Why is magnesium important? Believe it or not, this mineral plays a role in over 300 enzyme reactions in the human body. It influences our skeletal, cardiovascular, and immune systems and helps with diabetes, migraine, and anxiety, among other things.
Read on to find out more about the benefits, dosage, forms and sources of magnesium.
What does magnesium do for your body?
Magnesium is essential for bone health and formation. Research shows a connection between adequate magnesium intake and higher bone density, improved bone crystal formation, and a lower risk of osteoporosis in females after menopause.
It also helps to regulate calcium and vitamin D levels, which are two other nutrients vital for bone health.
Heart and blood vessels
Heart, like other muscles, needs magnesium to be healthy. A 2018 review found a correlation between magnesium deficiency and increased risk of cardiovascular problems, heart attacks, and strokes.
Magnesium also helps to regulate high blood pressure by helping blood vessels relax. It affects the metabolism of sodium, potassium and calcium and the abnormalities in ion transport which occur in hypertension.
Magnesium is involved in the synthesis, release, and activity of cells of the immune system. It is also necessary for the activation of vitamin D, another element important for boosting your immunity.
According to research, high magnesium diets are connected with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. A possible explanation could be the role magnesium plays in glucose control and insulin metabolism.
Magnesium deficiency may actually worsen the insulin resistance, which is a condition that often precedes type 2 diabetes. On the other hand, insulin resistance may cause low magnesium levels.
Magnesium deficiency can affect neurotransmitters and restrict blood vessel constriction, which are factors linked to migraines. According to a review, magnesium therapy may be useful for preventing migraines.
Magnesium levels may be related to mood disorders such as depression and anxiety.
According to a review from 2017, low magnesium levels may correlate with higher levels of anxiety. This can be explained by activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which is a set of three glands that control our reaction to stress.
How much magnesium do you need?
Our body naturally contains magnesium, but cannot make it on its own. The amount we need depends on our age and gender. Women aged 19 or older need 310 milligrams (mg) a day, 350 mg if they are pregnant. Adult men under 30 need 400 mg a day, i. e. 420 mg if they are over 30.
Having a magnesium deficiency is rare in healthy people who eat a balanced diet, but you might be more prone to have low magnesium levels if you have another health condition, if you’re taking certain medicines, or as a result of a restricted diet low in vegetables and nuts.
If you do have a magnesium deficiency, you might experience symptoms such as muscle twitches and cramps, fatigue and muscle weakness, high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, asthma, or mental disorders.
Where can you get magnesium?
Many people get significant quantities of magnesium through the foods they eat. The richest source of magnesium is fish, such as salmon, pollock, mackerel, or halibut. You can also find it in green, leafy vegetables, like spinach, in nuts, beans, peas, soybeans, and whole-grain cereals.
However, in addition to what you get from food, you might need to take magnesium supplements in the recommended amounts of 65 mg/day for children ages 1-3, 110 mg/day for children ages 4-8, 350 mg/day for adults and children ages 9 and up.
Not all magnesium is created equal
Magnesium comes in different forms:
Magnesium citrate is one of the most commonly recommended sources of magnesium. It has a laxative effect and it is used to clean the intestines before surgery or as a preparation for certain procedures (e.g., colonoscopy, radiography), usually with other products. It may also be used for relief of constipation.
Magnesium gluconate is used to prevent and treat low amounts of magnesium in the blood. It can also be used to treat symptoms of too much stomach acid such as stomach upset, heartburn, and acid indigestion.
Magnesium glycinate is the go-to form of magnesium for doctors, because, together with magnesium citrate, it is more bioavailable than other common forms of magnesium. It is a great option for magnesium supplementation.
Goodwill Pharma’s Magnewill Rapid contains optimal doses of these three salts in their water-soluble form, which makes them readily available.
Magnesium is one of the essential pieces of the health puzzle. In order to fit it together with other elements, you should know which forms and doses you need and what benefits it will bring you.