The mineral magnesium is essential for every biochemical process happening in the body and plays a crucial role in skeletal development and in the maintenance of electrical signaling in the nervous system; a shortfall of magnesium will affect just about every part of the body. Deficiency is common, and large amounts of calcium in the body can interfere with magnesium absorption.
Magnesium is vital for turning food into energy, and also plays a part in the release of the hormone insulin, which regulates blood sugar levels. The nervous system relies on magnesium to function properly and it is valued for its stress-relieving properties, For instance, magnesium is required for active transport of ions like potassium and calcium across cell membranes.
Magnesium helps to repair and maintain body cells, and it thought to help keep your heart and blood vessels healthy. Because it controls the movement of calcium in and out of cells, magnesium is important for strong bones and teeth. Magnesium also helps to relax muscles.
Magnesium food sources can be varied; Main sources in the diet are green vegetables and cereals. Leafy vegetables such as spinach, grains and nuts (peanut butter for example), generally have higher magnesium content (60-2,700 mg/kg). Meats and animal products are generally rich in magnesium but the simultaneous intake of calcium, phosphate and protein from these sources reduces its bioavailability. Four slices of whole meal bread should supply the recommended daily allowance.
The magnesium content of water is variable, ‘hard’ water has a considerable concentration of Mg salts.
Magnesium – Nutrient Interactions
– Zinc – High doses of supplemental Zn may affect Mg absorption.
– Protein – Low protein intakes associated with decreased Mg absorption
– Vitamin D and Calcium
o Calcitriol may slightly increase magnesium’s intestinal absorption
o Inadequate blood magnesium levels may result in low blood calcium levels and resistance to some of the effects of Vitamin D.
Stress and irritability
Cramp or twitching muscles
How Effective is Magnesium for Good Health?
Premenstrual syndrome: studies indicate that magnesium supplements are effective in reducing the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), including alleviating fatigue, irritability, fluid retention and tender breasts. Magnesium may also relieve period pains because of its effects on muscles and nerves.
Depression and mood: this anti-stress mineral is considered to be very helpful in fighting depression and stabilizing moods, because it is involved in the production of brain chemicals that make you feel good.
Healthy heart: magnesium helps maintain a healthy cardiovascular system and it thought to ward off heart attacks.
Fatigue: An all round energy booster, magnesium can increase your vitality.
Indigestion: Magnesium neutralizes stomach acids, which can cause severe discomfort.
Cataracts and impair vision: Magnesium supplementation may be of therapeutic value in preventing the onset and progression of cataracts in conditions associated with Mg deficiency. Magnesium also plays an important role in diminishing the risk of glaucoma by improving ocular blood flow and preventing loss of ganglion cells.
Chronic diseases: Magnesium is vital for many bodily functions. Getting enough of this mineral can help prevent or in the treatment of some chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and migraine.
Cardiovascular disease: People who receive magnesium soon after a heart attack have a lower risk of mortality. Doctors sometimes use magnesium during treatment for congestive heart failure (CHF) to reduce the risk of arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm.
According to a 2019 meta-analysis, increasing magnesium intake may lower a person’s risk of stroke. The study reported that for each 100mg increase in magnesium per day, the risk of stroke is reduced by 2%.
High amounts of magnesium (over 1000 mg) can be toxic. If you have kidney issues, please consult your doctor or pharmacist before taking any supplements.
How much magnesium do I need?
According to NHS England, adults men (18 to 64 years old) needs 300mg of magnesium per day and the amount needed for adult women is 270mg. You should be able to get all the magnesium you need from your daily diet by eating a varied and balanced diet.
Magnesium is involved as an enzyme cofactor in over 300 synthesis reactions such as:
(i) Protein synthesis
(ii) Muscle contraction
(iii) Nerve function
(iv) Blood glucose control
(v) Hormone receptor binding
(vi) Blood pressure regulation
(vii) Cardiac excitability
(viii) Transmembrane ion flux
(ix) Gating of calcium channels.