Magnesium is a nutrient that is important for many processes in the body, including regulating muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure and making protein, bone, and DNA. 1
Magnesium deficiency is very common
The vast majority of people in modern societies are at risk for magnesium deficiency, because of chronic diseases, certain medications, decreases in food crop magnesium contents, and the availability of refined and processed foods, 2
Magnesium is needed for the function of more than 300 enzymes in the body.
Magnesium (Mg- atomic number-12), is an element of the periodic table and the lightest structural metal.
Magnesium is widely 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. 3
An adult body contains approximately 25 g 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 are kept under tight control. 4
Magnesium and calcium-
Magnesium regulates the movement of calcium in and out of cells, it is important for bone health.
Magnesium is considered as the main intracellular antagonist of calcium.
Calcium that stimulates contractions and magnesium compete with each other to ensure heart cells contract and relax properly.
Magnesium facilitates active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, which is essential for the conduction of nerve impulses, muscle contraction, maintaining vasomotor tone, and normal heart rhythm.4
Testing magnesium status
Testing magnesium levels may be difficult because most of the magnesium is inside cells or in the bones.
To comprehensively evaluate magnesium status, both laboratory tests and a clinical assessment might be required.3
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.
Excessive magnesium Intake
Magnesium may cause diarrhoea and are often taken for their laxative effect.
However, Doses less than 350 mg daily are safe for most adults.
Where we can get magnesium in our diet
Magnesium food sources:
Found in good 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 is used in the body for so many functions, and this is one of the reasons, that it can get easily depleted. Especially by stress, erratic eating patterns, high sugar diets or overtraining.
In addition, 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, need to be bound to a ‘carrier’ molecule when it is consumed in a supplement form.
Different types of magnesium associated with different benefits.
If you are considering to take magnesium here are some of the different types available in the market:
- Magnesium Citrate is a well absorbed, bioavailable and gentle form that delivers a good amount of magnesium. It is a great choice for general magnesium supplementation.
- Magnesium Malate – malic acid is a natural compound found in many foods. In the body, it is important for energy production. Magnesium malate may be a good choice for those people with energy and fatigue issues.
- Magnesium Oxide– lower levels of bioavailability than other forms.
- Magnesium Sulfate-known as Epsom salts, great to use as bath salts.
- Magnesium Glycinate –glycine is the smallest amino acid, which makes the magnesium supplement more easily absorbed, supports the nervous system, attention and learning.
I recommend to take Ionic Magnesium citrate in powder form, by MAG365, This form is easily digested and well absorbed by the body because of how readily it enters to our cells.
Learn more about:
My name is Pazit, I’m a registered Naturopath N.D. , MNNA (a member of the Naturopathic Nutrition Association), Herbalist, Aromatherapist and Bach Flower remedies therapist based in London.
www.pazbynature.com Health & Wellness Blog includes travel inspiration, healthy food and natural remedies.