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The Importance of Magnesium

Updated: Sep 9


Magnesium is essential for over 300 bodily processes, making this mineral necessary for muscle, nerve, and enzymatic functions.

Magnesium is a mineral that's needed for over 300 different bodily processes. It's found in many fruits, vegetables, and grains, but some people may not get enough magnesium from their diet.

Magnesium is necessary for muscles to contract and relax properly; it helps nerves send signals through the body. Magnesium is also essential for bone health because it helps bones absorb calcium.

If you eat a balanced diet with plenty of whole grains and green leafy vegetables, you probably don't need to take a supplement or worry about getting enough magnesium. But if you have trouble consuming these foods regularly or if your doctor recommends taking a supplement to improve your overall health, there are many types of products available:

  • Tablets are taken by mouth

  • Capsules inserted into the cheek pouch (buccal)

  • Tablets inserted under the tongue (sublingual)

  • Wafers placed between cheek and gum (transdermal)

  • Drops applied to the skin directly over the desired area

  • Sprays sprayed into nostrils as needed

  • Lozenges dissolved slowly in the mouth



More than half of the magnesium in your body is found in your bones, which combine with calcium and phosphorous to form bone.


Magnesium is the fourth-most abundant mineral in your body. It helps support more than 300 different enzymes, processes, and functions in the body, including protein synthesis, energy production, and nerve function.

It's also essential for healthy bones. Magnesium combines with calcium and other minerals to form bone tissue. In addition to helping create new bone cells, magnesium helps maintain strong bones by keeping levels of calcium balanced inside of them so they can grow properly.


Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation.


Magnesium is a cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Magnesium is also required to synthesize DNA, RNA, and ATP (the universal energy molecule).

The human body contains approximately 25 grams of magnesium — 99% of which is stored in bones. The remaining 1% is found throughout soft tissues such as muscles and kidneys.


Magnesium is naturally present in many foods, added to other food products, available as a dietary supplement, and in some medicines (such as antacids and laxatives).


Magnesium is available in the diet from foods, dietary supplements, and some medicines. Foods that are rich sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables (such as spinach), halibut, avocado, cocoa powder, and almonds. The amount of magnesium in food varies widely depending on the type of food; for example, spinach contains much more magnesium per serving than avocados or almonds.

Many processed foods also contain added amounts of magnesium. For example:

  • Flour may be fortified with magnesium oxide (a compound containing only elemental Mg) or calcium carbonate (CaCO3) to improve its baking qualities.

  • Milk can be reinforced with either MgO or CaCO3 to increase its nutritional value and reduce its cost to consumers by increasing the amount of protein per liter of milk produced by cows fed these additives - this practice is called "dairy fortification."



If you choose to take a magnesium supplement or are advised by your doctor to do so, you should use caution as too much magnesium can cause diarrhea.


If you choose to take a magnesium supplement or are advised by your doctor to do so, you should use caution as too much magnesium can cause diarrhea.

How much is too much?

The upper limit of the recommended daily intake for most adults is 350 mg per day. For children and adolescents ages 1-18 years old, the upper limit is 350mg per day for boys and girls; 320mg per day for pregnant women; 350mg per day for breastfeeding women.

What are the symptoms of too much magnesium?

Symptoms of taking too much include:

  • Diarrhea (which may be accompanied by abdominal cramping)

  • Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Headache Nausea and vomiting

  • Headache Dizziness Fatigue Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet Nausea

  • Vomiting

  • Low blood pressure (hypotension)

The American Heart Association recommends consuming 400 mg of magnesium daily.


The American Heart Association recommends consuming 400 mg of magnesium daily.

To meet these recommendations, you can consume foods high in magnesium, such as dark chocolate, leafy greens, and nuts. You can also take a multivitamin or a supplement containing 100 percent of the daily recommended amount of magnesium.

The average adult needs about 300 milligrams (mg) of magnesium each day. A supplement with this amount will help fill your daily needs without having to eat more food than usual or taking extra vitamins that might be hard on your digestive system. The suggested dose for healthy adults is between 250 and 350 mg per day; if you have kidney disease or diabetes, consult your doctor before taking any supplements since they may interfere with medication use by either increasing its effects or decreasing them too much.


You may want to talk to your doctor about taking a magnesium supplement if you have diabetes or prediabetes because a good source of magnesium may play a role in reducing your risk of developing diabetes.


You may want to talk to your doctor about taking a magnesium supplement if you have diabetes or prediabetes because a good source of magnesium may play a role in reducing your risk of developing diabetes.

Magnesium can help lower blood sugar levels and improve insulin sensitivity, lowering your risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Magnesium is essential for maintaining normal blood glucose levels and reducing inflammation contributing to insulin resistance.

Consuming adequate amounts of magnesium has been linked with reduced obesity, hypertension, metabolic syndrome (or prediabetes), type 2 diabetes, and other health conditions related to poor insulin function in the body.


It's unclear whether getting extra magnesium through diet lowers blood pressure for everyone or just those who have high blood pressure or are deficient in the mineral.


It's unclear whether getting extra magnesium through diet lowers blood pressure for everyone or just those who have high blood pressure or are deficient in the mineral.

Combining magnesium and vitamin B6 may also lower blood pressure, but more studies are needed to determine its benefits.

If you take a magnesium supplement, aim for about 400 mg daily, the recommended daily intake (RDI) for adults 19 and older. The RDIs may be too low if you have kidney disease.

Suppose you combine this supplement with vitamin B6 and other nutrients that improve your absorption of these supplements, such as calcium or vitamin C. In that case, your body will absorb more of these nutrients than it would otherwise.


People with high levels of insulin resistance might have low levels of serum magnesium. These people have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.


People with high levels of insulin resistance might have low levels of serum magnesium.

Serum magnesium is the amount of magnesium in your blood. Some studies show that people with high serum magnesium levels have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than those with low levels. In other words, there may be a connection between the two conditions.

People with insulin resistance are less able to control blood sugar because their cells don't usually respond to insulin. This condition can lead to type 2 diabetes, which affects about one in 10 American adults (and more than half those over 65 years old)



Magnesium and vitamin B6 combination


Magnesium and vitamin B6 combination is used to treat magnesium deficiency and vitamin B6 deficiency.

The combination of magnesium, vitamin B6, and zinc supplements may improve symptoms of depression in patients with perimenopausal depression who have not responded to antidepressant medications.

However, it has been shown that a combination of magnesium and vitamin B6 supplements may help improve symptoms in these patients.


dosage


The recommended daily amount of magnesium varies depending on who you ask. The National Institutes of Health suggest that adults get 400 mg daily; the Office of Dietary Supplements recommends 420 mg for men and 320 mg for women.

But if you're using supplements—which is the best way to get your fill—it's essential to know how much to take. If you're starting, 200 mg per day is an excellent place to start, says Dr. Roshini Rajapaksa, M.D., director of integrative medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City. (The average adult woman takes about 300 mg per day.) "You want your body to be able to adjust gradually," she explains." If you're getting it all at once in a supplement that has 100 percent [magnesium], then it might cause some irritation or diarrhea."

However you get your magnesium intake, timing matters: Taking too much of any mineral can be harmful because our bodies have difficulty processing excesses. Too little won't give us nearly as many benefits either!


Conclusion


Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps with energy production, muscle contraction, and nerve conduction. Too little magnesium can cause fatigue, headaches, and irregular heartbeats. Magnesium is an essential mineral that helps with energy production, muscle contraction, and nerve conduction.

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