Magnesium is a mineral found in the body’s cells. It is involved in more than 300 enzymatic processes, which regulate different biochemical reactions in the body. The mineral plays an important role in maintaining optimal cardiac rhythmicity, optimal bone density, optimal blood sugar regulation, and optimal pulmonary function.
Unfortunately, magnesium deficiency is among the most common mineral deficiencies, which means it affects numerous people all over the world.
In fact, magnesium deficiency is usually misdiagnosed since it cannot be detected through blood tests. It happens as a result of the fact that only 1% of the body’s magnesium is present in the blood.
The American pioneer in pain medicine and neurosurgeon, Dr. Norman Shealy, points out that almost all illnesses are related to magnesium deficiency. He adds that this mineral deficiency may lead to the development of more health problems than any other nutrient deficiency.
The Rates of Magnesium Deficiency
Recent research has proven that 68% of Americans do not get the daily recommended dietary magnesium amount, whereas 19% do not get half of the daily recommended dietary magnesium amount, i.e., 310-420mg per day.
You should get a lot of the mineral, about 1000mg per day in order to keep up with your body’s demands.
Magnesium : Calcium Ratios
Our diet is high in calcium but low in magnesium. The diet followed by our ancient ancestors was close to 1:1, but our current diet is close to 5:1 or even 15:1. Experts claim that getting 10 times more calcium than magnesium is a great health concern.
In addition, this increased calcium to magnesium ratio can greatly increase the risk of various health issues, including migraines, anxiety, allergies, asthma, mitral valve prolapse, autism, fibromyalgia, and attention deficit disorder. Furthermore, it can also contribute to muscle contractions, twitches, spasms, and convulsions.
The Mineral Is Responsible for Proper Body Detoxification
Lack of magnesium decreases your body’s ability to make and use enzymes and protein. That’s not all, your body cannot properly process and use vitamin C and E. These vitamins are powerful antioxidants, so your body cannot properly perform its natural detoxification process.
In short, magnesium plays a vital role in the natural body detoxification processes. Since our environment has become more toxic, then our need for the mineral has elevated, as well. Additionally, poor composting, over-cropping, and herbicide or pesticide chemical residue have dramatically decreased the nutritional quality of the produce and soil.
Top 7 Health Benefits of Magnesium:
The Mineral Improves Mood and Reduces Stress
Magnesium has an ability to nourish the nervous system, thus regulating stress and mood. Nervous system damage is known to be the culprit of various health issues such as depression and dementia.
Several case studies suggested that increased magnesium levels helped the patients experiencing confusion, anxiety, irritability, postpartum depression, hyperexcitability, traumatic brain injuries, and alcohol and drug abuse. According to the American Headache Society and the American Academy of Neurology, magnesium is a potential natural therapy for preventing stress-related headaches and migraines.
– Reduces Anxiety:
Magnesium deficiency can result in anxiety. The mineral has an ability to naturally calm the nervous and muscular systems. It may be the main reason why you usually experience anxiety when your are magnesium deficient. In other words, when you experience an anxiety attack, you are most probably deficient in the mineral. Furthermore, the stress of an anxiety attack can actually further deplete your body of this miraculous mineral.
However, magnesium therapy could reduce anxiety symptoms by relaxing nerves, resulting in healthy nerve responses, alleviating muscle tension, and improving digestion. Not only the magnesium therapy can improve the brain nerve’s ability to function properly, but it can also elevate nerve selectivity to fire, thus decreasing your likelihood of agitation and excitability.
– Fights Depression:
Magnesium acts as a stress-reducing mineral. Additionally, cellular magnesium levels induce the production of serotonin, thus improving mood. A few clinical studies have confirmed that 125-300 mg of magnesium can reduce depression symptoms within a period of 1 week.
It Supports Proper Cognition
Magnesium deficiency may lead to brain fog. As mentioned above, about 300 enzymes need magnesium to perform biological reactions that are of vital importance for organ and tissue function. In addition, the mineral maximizes the intricate brain functions, thus supporting good cognitive health.
– Improves Memory:
Magnesium improves the memory potential, thus helping in cases of age-related memory loss. According to studies, there is a connection between poor memory function and lack of brain magnesium.
To explain you more deeply, the long term memories are retained in the brain’s hippocampus region. Moreover, magnesium has an ability to strengthen the function of synapses in the hippocampus. This means that the mineral improves the brain’s ability to retain long term memories.
What’s more, the prefrontal cortex area of the brain is related to decision making and helps in short-term memory retrieval. Magnesium can improve the effectiveness of the prefrontal cortex, and strengthen the synaptic nerve endings that transmit a response.
– Enhances Learning Abilities:
Magnesium can also improve your ability to learn due to the elevated long-term potentiation caused by the repetitive nerve stimulation and the nerve ability to transmit signals more effectively.
Recent research has confirmed that an increase in brain magnesium enhances learning abilities in rats. Specifically, researchers used Magnesium threonate supplementation to test the ability of rats to swim. The results showed that young and old rats that received supplements learned more quickly compared to the control group.
– Prevents the Onset of Alzheimer’s Disease
As a result of the deteriorating health habits of the modern culture, Alzheimer’s disease is linked to low magnesium levels. In other words, those suffering from declining cognitive abilities related to the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease have high levels of toxic plaque buildup in the brain.
A study confirmed that restoring proper brain magnesium levels can prevent further cognitive decline. To be more specific, magnesium supplementation for a period of 17 months lowered the buildup of amyloid plaque in the hipocampus region of the brain by a whopping 35.8% as well as by up to 36% in the prefrontal cortex. That’s not all, some researchers also claim that magnesium therapy may reverse Alzheimer’s disease development.
It Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
The mineral is a crucial element involved in the regulation as well as maintenance of blood sugar levels. On the other hand, low levels of magnesium can interfere with the secretion of insulin and the ability of blood glucose to be transported into the cells throughout the body.
– Helps in the Prevention and Treatment of Type-2 Diabetes
A number of studies showed that treating magnesium deficiency with oral supplementation or magnesium-rich foods can enhance insulin response and secretion in those suffering from type-2 diabetes. In fact, a higher glucose concentration in the kidneys results in frequent urination and even worse magnesium deficiency.
But, clinical studies have yet to prove whether the magnesium alone can improve blood glucose control or not.
Although there is insufficient scientific evidence to directly correlate the mineral to optimal blood glucose balance, dietary magnesium supplementation can reduce the risk of the disease. Those taking 1,000 mg of magnesium oxide daily for 1 month experience improved blood sugar levels. Also, taking different doses of magnesium supplements was associated with a 15-23% reduced risk of diabetes.
The MIneral Improves Heart Health
Magnesium, calcium, and potassium along with other minerals are responsible for maintaining optimal heart health. Magnesium along with other minerals can improve the function of heart rhythm and muscle contraction. As stated above, magnesium may be one of the most important minerals for supporting cardiovascular health since it can regulate nerve impulses.
– Helps Decrease High Blood Pressure:
The mineral is known to help regulate blood pressure as well as support cardiovascular health. Not only it alleviates the restriction around blood vessels, reduces anxiety symptoms, and regulates a healthy heart contraction, but magnesium could also decrease high blood pressure.
– Helps Lower the Risk of Heart Attack:
Taking 250mg of magnesium supplements a day may reduce your risk of heart attack and cardiovascular disease. Also, lower doses of the supplements could decrease the risk of stroke by up to 8%.
Magnesium Treats Many Sleep Disorders, Including Insomnia
Experts explain that a healthy sleep cycle plays a key role in supporting overall health and well-being. It is also responsible for the production of hormones that are synthesized during sleep. In addition, magnesium could help lower insomnia symptoms and promote a deep restful night’s sleep.
Getting a good night’s sleep depends on cellular magnesium concentrations. So, treating magnesium deficiency can regulate hormones like melatonin, thus reducing cortisol and promoting a deep night’s sleep. The mineral is also responsible for a restful night’s sleep since it relaxes your muscles and helps you fall asleep faster.
It Strengthens Joints and Bones
Experts claim that 60% of magnesium is present in bones, whereas the remaining is present in blood and soft tissues. If your cells are deficient in magnesium, then your body depletes the mineral of your bones, blood, etc. In addition, lack of blood magnesium has a negative impact on the nervous function and heart rate, thus resulting in chronic headaches.
It is important to know that not only calcium is responsible for bone strength and formation. That’s not all, you should also maintain a proper magnesium-calcium balance to keep healthy bone density and prevent age-related bone diseases.
In case your body depletes magnesium of the bones, you can experience joint and bone calcification due to the calcium-magnesium imbalance. It can also increase your risk of developing osteoarthritis.
According to a few clinical trials, oral magnesium citrate supplementation may help prevent and reverse osteoporosis. Specifically, those women who consumed magnesium-rich foods within a period of 2 periods experienced fewer fractures as well as a lower bone loss rate.
Magnesium Helps in Body Detoxification
The mineral helps detoxify the body’s tissue of poisons, toxins, acids, gasses, and other harmful substances. Unfortunately, our food is loaded with environmental contaminants, which result in toxin accumulation that depletes our bodies of all the essential minerals.
Consuming magnesium-rich foods or taking magnesium supplements can enhance the motility of the colon and gastrointestinal tract, thus inducing the contaminant elimination. As a result of this, magnesium is the main ingredient in almost all laxatives commonly used to alleviate constipation.
Magnesium Deficiency Risks
People at a greater risk of this mineral deficiency include:
- Those suffering from type-2 diabetes are at a higher risk of magnesium deficiency because an increased concentration of blood glucose results in elevated urination need and a greater risk of kidney damage.
- Celiac and Crohn’s disease patients and those suffering from other gastrointestinal disorders have also an increased risk of this mineral deficiency since they have a decreased ability to absorb nutrients from their diets.
- Elderly have an elevated likelihood of the deficiency since their gastrointestinal tracts have a decreased ability to absorb minerals. Also, they may take certain medications that can impede magnesium absorption.
- Alcoholics are also at a greater risk of developing magnesium deficiency as chronic alcohol abuse may contribute to gastrointestinal issues that can stimulate the elimination of magnesium in urine.
How to Choose the Best Form of Magnesium
Almost all magnesium supplements can be effectively absorbed by the gastrointestinal tract. The mineral can also cross the blood brain barrier, thus penetrating into the cells.
– Magnesium Supplements
It is important to know that magnesium chloride, magnesium citrate and magnesium oxide are the most common types of magnesium supplements. However, it is always a good idea to purchase a pure magnesium supplement that does not include any other elemental compounds that may lead to adverse side-effects.
Magnesium L-Threonate Benefits:
According to recent research, magnesium L-threonate is the most effective type of magnesium supplement. This type of magnesium can effectively pass the blood brain barrier and get absorbed into the cells.
Furthermore, dietary magnesium threonate supplementation is highly bioavailable magnesium compound that can elevate the magnesium concentration inside the cells.
Researchers have concluded that this form of magnesium supplement could be the best type of magnesium supplements because it has the highest rate of magnesium absorption for cells.
But, Magnesium Supplements Can Interfere with the Effectiveness of Certain Medications
Prior to taking magnesium supplements, consider consulting your doctor to check if any pharmaceuticals interact with the mineral.
– Magnesium-Rich Foods
The mineral is present in many foods such as raw, green leafy vegetables; sprouted legumes; pumpkin seeds; avocados; sea vegetables; wild-caught fish; sprouted seeds and nuts; pink salt and unrefined sea salt; raw, grass-fed dairy products; raw cacao; etc. Additionally, the recommended daily magnesium amount for adults typically ranges from 310 to 420 mg.
However, it is advisable to buy organic and GMO-free foods for maximum benefits.
– Magnesium Oil Sprays
These sprays are directly absorbed through the skin, thus temporarily alleviating pain. In case they are used for longer periods, they can provide long-term pain relief. Osteoarthritis patients should use these sprays since they can improve magnesium balance to the affected area.
It is recommended to spray the oil every day over the affected area before going to bed.
Avoid Taking Excessive Magnesium Amounts
Even though the possibility of excessive magnesium intake is low, some risk factors are related to magnesium intake higher than 5,000 mg a day. The most common symptoms of excessive magnesium intake include:
- Abdominal cramps
- Irregular heart beat
- Heart attack
You can replenish your cells as well as restore your overall health by consuming organic, magnesium-rich foods and taking high-quality magnesium supplements.
- Dean, Carolyn. ”The Magnesium Miracle”;
- Seelig, Mildred. ”The Magnesium Factor: How One Simple Nutrient Can Prevent, Treat, and Reverse High Blood Pressure, Heart Disease, Diabetes, and Other Chronic Conditions”;
- Dean, Carolyn. ”Magnesium: The Missing Link to Better Health”;