Magnesium is an element, a mineral with more nutritional value than you think. It is so beneficial that lack of it would cause some deficiency in the body. For instance, a lack of magnesium affects the mind and emotions. It would also affect your heart and bones.
So a lack of it can be a real problem. So how do we mitigate the problem?
By taking this mineral, which could be in the meals you eat or the supplements you take. But things are not this simple, to answer the question “what is magnesium good for?” you would need to understand what magnesium is.
- 1 What Is Magnesium?
- 2 Health Benefits Of Magnesium
- 3 How Much Magnesium Do I Need?
- 4 How Well Do We Absorb Magnesium?
- 5 Foods That Contains Magnesium
- 6 What Happens If I Don’t Get Enough Magnesium?
- 7 Should I Take Supplements?
- 8 What Kinds Of Dietary Magnesium Supplements Are Available?
- 9 Side Effects Of Magnesium
- 10 Conclusion
What Is Magnesium?
The first thing for you to know is what magnesium is. I may have mentioned magnesium to be a mineral or an element, but it should also be suggested that it can be found in the body and is suitable for it too.
But other than this, magnesium is much more. Yes, it is a mineral, but it also a vital one at that; meaning that it is crucial to the maintenance and development of the body. Like I said earlier, magnesium works with the brain, the heart, the bones, and the muscles, ensuring the body maintains a healthy posture.
It is so helpful to the body in that, it plays a role in the reaction of over 300 enzymes in the body that helps for food metabolism, synthesizing of protein and fatty acid, and nerve impulse transmission, amongst others.
So this, in a nutshell, is magnesium is. It is, first of all, one among the seven macronutrients we have today. It is also a mineral in the body, that is stored in the skeletal system, which aids in the development and strengthening of the bones.
It is also essential in the development of the heart, the brain functions as well as other body functions including; reductions of menstrual pain, and other stomach related issues. It is a mineral that reacts with over 300 enzymes positively to make sure you’re stable, health-wise.
Health Benefits Of Magnesium
When explaining the meaning of magnesium, I may have mentioned some of its benefits, but for emphasis sake, here are some of the essential health benefits of magnesium.
1. Magnesium aids the reactions of over hundreds of biochemical in the body
Some of the places you’d find magnesium are in the sea, on the earth, the plants the animals and in humans. Human’s storage of magnesium is in the bone (containing about 60% of the magnesium), and the tissue and fluids (holding the remaining 40%).
For the cells in your body to function, it needs magnesium. The magnesium act as the cofactor or the helper of the molecule, where the biochemical reaction is taking place.
Some of the reactions include; the energy creations, the gene maintenance (production and repair of RNA and DNA), muscle movement, among other things.
2. Magnesium also boost performance during exercise
This mineral plays a vital role in your performance during training. You need between 10-20% more of magnesium when you’re exercising, other than when resting.
What the magnesium does is that it moves the blood sugar to the muscle, disposing of the lactic acid, which in turn builds up the muscle, and allows it to endure more in workout sessions.
3. It also helps in the fighting and prevention of diabetes
One of the crucial roles that magnesium plays in the body is the metabolism of carbohydrates and glucose, which in turn prevent and hampers the impact of diabetes.
Studies show that the higher the level of magnesium is in the body, the lower the risk of diabetes. Thus for every 100mg of magnesium taken a day, the risk of diabetes is reduced by 15%.
Also, low levels of magnesium impair both the secretion and sensitivity of the insulin. To improve the insulin secretion and sensitivity, studies suggest that over 300-350mg of magnesium should be taken daily.
4. It improves heart health
Another very beneficial use of magnesium is about cardio fitness. The magnesium aid in the maintenance of the heart muscles, as well as aiding in electrical signal transmission around the body.
A healthy intake of magnesium does the follow to the heart; it lowers the risk of atherosclerosis, which is a fatty buildup in the artery walls. It also reduces the risk of high blood pressure or hypertension.
5. Magnesium helps to fight migraine headaches
Last but not the list, magnesium is useful when fighting migraine headaches. Studies suggest that a good intake of magnesium helps to relieve headaches.
Since the amount of magnesium needed to cure the headache is high, it is recommended that the magnesium should be taken or administered by a health professional.
Some other essential benefits you might want to know include; relief of premenstrual syndromes, anxiety, and improving brain functions.
How Much Magnesium Do I Need?
The amount of magnesium a person should take would generally depend on the gender of the person. The office of dietary supplements, the national institute of health, has suggested the level of magnesium to be taken by the two genders.
Men should generally take about 400-420mg of magnesium daily. While healthy adult ladies should take 310-320mg of magnesium daily. For pregnant ladies, the recommendation is higher than those who aren’t pregnant.
If what you’re taking is magnesium supplement, then the required dose is 350. The reason why you should consume a lower amount of magnesium when taking in magnesium supplement is that they are more concentrated than those found in foods.
How Well Do We Absorb Magnesium?
The first thing you should know is that the body only absorbs about 20-50% of magnesium that has been ingested by the body. If you know this, it will help you to know whether to take in more magnesium or not. So I’ll be telling you how absorption works.
High absorption of the magnesium usually occurs in the small intestine, when the magnesium is consumed for any purpose, including dietary.
The magnesium can also be administered through the skin, in which case it is absorbed by the skin to work in the body.
The kidney is not exempted from the absorption process. In fact, the kidney is the one responsible for eliminating waste products, including excessive magnesium. So where the magnesium is excessive, it will remove the excesses through a process called, “homeostasis”; a Latin word which means, “the position of sameness
Foods That Contains Magnesium
Other than the magnesium supplement that we have, you can also find natural magnesium in foodstuff. Here is a list of foods that have magnesium in them;
1. For fruits, we have, the avocado, banana, figs, raspberries amongst others
2. For vegetables are green and leafy. We have kale, spinach, to mention a few
3. Nuts and seeds
4. For legumes, you can find magnesium in chickpeas, beans, black beans, and kidney beans, among the rest.
5. For vegetables, you can get magnesium from asparagus, peas, artichokes, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, green beans and much more
6. You can also get magnesium in seafood like salmon, tuna, mackerel.
7. For whole grain products, magnesium is enough brown rice and oats
8. You can find magnesium in raw cocoa
10. Dark chocolate. Not all chocolates suffice, and you shouldn’t be taking it all the time
11. Chlorella powder and
12. Baked beans
This list is not exclusive, meaning there are other magnesium-rich food products out there, that have not been mentioned herein.
Also, for some of the categories mentioned above, the examples are also not exclusive and as such can be added up.
What Happens If I Don’t Get Enough Magnesium?
When you do not take enough magnesium for a long time, you will have a magnesium deficiency. It, not a pleasant thing to have, no, in fact, magnesium deficiency causes some severe problems for the person to whom the problem exists.
When the magnesium intake is low, the kidney will try to reserve magnesium by reducing the amount in the urine. Also, it would cause some serious problems during absorption. So low magnesium, in essence, interferes with the absorption process.
Some of the symptoms of the deficiency include; nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite, weakness, and fatigue.
If it is extreme, the deficiency I mean, then you may begin to experience numbness, muscle cramps, a tingling sensation in some part of the body, personality change, abnormality in the rhythm of the heartbeat, and seizures.
It could also cause high blood pressure and other heart diseases. It could promote type 2 diabetes, it can make the bone dense (Osteoporosis), you could have frequent migraines amongst other things.
Should I Take Supplements?
Taking supplements is usually recommended for patients who have magnesium deficiency disorder. They are magnesium-based products that act as an auxiliary source of magnesium and should be taken with meals.
Before you take this product is it usually advisable that you consult a physician or your doctor, so that you know what you’re doing. If you are not magnesium deficient, then there is no need for taking this product.
Because of the commonness of low intake of natural magnesium, it is advisable that you should take a prescribed dose of magnesium supplements. They will help to boost your magnesium level.
But again it should be emphasized that this supplement must be taken with the approval of a doctor or physician, because as you know, overdosing on magnesium is a thing and should be avoided.
What Kinds Of Dietary Magnesium Supplements Are Available?
There are several types of magnesium supplements for your dietary purposes. They come in different forms for different purposes. Here are some magnesium supplements you can try out;
1. The Magnesium threonate
This magnesium supplement is for optimal brain performance. It diminishes the symptoms that follow depressions, hypertension, anxiety, amongst other brain-related disorders.
The supplements also have restorative power for brain neurons (this was shown in an experiment carried out on animals).
2. The Magnesium glycinate
This magnesium is yet another magnesium for dietary purposes. Its formula is from both the glycine and amino acid. And what it does is to promote relaxation in the person who is taking it.
It tends to work fast because it is easily absorbed. It also reduces nerve pain, which is a good thing, for those who suffer menstrual pain and muscle cramps.
3 The Magnesium malate
This particular brand of magnesium is good for improving energy levels, for those who want to get the job done. It is made from both the organic compounds of malic acid and magnesium, and it also aids in the reduction of muscle pain.
4. Magnesium oxide
The last but not least on my list is the magnesium oxide. It is an excellent supplement for those who want to be relieved from constipation. It also does well in the regulation of blood pressure and level. It may even show signs of reducing cholesterol levels.
Some other forms of magnesium supplements include; magnesium orotate, for athletic performance and heart health. The magnesium chloride for nervous system functions and detoxification.
Magnesium sulfate, for relaxation and improvement of sleep. And magnesium taurate, for cardiovascular health.
Side Effects Of Magnesium
Despite the essential benefits of magnesium, it is not without some side effects
1. The mineral can be unsafe for certain kinds of persons. For instance, patients on diuretics, or antibiotics or heart medications should be cautious when taking this product.
2. It can also cause diarrhea, or nausea and even vomiting for those persons new to taking a magnesium supplement. But it is most likely to occur when these persons take it in larger doses than prescribed.
3. For those with kidney issues, it is important to take caution when taking the supplement
4. For those who are not magnesium deficient, it is not advisable that you take the supplement, it may cause some disturbance in the stomach.
These are the significant side effect you may likely face when taking magnesium. And you will notice that these side effect only occurs when the supplements are taken wrongly, inappropriately or abused.
The practical value of magnesium cannot be overemphasized. It has even been argued that magnesium is one of the most beneficial minerals in the body (if not the most beneficial). Magnesium covers all aspects of our health, from the heart to the brain, the nervous system, and the stomach.
It is all-encompassing and should be treated as necessary. When you spot a deficiency, it is trite that you solve the problem.
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