Have you ever wondered what Magnesium actually does and how it keeps your body healthy? Find out more below:
What is Magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential mineral that your body needs to regulate a raft of chemical reactions, including calcium deposition, muscle contraction and beefing up your immune system.
What are the greatest sources of Magnesium?
The greatest source of Magnesium is from leafy greens; in particular spinach and chard. Pumpkin seeds, almonds and black beans are also rich in Magnesium.
Who is at risk of developing a Magnesium deficiency?
Almost everyone. According to a recent study, up to 80% of the population have some degree of a Magnesium deficiency. The root cause of this can be pinned down to the diminishing nutritional value of fruits and vegetables. Several studies have shown a reduction of up to 40% in the Magnesium levels of today’s vegetables and fruits compared to the 1940’s. This is because we live in a consumeristic society whereby the quality of our soil and the foods we eat are compromised for the quantity and the bottom dollar.
Optimal levels of Magnesium:
According to the Australian Nutritional Guidelines, the optimal level of Magnesium for male and female adults over 21 yrs is in the range of 500-600 mg daily. Children between 13-21 yrs old should be aiming for approximately 400 mg daily. The intra-cellular level of Magnesium is 20 times greater than the serum level. As such, a blood analysis is not a good indication of your current Magnesium level. The best methods to determine your Magnesium levels are the Magnesium Urine Test or a hair analysis.
Health benefits of Magnesium
- Magnesium assists in the production ATP (energy). Magnesium is a vital component in the CYP-450 cytochrome system; assisting in the generation of ATP (energy).
- Magnesium regulates smooth muscle dilation. This assists in an improved cardiovascular system and regulates your blood pressure.
- Magnesium regulates skeletal muscle dilation. Magnesium is excellent for cramps as it relaxes skeletal muscles. It acts in the opposite way to Calcium which focuses on contracting skeletal muscles.
- Magnesium helps those suffering from constipation. Similar to the above example, Magnesium relaxes the muscles in the small and large intestines; helping to loosen the bowels and remove waste from the digestive system. Taking too much Magnesium however (more than 600 mg daily) may result in diarrhoea. Daily moderation of Magnesium is necessary.
- Magnesium helps with migraines, anxiety and insomnia. Many studies have highlighted the soothing benefits of Magnesium on the Sympathetic Nervous System (flight or fright).
Magnesium is important for delivering Calcium to the bones and muscles. Calcium sitting around in your arteries is bad as it can lead to arterial calcification (hardening of the arteries) which increases your odds of experiencing a heart attack or a stroke. Magnesium helps produce Osteocalcin, a protein needed to bind to Calcium and Vitamin K. The combination of these three compounds ensures that Calcium is delivered to the bones and muscles without forming hard spurs in the artery lining.
Signs of Magnesium deficiency
- Leaky Gut. Not enough Magnesium is absorbed through the membrane of the GI tract.
- Feeling lethargic and tired.
- Constant muscle cramps
- High blood pressure.
- Persistent muscle pain which is a product of chronic fatigue or fibromyalgia.
Look for a Magnesium supplement that is in the chelated form. Supplements such as Magnesium ascorbate, Magnesium glycinate and Magnesium citrate are great sources of Magnesium due to their bio-availability (increased absorption ability). Magnesium Threonate is another good source of Magnesium, with the counter compound Threonate acting as a nervous system relaxer and having superior Magnesium delivery into the blood stream compared to most other formulas.
This is information that I have gathered from journal articles and my experience. Please seek advice from a holistic GP to determine what is best for your health.
Please contact Dr. Daniel Lombardo for more information or any questions about the benefits of Magnesium supplementation.