helps treating people with severe backaches by relaxing back muscles, kidney stress and muscular tension. As mentioned earlier, magnesium also helps in the body’s absorption of calcium, which may lead to faster healing of the bones. Symptoms of cramps in the legs, as well as general fatigue are traditional symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Therefore, proper intake of magnesium supplements acts as a cure for chronic leg cramp problems.
Prevents heart attack – Deficiency of magnesium can result in heart disease, often leading to fatal results. Deficiency of magnesium brings a long list of hazards to your heart. Magnesium protects the heart from irregular heartbeats and tenderly shields your heart from damage, particularly from muscle stress. Magnesium actually calms the nerves and mediates digestive processes and prevents problems like vomiting, cramps, indigestion, abdominal pain, flatulence, and constipation, all of which can put undue stress on various parts of your cardiovascular system.
Prevents constipation – Magnesium provides quick relief from constipation, and a high dose of water-soluble magnesium supplements is known to bring sound relief for even the most severe constipated state. This laxative property of magnesium relaxes the intestinal muscles, thereby helping to establish a smoother rhythm while passing bowels. Magnesium also has another property of attracting water, which in turn softens the stool and helps it to pass easily.
Prevents diabetes and regulates sugar level – The health benefits of magnesium extend to diabetic patients also, as this mineral helps to regulate the insulin reaction to blood sugar levels. Magnesium supplements are vital for all diabetic patients as many of them suffer from magnesium deficiency. Magnesium aids in regulating blood sugar status, thus promoting normal blood pressure. Hypertension is one of the major reasons for an impending heart attack, and it has been found that many people with high blood pressure also have a magnesium deficiency. Therefore, extra nutrients and mineral supplements with magnesium content are vital in order to avoid any medical complications.
Cures psychiatric disorders – Magnesium is known to cure some of the worst forms of psychiatric dysfunctions such as panic attacks, stress, anxiety and undue agitation.
Cures migraines – Migraine attacks badly affect many Americans, especially, females. Magnesium supplements and liquids considerably reduce the severity of such attacks and may also help in reducing the rate of recurrence.
Produces collagen - Magnesium is important for producing proteins that are slowly transformed into collagen. Collagens are naturally occurring proteins mostly found in fibrous tissues like tendons, ligaments and the skin. It is also present in the cornea, bones, the gut, cartilage, blood vessels, and intervertebral discs. The more collagen in the system, the stronger those areas of the body will become.
Absorb minerals – Magnesium helps to absorb vital vitamins and minerals like sodium, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. Mineral absorption usually occurs within the small intestine and this benefit of magnesium ensures the detoxification of many harmful toxins in our body.
Activates enzymes – Magnesium also helps to boost the energy production in the body and it promotes the activation of enzymes to create cellular energy.
Controls bladder functions – Many people who have blabber problems and suffer from the frequent urge to urinate may find relief by taking magnesium supplements. Urination problems can come from a variety of reasons such as nephritis, infections, or sometimes interstitial cystitis; however, regular intake of magnesium can bring great relief to these ailments.
Dosage and side effects
The importance of magnesium is still not widespread or “common knowledge”, so many people ignore the importance of magnesium consumption in their diet. Most dietitians recommend 250-350 mg per day of magnesium supplement for adults.
The side effects of magnesium are very rare, but it is important to cover them. Too much magnesium often leads to diarrhea, and most of the serious effects of excessive magnesium intake results because magnesium has a laxative quality. However, if you take magnesium in the form of nutritional supplements, there are fewer chances of such side effects. People with kidney disease should avoid taking magnesium supplements without talking to a doctor.