Magnesium is essential for our health because it is present in all body cells and is included in more than 300 enzymatic processes. Furthermore, magnesium is crucial for maintaining a normal blood sugar level, having normal bone density, good pulmonary function and normal cardiac rhythmicity.
A lot of people have a deficiency of this mineral and that leads to various health problems. Because only 1% of magnesium is present in the blood, it does not show up in blood tests and doctors can easily misdiagnose these deficiencies.
According to a neurosurgeon and pioneer in pain medicine, Dr. Norman Shealy, M.D., Ph.D. all of the illnesses are connected with a magnesium deficiency, making magnesium the most crucial mineral needed for electrical stability of the cells in the body. A magnesium deficiency could be the reason for more diseases than any other nutrient.
Research has shown that 68% of all Americans do not take the daily recommended amount of magnesium and 19% do not even get ½ of the daily RDA levels 310-420mg. In addition, it is considered that this RDA level is very low, so if we look at the needed levels of magnesium that a person should take, it turns out that 80% of all Americans are not taking the needed quantities of it.
Usually, our diet is low in magnesium and high in calcium, which can be a very serious problem. The higher calcium to magnesium ratio can be the main reason for health issues like migraines, asthma, autism, mitral valve prolapse, allergies, attention deficit disorder, anxiety and fibromyalgia. When there are low levels of magnesium, but high levels of calcium present, the person experiences spasms, twitches, muscle contractions and even convulsions.
When the body does not have the needed level of magnesium it cannot use and produce protein and enzymes normally.
This mineral is crucial for the detoxification of our body and because our environment is full with toxins, we need magnesium so our bodies can function properly.
These are some of the health benefits of magnesium:
- Optimal cognition
- Magnesium is included in more than 300 enzymatic processes, which are crucial for the normal function of the tissues and organs. It increases the intricate brain functions and improves cognitive health.
- Improves memory
Magnesium is connected to the memory potential, and scientists have proved that reduced magnesium levels in the brain lead to poor memory. Apparently, the hippocampus region in the brains is the main place for retaining long term memory, and magnesium improves the synapses function. In addition, magnesium improves the endings of the synaptic nerve in the prefrontal cortex area of the brain, which retrieves short-term memory.
- Prevention of Alzheimer’s disease
- Studies have shown that the formation of plaque is linked to the declining cognitive abilities symptomatic of the Alzheimer’s disease. Furthermore, research has proven that by optimizing the quantity of magnesium in the brain will prevent the further decline of cognitive function. It has been proven that a supplemental treatment of magnesium for a period of 17 months can decrease the amyloid plaque accumulation in the hippocampus region in the brain by 35.8% and in the prefrontal cortex by 36%.
- Improves learning abilities
Magnesium increases the learning abilities by repeatedly simulating the nerve and ability of the nerves to transmit signals effectively. A study analysing the effects of MgT (Magnesium threonate) supplementation in rats, in terms of their ability to find a platform to rest while swimming, found out that the rats who were using it found the platform faster than the control group. The researchers discovered that the supplemented group of rats kept their memory the platform for 24h, while the control group rats forgot and searched it longer through the maze. The supplementation effects were a long-term memory enhancement of 100% in older rats and a 122% improvement in younger rats.
- Magnesium helps with the elimination of toxins, acids, poisons and gasses, all of these deplete the crucial nutrients, needed for our overall health.
Magnesium is one of the main ingredients in most laxatives, which are used to relieve constipation and improve the motility of the colon and gastrointestinal tract and eliminate the contaminants.
- Magnesium heals the nervous system and because of that lowers stress and improves the overall mood. A damaged nervous system causes a lot of health problems, including dementia and depression.
Research has shown that treating magnesium deficiency is very helpful in the treatment of irritability, anxiety, postpartum depression, confusion, alcohol and drug abuse, hyper excitability and brain injuries.
Because the cellular magnesium levels promote serotonin production which improves the mood, magnesium is known as an anti-stress mineral. Studies have proven that 125-300mg of supplemental magnesium a day can ease the symptoms of depression in one week. If you are highly reactive to people or situations for no evident reason, you might be magnesium deficient. So, by optimizing its levels, you can easily relax the nerves, decrease muscle tension, treat anxiety, and conduct healthy nerve responses, and prevent factors that simulate fear and anxiety and lower the probability of agitation and excitability.
- Magnesium is a part of the regulation and maintenance of blood glucose levels, so the deficiency of it impairs the secretion of insulin and complicates the transport of glucose into the cells. Scientists have shown that by supplementing the diet with magnesium trough oral supplementation or food improves the secretion of insulin and response in patients that suffer from type-2 diabetes. Furthermore, the supplementation of magnesium is connected to the balance of blood sugar, and a decreased risk of developing diabetes. An improved glycemic control was found in supplemented patients with 1000mg of magnesium oxide daily.
- Improved health of the heart
- Magnesium in a combination with potassium and calcium regulates the muscle function and heart rhythm. In addition, magnesium helps with the regulation of nerve impluses and improving the cardiovascular health. By relieving the restriction on the blood vessels and maintaining a healthy contraction of the heart, magnesium effectively lowers the blood pressure. A daily intake of 250mg of magnesium supplementation lowers the risk of cardiovascular diseases and heart attacks.
- 60% of magnesium is present in the bones, while the rest of it is in the blood and soft tissue. If the magnesium levels are decreased, the cells pull the magnesium from the bone formations. But, magnesium is not the only mineral needed for healthy bones, it also needs to be in balance with calcium. When magnesium is been pulled from the bones, the calcium levels increase and cause calcification of the bones and joints and can lead to conditions like osteoarthritis. According to the discoveries of clinical trials, the daily take of magnesium citrate in long periods of time may reverse and prevent osteoporosis. In addition, women who supplement their diets with foods that are rich with magnesium for at least 2 years reportedly suffer from fewer fractures.
- The amount of uninterrupted and healthy sleep we get significantly determinates our overall health. Insomnia can be treated with magnesium, so you can get a good night’s sleep. The healthy magnesium balance in the body determinates the balance of hormones like melatonin, which induces sleep and reduces cortisol levels. Magnesium helps with relaxing the muscles and getting a healthy sleep during the night.
Risks of magnesium deficiency
People who are at a higher risk of magnesium deficiency should immediately take action to correct them in order to prevent various health problems. These include:
Increased urination and risk of kidney damage is caused by a high concentration of blood glucose
- Crohn’s disease, Celiac disease and people who suffer from other gastrointestinal diseases are also at a higher risk, as they have a lowered ability to take nutrients from dietary intake.
- Older people are likely to take some medication which can cause problems with their magnesium absorption.
- Alcoholics- alcohol abuse causes gastrointestinal issues and promotes the removal of magnesium through the urine.
Dietary sources of magnesium
You can easily optimize the magnesium levels by eating foods that are rich in it. The recommended amount of magnesium for adults is 310-420mg daily. To enjoy all their benefits always pick non-GMO, farmed and organic foods.
Most magnesium supplements are absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract and some quantities can jump the blood-brain barrier, because the body filters out 90% of it until it gets to the cells. The most used magnesium supplements are magnesium citrate, magnesium oxide and magnesium chloride. Research has discovered that the most available forms of magnesium are lactate, magnesium citrate and chloride. It has been discovered recently that magnesium L-threonate is the best form of magnesium compound, because it is highly bioavailable and can easily jump the blood-brain barrier and get absorbed by cells. Also, you can get temporarily pain relief by using magnesium mineral sprays that are directly absorbed through the skin. When it comes to long term periods, they can completely treat pain, and are very helpful in treating osteoarthritis because they maintain the magnesium balance in the affected areas. You can spray the areas before going to bed or after showering. However, consult your doctor before taking magnesium supplements, because they can interact with some medications.
Excessive magnesium intake
There is a risk of side effects when the intake of magnesium is higher than 5000mg a day, and the most common side effects are:
- Irregular heart beat
- Abdominal cramping
- Heart attack
So, when you feel tired and drained, in a bad mood, and you need a good rest, do not reach out to caffeine right away, which will burn more magnesium. You should optimize your magnesium levels instead and replenish the cells, in order to maintain a good health.
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