Of all the supplements out there, magnesium is probably one of the most recognizable. Whether on its own or paired up with calcium, magnesium is widely used. But how much do you know about it?
Magnesium helps the body in several ways that make it highly recommended by health and nutrition professionals for overall health. Here's what you need to know.
What Magnesium Is
First and foremost, magnesium is a mineral. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), magnesium is the fourth most prevalent mineral in the human body, with about 50 percent of it being stored in the bones. Any magnesium taken in through diet is absorbed into the small intestines and the kidneys excrete magnesium to begin various bodily functions and chemical reactions.
Reasons to Make Magnesium a Priority
According to the NIH, magnesium assists in more than 300 biochemical reactions that occur within the body. Here are the main ways magnesium keeps you healthy:
Probably its most popular use, magnesium helps the body better absorb calcium to keep bones strong. Helpful in preventing osteoporosis and further fractures, magnesium works with calcitonin, a hormone that helps draw calcium from the blood to tissues. Magnesium also converts vitamin D into its active form to also promote calcium absorption.
Magnesium assists in proper muscle function. Specifically, magnesium helps the muscles to contract properly during exercise and training and then relax for better muscle recovery. Having adequate magnesium can help relieve tension in the muscles and also improve nerve function. It's being studied in relation to restless leg syndrome.
Magnesium helps to keep the immune system strong to defend the body. A high immune response can help fight off free radicals and other factors that can lead to infection and illness.
This mineral helps the body maintain a healthy heart rhythm. This is important both during physical activity and when the body is at rest. A rapid heart beat or a noticeable change in rhythm could be a sign of deficiency. Magnesium continues to be studied for cardiovascular disease prevention.
Adequate intake of magnesium can help keep blood sugar levels in the desired range to prevent spikes and crashes. This mineral is also being studied more extensively as a treatment for individuals with diabetes to regulate blood sugar and control insulin sensitivity.
Magnesium can help keep blood pressure levels normal. Consuming the recommended amount of magnesium can help reduce the risk of high blood pressure in women and ongoing studies are showing it may help lower high blood pressure and hypertension.
Magnesium helps the body produce more energy and send it throughout the body. Magnesium activates certain enzymes that enable energy metabolism and protein production and synthesis. Athletes also like to take magnesium because it can help improve endurance.
Just like for your bones, magnesium helps maintain strong teeth to prevent decay and further damage by enabling better calcium absorption.
Magnesium is also being studied for its effectiveness in treating conditions like asthma, premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and depression.
Getting Your Magnesium
The amount of magnesium your body needs changes with age as well as bodily changes like pregnancy. As an average, adult men should have between 400 and 420 mg per day and women should have between 310 and 320 mg. Poor diet, inadequately controlled diabetes, recent surgery, alcohol abuse as well as some medications can lead to magnesium deficiency. Symptoms include nausea and/or vomiting, weakness, loss of appetite and fatigue. Extreme cases can also affect the amount of calcium and potassium in the blood, leading to deficiencies in those minerals as well.
Certain foods are naturally rich in magnesium. Chlorophyll contains magnesium, which makes green vegetables a great source for it. You can also try adding more fruits like bananas and avocados as well as beans, nuts and whole grains like brown rice to your diet. Supplements are also available if you feel you aren't getting enough in your diet.
Magnesium is the mineral you should be checking for in your supplements and make sure to include in your diet. With so many benefits, it's a hard one to ignore.
Products you may like:
Kal Magnesium Orotate 200 mg Why you may like this product? With 200 mg of magnesium
orotate per two-tablet
serving, you can control your
dosage depending on your
personal needs. This easily
absorbed magnesium supplement
helps protect the heart,
muscles and tissues and can
also regulate blood sugar
levels and blood pressure.
Solgar Magnesium Citrate Why you may like this product? Just two tablets provides 100
percent of the recommended
daily allowance of this
important mineral. Magnesium
promotes proper muscle and
nerve function and a regular
heart rhythm, among its many