Why You Should Be Taking Magnesium
Over 50% of Americans are deficient in Magnesium. Here, I will tell you what magnesium does for us, the symptoms of magnesium deficiency, why we are deficient, where we get magnesium, the difference in the various types of Magnesium, and how each affects our body. But first, always consult with your health care professional before to start taking any supplements.
What is Magnesium and why do we need it? Magnesium is a mineral. It is an important nutrient needed in order for the body to stay healthy. It is necessary for many functions of the body. Magnesium is critical for cellular health and hundreds of biochemical functions within the body from the gut to the brain. It is also needed in conjunction with other minerals. Vitamin D can't be metabolized without sufficient magnesium levels, thus, vitamin D remains stored and inactive. Magnesium also transports calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, this is important for muscle contraction, nerve impulse conduction, and normal heart rhythm. Magnesium also aides in:
Regulation of blood sugar levels and blood pressure
Aides in muscle and nerve function.
Making protein, bone tissue, and DNA
Calcium, Sodium, and Potassium transport
The Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency
High blood pressure
Type ll Diabetes
Leg cramps/Restless leg syndrome
Why are we deficient in Magnesium? One of the most prevalent causes of magnesium deficiency is soil depletion. Food has less magnesium due to changes in farmers practices. Modern agricultural practices have contributed to stripping nutrients from the soil. Farmers have focused on producing a greater yield and with the use of pesticides which then; nutrients are depleted.
Where do we get Magnesium? Since our bodies do not produce or make magnesium, we must get it from an outside source. Magnesium is one of 7 essential macrominerals. It can be found in:
Nuts/Seeds (Almonds, Cashews, Brazil Nuts)
Leafy Greens (spinach, swiss chard)
Magnesium supplements are also a good alternative (again, consult with your health care professional first) but what kind should you look for? Here I will break down the various types of magnesium
1: Magnesium Glycinate This is a more amiable form of magnesium. It is considered best for anxiousness or in times of stress. Magnesium binds to a non-essential amino acid that is thought to be helpful in promoting calmness, sleep, and relaxation.
2: Magnesium Citrate This is bound to citric acid which may cause a laxative effect. It is best for constipation and relief of leg muscles. Citrate can aid in digestion.
3: Magnesium Oxide This is one of the least absorbed forms of magnesium. It is often used for constipation (Milk of Mag) and helps aid digestion.
4: Magnesium Malate
This one plays a role in energy production. It helps people suffering from fibromyalgia and fatigue.
5: Magnesium Chelate This kind is found naturally in foods and is highly absorbable by the body. Chelate is bound to several amino acids and may support muscle comfort and calmness.
6: Magnesium Orotate This is believed to support healthy heart function.
7: Magnesium Chloride Oil This can be in the form of a cream or gel that is applied to the skin. It is used to help soothe muscles and given to those who have difficulty absorbing magnesium.
How much Magnesium should you take? Our gender and age play a factor in how much you take, the general recommendations by the National Institute of Health state healthy adult women should consume 310 and 320 mg daily. Healthy adult men should consume 400-420 mg daily. Pregnant women should consume a higher dose.
Can too much magnesium cause a problem? Yes, it can cause problems including irregular heartbeat, digestive issues, and lethargy. Magnesium overdose can be fatal but is extremely rare.
The Takeaway Magnesium is important. We are not getting enough of it. Consult with your physician to determine the type of magnesium you may need. As always, increase your magnesium doses through natural, delicious foods and take supplements as needed.