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Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is essential to the functioning of the body.

It helps to sustain the proper functioning of the nerve and muscle, maintains a stable immune system, keeps the rhythm steady, and helps bones remain strong. It also assists in controlling blood glucose levels. It helps in energy and protein production.

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

Magnesium is naturally found in certain foods, added to certain foods, available as a nutritional supplement, and present in other drugs (such as antacids and laxatives).

 

Sources of Magnesium

magnesium-rich-foods-sources

Magnesium is commonly found in foods for plants and animals, and in drinks. Most dietary magnesium comes from leafy plants of dark green color.

Good Source of Magnesium are :

  • Spinach
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Whole grains
  • Soy products
  • Milk
  • Low-fat yogurt
  • Bananas
  • Dried apricots
  • Avocados

Few breakfast portions of cereal and other fortified meals also come with magnesium. Some kinds of food production, such as grinding grains in ways that strip the germ and bran rich in nutrients, dramatically lower magnesium content.

Tap, natural, and bottled water can all be magnesium sources, but magnesium in water varies by source and brand (ranging from 1 mg / L to over 120 mg / L).

 

Daily Requirement of Magnesium

Recommended daily magnesium requirements according to National Institutes of Health are these:

AgeMaleFemale
1–3 years80 mg80 mg
4–8 years130 mg130 mg
9–13 years240 mg240 mg
14–18 years410 mg360 mg
19–30 years400 mg310 mg
31–50 years420 mg320 mg
51+ years420 mg320 mg

During breastfeeding, people should increase their magnesium consumption by about 40 mg a day. Experts base the correct consumption for children under the age of 1 on the levels present in breastmilk.

 

Benefits of Magnesium

  • Magnesium plays a critical role in the function and mood of the brain and low levels are associated with increased risk of depression. Some researchers say modern-day food’s low magnesium content will cause many cases of depression and mental illness.
  • Magnesium therapy may help prevent headaches or may help relieve them. This is because a deficit of magnesium will affect neurotransmitters and hinder constriction of the blood vessels, which are causes that doctors relate to migraines. People who suffer migraines in their blood and body tissues may have lower levels of magnesium relative to others. In a migraine, magnesium levels within a person’s brain can be small.
  • Magnesium also helps those suffering from type 2 diabetes. Evidence has related high diets of magnesium to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This may be because magnesium plays a significant part in insulin synthesis and glucose balance. A magnesium deficiency may intensify insulin resistance, a disorder that often develops prior to type 2 diabetes. In comparison, insulin resistance can induce low levels of magnesium.
  • Magnesium helps lower blood pressure in people with high levels but doesn’t appear to have the same effect in those with normal levels.
  • Rates of magnesium can play a role in mood disorders, including depression and anxiety.
  • Magnesium can actively and indirectly enhance bone health as it helps balance the levels of calcium and vitamin D, which are two key nutrients essential to bone health.

 

Magnesium Deficiency

magnesium-deficiency-symptoms

Symptomatic magnesium deficiency due to insufficient dietary consumption is rare in otherwise healthy individuals since this mineral’s urinary excretion is regulated by the kidneys. The magnesium deficiency is referred to as hypomagnesemia. Inadequacy or deficiency of magnesium may result from heavy alcohol intake, a side effect of some medications, and certain health problems, including gastrointestinal disorder and diabetes. Deficiency is more widespread in older people.

Early symptoms include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • A loss of appetite

Symptoms of Advanced Deficiency:

  • Seizures
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Personality change
  • Muscle Cramps
  • Unbalanced Heart rhythms

Severe magnesium deficiency can lead to hypocalcemia or hypokalemia (low calcium or potassium serum levels, respectively) due to disturbance of the mineral homeostasis.

 

Side Effect of Overdose Magnesium

For stable individuals, too much magnesium from the diet does not pose a safety risk since the kidneys remove unnecessary amounts in the urine.

However, excessive levels of magnesium from dietary supplements or drugs frequently contribute to diarrhea, which may be followed by nausea and cramping of the belly.

Magnesium salts cause diarrhea and laxative effects owing to the osmotic action of unabsorbed salts in the intestine and colon and the relaxation of gastric motility.

Rather high doses of laxatives and antacids containing magnesium (typically supplying more than 5,000 mg/day magnesium) have been linked with magnesium toxicity, including lethal hypermagnesemia. Hypotension, nausea, diarrhea, face flushing, urinary leakage, ileus, fatigue, and lethargy can be at risk before leading to muscle weakness, trouble breathing, severe hypotension, rapid heartbeat, and cardiac arrest. The risk of magnesium toxicity rises with decreased renal function or kidney disease, leading to diminished or lost capacity to absorb excess magnesium.

 

Bottomline

Magnesium is an essential macronutrient that plays a key role in many processes of the body, including muscle, nerve, bone, and mood health.

Research has linked deficiencies in magnesium to a range of health complications. If a person is unable to get his or her normal dietary needs, a doctor may consider taking magnesium supplements.