Magnesium is a nutrient that is important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA. 
The name magnesium comes from Magnesia, a district of Thessaly (Greece) where the mineral discovered.
We need magnesium for the function of more than 600 enzymes in the body. Magnesium deficiency is common, most people in modern societies are at risk for magnesium deficiency, because of decreases of magnesium in the soil, eating more processed foods and certain medications that cause depletion. [2,3]
Magnesium (Mg, atomic number-12) is an element of the periodic table and the lightest structural metal.
Magnesium used in construction and medicine, and also in the body, it is one of the elements essential to all cellular life. Magnesium is essential to all living cells, as the Mg2+ ion is involved with DNA, RNA and ATP . An adult body contains approximately 25gr of magnesium, with 50% to 60% present in the bones and most of the rest in soft tissues. Less than 1% of total magnesium is in blood serum, and these levels kept under tight control.
Magnesium and calcium relationship
Magnesium regulates the movement of calcium in and out of cells, and it is essential for bone health. Magnesium is the antagonist of calcium. Magnesium helps active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, which is essential for nerve impulses, muscle contraction, maintaining vasomotor tone, and normal heart rhythm.
Testing magnesium status
Testing magnesium levels may be difficult because most of the magnesium is inside cells or in the bones. When evaluating magnesium status, both laboratory tests and a clinical evaluation might be required.
Causes of magnesium depletion
- Exercise (sweating)
- Caffeine and alcohol intake
- Drinking too many soft drinks
- Certain prescription medication
- Blood sugar imbalances
- High sugar diets
- Daily stress
What is the recommended daily amount of magnesium?
The Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for magnesium is 310–420 mg for adults depending on age and gender.
Magnesium food sources:
Found in high amounts in dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, seeds & nuts (especially almonds), spices, legumes. Since magnesium is part of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants, green leafy vegetables are good sources of magnesium.
Should you take a supplement?
Magnesium used in the body for so many functions, and this is one of the reasons that we can get quickly depleted. Especially by stress, irregular eating patterns, high sugar diets, or overtraining. Also, some common medications, such as acid blockers used for reflux, for example, can reduce the absorption of magnesium.
If you suffer from the following conditions, you might benefit from taking magnesium supplement:
- Muscle Cramps
- High Blood Pressure
- Memory Problems
Always consult with your health care provider before taking supplements.
How to choose a magnesium supplement?
Magnesium, like other minerals, needs to be bound to a ‘carrier’ molecule when it is in a supplement form. The type of molecule will affect the amount of elemental magnesium and its bioavailability in the body.
Here are some of the common forms of magnesium supplement
- Magnesium Citrate is a well-absorbed, bioavailable that delivers a high amount of magnesium. It is an excellent choice for overall magnesium supplementation. I recommend the ionic form of magnesium citrate that is easier to be absorbed in the body and provides a higher bioavailability. I recommend trying powder MAG365.
- Magnesium oxide– has lower levels of bioavailability than other forms and may cause a laxative effect.
- Magnesium sulfate– known as Epsom salts, it absorbs through the skin, and you can add it to your bath.
- Magnesium Bisglycinate –glycine is the smallest amino acid. The magnesium absorbs through the small intestine, it offers extra benefits to supports the nervous system.
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