Magnesium – The Essential Mineral Everyone Needs

Magnesium is one of the most important and essential minerals for the human body. It has many important functions in the human body which include promoting the functions of the muscles and nerves, regulating blood pressure, promoting cardiovascular health, and strengthening the immune system.

On average, the adult human body comprises 25000 milligrams of magnesium stored in it. Out of the total 25000 milligrams, about  50–60% of it is stored by the skeletal system. The remaining 40-50% of the magnesium is found in the muscles, soft tissues, and bodily fluids.

Just like vitamin C is very important for your body and is known as the best hair, skin, and nail vitamins, magnesium is a mineral that is very important for your muscles, heart, bones, etc.

The deficiency of magnesium is linked to a range of health complications.  That’s the main reason why you should aim to meet your daily recommended intake of magnesium. Magnesium deficiency is one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in adults. An estimated 80% of the population is deficient in this important mineral.

Almonds, spinach, and cashews and a few other nuts are some of the foods that will provide you with the highest amount of magnesium. If somehow you are not able to get magnesium from your diet, then it’s a good idea to think about taking magnesium supplements.

Benefits of magnesium

Magnesium is one of the seven most essential macrominerals that people need to consume in relatively large amounts. You need to commune a minimum of 100 mg of magnesium per day. Other microminerals, such as iron and zinc, are equally important but you need them in smaller quantities.

Magnesium is vital for many functions in the body. An adequate amount of magnesium can help you to prevent or treat chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and migraine.

The following are the functions and benefits of magnesium and its effects on your body:

1. Promotes Bone health 

You must be aware of the fact that bone health is associated with the level of calcium in your body. But you might be surprised to know that magnesium is also essential for healthy bone formation.

Research shows that adequate magnesium intake is linked to higher bone density, improved bone crystal formation, and a lower risk of osteoporosis in females after menopause.

Magnesium not only improves bone health directly but it also promotes bone health indirectly, as it helps to regulate calcium and vitamin D levels, which are two other nutrients vital for bone health.

2. Helps to lower the risk Diabetes 

A diet that’s high in magnesium is associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. The main reason for that is magnesium plays an important role in glucose control and insulin metabolism.

A study found that most of the people with diabetes have low magnesium which indicates that magnesium may play a role in diabetes management.

Lack of magnesium is also known to worsen insulin resistance, which is a condition that often develops before type 2 diabetes.

Different researches suggest that taking magnesium supplements can also improve insulin sensitivity in people with low magnesium levels.

3. Promotes Cardiovascular health 

Magnesium is required by your body to maintain the health of muscles, including the heart. Studies have found that magnesium is important for your heart health.

Magnesium deficiency is known to increase a person’s risk of cardiovascular issues. This is mostly due to the role magnesium plays on a cellular level. In a study, it was observed that magnesium deficiency is common in people with congestive heart failure and can worsen their condition.

Patients who receive magnesium supplements soon after a heart attack have a lower risk of death. Doctors sometimes offer magnesium during treatment for congestive heart failure to reduce the risk of arrhythmia, or abnormal heart rhythm.

An increase in magnesium intake is known to lower a person’s risk of stroke. The daily intake of 100 mg of magnesium can lower the risk of stroke by 2 percent.

Some research also suggests that magnesium supplements also help to reduce hypertension and lowers blood pressure.

4. Helps to prevent Migraine headache 

Magnesium supplements can help to prevent or relieve headaches. The main reason for that is magnesium deficiency can affect neurotransmitters and restrict blood vessel constriction, which are factors associated with migraine.

People who often suffer from migraines tend to have lower levels of magnesium in their blood and body tissues as compared to others.

Magnesium therapy is quite effective in preventing migraines. Taking  600 mg of magnesium citrate is known to be a safe and effective prevention strategy.

5. Helps to prevent the symptoms of PMS (Premenstrual Syndrome)

Magnesium is also known to play a role in premenstrual syndrome. Some studies suggest that taking magnesium supplements along with vitamin B-6 can improve PMS symptoms.

Taking magnesium supplements can help to reduce bloating, mood symptoms, and breast tenderness in PMS.

6. Helps to reduce anxiety 

An adequate amount of magnesium in the body helps to prevent mood disorders, including depression and anxiety.

According to research low magnesium levels have been linked with higher levels of anxiety. This is partly due to activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, which is a set of three glands that control a person’s reaction to stress.

Importance of the essential mineral for our bodies

These are just some main functions of magnesium:

  • Adequate levels of magnesium in the body help you to get quality sleep
  • It is known to increase the bone mineral density
  • It helps in muscle contraction and relaxation
  • Magnesium helps to stabilize blood glucose levels
  • Promotes mood and mental health
  • Eases depression, anxiety, OCD & ADHD
  • Helps to decrease inflammation
  • Eases headaches and migraines
  • Helps to regulate blood pressure
  • Helps to keep our bones strong
  • Balances nitric oxide in our body
  • Supports development/growth for babies and children
  • Supports proper function of our nerves, tissue, and muscles.
  • Helps prevent constipation by moving stools through the intestine

Where to get your daily dose of Magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral that is naturally present in some foods, artificially added to other food items, and is also available in supplement form like vitamin C supplements.

Some of the excellent foods that naturally have magnesium include dark leafy greens like kale/spinach, red kidney beans, avocados, and almonds.

Magnesium Deficiency

A deficiency in magnesium can lead to some alarming issues like muscle spasms or cramps, constipation / poor digestion, depression/anxiety, insomnia, and trouble sleeping.

However, magnesium deficiency is frequently ignored and never tested. Hence, magnesium should be one of the most necessary supplements that you should take often.

Symptoms of low magnesium in the body

The following are the symptoms of magnesium deficiency:

  • People with low magnesium levels often experience high blood pressure (hypertension), other cardiovascular diseases and damage to the kidney and liver
  • peroxynitrite damage that may lead to severe headaches, Alzheimer’s disease or multiple sclerosis
  • Magnesium deficiency results in nutrient deficiencies in vitamin K, B1, calcium, and potassium because of absorption problems
  • Abnormal heart rhythms and other heart-related issues
  • Kidney stones
  • Females can experience severe  PMS symptoms
  • Magnesium deficient individuals often have behavioral disorders, mood swings, and mental confusion
  • Reduced sleep, trouble in sleeping or insomnia
  • Increased chances of osteoporosis
  • Increased tooth cavities and dental issues
  • Increased muscle cramps and weakness in the muscles
  • Poor immunity that makes you prone to falling sick more often

Getting enough magnesium is very important for your body. Make sure that you eat plenty of magnesium-rich foods to make sure that you meet the daily recommended value of magnesium.

You can also get your magnesium test done to check you are deficient in it or not and if you have magnesium deficiency then you need to consult your doctor. You can also go for magnesium supplements if you’re unable to get enough from your diet alone.

Though magnesium is very important, make sure you don’t take an excess of it, as it can lead to some serious illnesses.

Just know that without enough of any of the essential minerals, your body cannot function normally.