Magnesium is the mineral involved in over 700 metabolic reactions and a determinant for optimal performance of each and every cell in bone, muscle and organ. Every cell in your body requires it to function. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, and yet a 2012 study showed that 50% of individuals in the US and Europe are getting less than the recommended daily amounts.
Magnesium is essential for life, required to convert your food into energy, create new proteins from amino acids, create and repair DNA and RNA, facilitate muscle movement, maintaining blood glucose homeostasis, activates vitamin D, regulate the messages that move throughout your brain and so much more. Because, our beating hearts, immune function, healthy bones and nerve conduction rely on magnesium then we must know the red flags that may signal deficiency:
Muscle cramps and twitches believed to be caused by a greater flow of calcium into nerve cells, which overexcites or hyper stimulates the muscle nerves
Mental disorders such as apathy (mental numbness) and an increase risk of depression
Osteoporosis as 60% of magnesium is found in the bones
Fatigue and muscle weakness from a loss of potassium in the muscle, a condition associated with magnesium deficiency
High Blood Pressure as low magnesium in the body increases blood pressure which increases risk of heart disease
Irregular heartbeat from an imbalance of potassium levels inside and outside of heart muscles, a condition associated with magnesium deficiency
While it is important to know the signs of a possible magnesium deficiency, it is equally as important to consult your primary care provider before supplementing magnesium as not all magnesium supplements are created equal. In fact there are many different types of magnesium and it’s important to seek out what will best support your health.
Here’s the scoop on magnesium supplements:
Magnesium L-threonate: supports brain health
Magnesium Taurate: supports blood pressure and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels
Magnesium Malate: supports body’s energy production, metabolism and nervous system function
Magnesium Orotate: supports heart and blood vessels
Magnesium Oxide: low absorption, laxative effect
Magnesium Glycinate also known as Chelate: easily absorbable, gentle on digestion promotes sleep and calm
Magnesium Citrate: used to treat heartburn and raise low magnesium levels
Magnesium is widely found in both plants and animal-sourced foods with the richest source coming from nuts and seeds. In just 3.5 ounces of almonds you can get a whooping 270mg of magnesium into your diet. And for you chocolate lovers, dark chocolate has 176mg of magnesium in the same 3.5 ounces. Other great food sources include flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, cocoa, coffee, cashew nuts, hazelnuts, oats, whole grains, beans, and leafy green vegetables.
By Dr. Tracey James, DC, Anatomy Power Wellness