The Incredible Benefits of Magnesium

Magnesium: An Overview

Magnesium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body, acting predominantly as an essential dietary nutrient. It plays the role of an electrolyte and acts as a cofactor for over 300 different enzymes. Magnesium's functions are vast, helping with energy production, glucose metabolism, DNA and protein synthesis, nerve conduction, cardiovascular regulation, and bone health. It also plays a crucial role in the synthesis and activation of vitamin D.

Dietary Sources of Magnesium

Magnesium can be found in a range of foods, including dark leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grains, and meats such as salmon, chicken, and beef. Processed foods like breakfast cereals and bread are often fortified with magnesium. Around 20%-40% of magnesium obtained from our diet becomes available for use in our bodies.

Public Health Concern: Magnesium Deficiency

More than half of adults may not meet the recommended daily intake of magnesium due to diets low in magnesium-rich foods and high in processed and refined grains. As such, magnesium deficiency is a significant health concern. It increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, and osteoporosis, especially amongst older adults.

Types of Magnesium Supplements

When it comes to supplementation, magnesium generally comes as magnesium salts bound to another element or amino acid. These include magnesium oxide, magnesium hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia), magnesium citrate, magnesium lactate, magnesium gluconate, magnesium aspartate, magnesium glycinate, magnesium orotate, magnesium threonate, and magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt).

Health Benefits of Magnesium

  • Reduced risk of diabetes: Magnesium supplementation has been shown to reduce blood glucose levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
  • Lowered blood pressure: Magnesium also appears to decrease blood pressure in those deficient in magnesium or those with raised blood pressure.
  • Improved sleep and neurological health: Magnesium affects the functioning of the central nervous system and helps synthesize neurotransmitters, therefore potentially aiding in sleep and neurological health.
  • Reduced risk of muscle cramps: Low magnesium levels can lead to muscle cramps, so maintaining adequate levels can prevent this issue.
  • Pregnancy benefits: Supplementing with magnesium during pregnancy can provide health benefits for both the mother and baby. However, pregnant women are advised to seek advice from their doctor before starting any new supplement regimen.

Recommended Intake

The recommended daily intake for adults is 410-420 mg/day for men and 320-360 mg/day for women. This includes each source of magnesium, including food, drinks, supplements, and medications. The upper intake level for adults is set at 350 mg, but this only includes magnesium derived from supplements and medications.

Final Words

Therefore, keeping in mind the vast health benefits, it is crucial to maintain a balanced diet rich in magnesium or consider supplementation under professional guidance. Remember always to consult your healthcare provider before starting any supplement routine.

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