Magnesium: Why We All Should be Taking This Essential Mineral
Taking into consideration all of the important roles that magnesium plays in the body — and the fact that a magnesium deficiency is one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in adults, with an estimated 80 percent of the population being deficient in this essential mineral — it’s a good idea to think about taking magnesium supplements on a daily basis. Of course, this is in addition to eating plenty magnesium-rich foods.
What does magnesium do for the body, and why can it be detrimental to be deficient?
Magnesium may not be the most present mineral in our bodies in terms of its quantity, but it’s certainly one of the most crucial to overall health. Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in over 800 enzymatic reactions within the body. It is involved in over 300 biochemical functions in the body, such as regulating heartbeat rhythms and helping neurotransmitter functions.
Magnesium is also required for the production of ATP (the main source of energy in our cells) and the production of DNA, RNA and proteins.
What is magnesium used for in the human body?
Some of the main functions of magnesium include:
· Regulating blood pressure
· Keeping bones strong
· Balancing nitric oxide in the body
· Supporting growth and development in babies and children
· Supporting proper function of nerves, muscles, and tissue
· Neutralizing stomach acid
· Moving stools through the intestine and preventing constipation
Why we should be taking Magnesium?
Although we only need small amounts of magnesium relative to other nutrients, we must regularly replenish our magnesium stores, either from food or supplements, in order to prevent magnesium deficiency.
The reason why we need magnesium on a day-to-day basis is because the body loses stores of magnesium every day from normal functions, such as muscle movement, heartbeat and hormone production.
Another interesting thing to note is that the kidneys primarily control levels of magnesium within the body and excrete magnesium into the urine each day, which is one reason why urinary excretion is reduced when magnesium and other electrolyte statuses are low.
Where to get your daily dose of Magnesium?
Magnesium is naturally present in some foods, synthetically added to other food products, and available in dietary supplement form. It’s found in some over-the-counter medicines, such as antacids and laxatives.
Some of the best choices include dark leafy greens like spinach, beans, avocado and almonds. While it’s best to get as much of this mineral as you can from natural magnesium-rich food sources, magnesium supplements can also help some people who are prone to deficiency, such as older adults, athletes and anyone under a lot of stress.
For many people, a magnesium deficiency causes at least some noticeable negative symptoms. These can include muscle aches or spasms, poor digestion, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. Yet, magnesium deficiency is often overlooked and rarely tested. Therefore, magnesium may be one of the most necessary supplements there is to take.
What are the symptoms of low magnesium in the body?
Some of the most prominent magnesium deficiency symptoms according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) include:
· hypertension (high blood pressure) and cardiovascular disease
· kidney and liver damage
· peroxynitrite damage that can lead to migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma or Alzheimer’s disease
· nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin K, vitamin B1, calcium and potassium
· restless leg syndrome
· worsened PMS symptoms
· behavioral disorders and mood swings
· insomnia and trouble sleeping
· recurrent bacterial or fungal infections due to low levels of nitric oxide or a depressed immune system
· tooth cavities
· muscle weakness and cramps
· eclampsia and preeclampsia
Why is magnesium deficiency so common?
A few factors are at play:
· Soil depletion that lowers the amount of magnesium present in crops
· Digestive disorders that lead to malabsorption of magnesium and other minerals in the gut
· High rates of prescription medication and antibiotic use, which can damage the digestive tract to the point that magnesium cannot be absorbed and properly utilized from foods.
You’re most at risk for magnesium deficiency if you have:
· liver disorders
· heart failure
· inflammatory bowel disease
· frequent vomiting or diarrhea
· kidney dysfunction
Older adults and women seem to be affected more often than younger adults and men.
Professionals believe that one of the reasons magnesium supplements are so beneficial is because they help counterbalance high levels of calcium that can accumulate in the body when people take calcium supplements regularly. Similarly, taking vitamin D in high levels, or being deficient in vitamin K2, can lower magnesium stores in the body and contribute to a deficiency.
Since magnesium supplements pose little risk for side effects or toxicity, many health care professionals now recommend that adults take supplements regularly to prevent deficiency.
If you’re going to take a magnesium supplement, when should you take it?
The best time of day to take magnesium for most people is right before bed as it relaxes the body and can help with a better night’s sleep. It also may be a good idea to split doses, taking some in the morning and at night, which can help with absorption.
So overall, taking a magnesium supplement daily is a good idea to consider for our health as it plays a very important part in our bodies. GNA Naturals now offers a highly absorbable Magnesium Bisglycinate is a blend of Magnesium Bisglycinate, Magnesium Citrate and Magnesium Oxide in a 205mg capsule.
(NIH) National Institutes of Health