Magnesium is one of the most important minerals needed by your body. Magnesium plays an important role in nerve and muscle function, regulation of blood pressure, and boosting the immune system.
In the human body, most of the magnesium is stored in the bones and the remaining can be found in bodily fluids, muscles, and tissues. Though magnesium is abundantly available and found in plants, animals, sea, and earth, most people don’t get enough of it. Magnesium deficiency can lead to several health problems.
Some of the symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps, fatigue, mental problems, and osteoporosis. Magnesium deficiency can be checked by a red blood cell test, and is usually treated by taking magnesium supplements like this one.
Though magnesium is abundantly available, most people don’t get enough of it. Magnesium deficiency can lead to several health problems.
Benefits of Magnesium Supplements
Here are some of the key benefits of taking magnesium supplements:
1. Catalyzes Enzyme Reactions In The Body
Multiple chemical reactions help run the body. From breaking up carbohydrates to create energy to synthesizing new strands of DNA, or clearing up cellular waste, all this is possible by the constant chemical reactions happening in the body. This process is broadly defined as metabolism. Factors like temperature, solubility, and concentration of the molecules determine the speed of these reactions.
For a healthy metabolism, it’s important that the bodily chemical reactions happen at a good speed. For this, enzymes are required. Enzymes are protein particles that regulate metabolic reactions. They ensure that the body uses less energy and speeds up the chemical reactions. This process takes a few milliseconds. Without enzymes, our body would need days to perform these chemical reactions.
These enzymes further need additional ions called cofactors to function optimally. Magnesium is an important cofactor for several enzymes in the body and is responsible for more than 600 reactions in the body. Without cofactors, enzymes are unable to catalyze chemical reactions. Magnesium is an important cofactor for enzymes like DNA/RNA and also plays a crucial role in creating and repairing DNA strands. It’s also essential for the movement of minerals and helps convert food to energy. Magnesium also helps regulate the nervous system and muscle movement.
2. Ensures Bone Health
Magnesium plays an important role in regulating calcium in the cells. It’s essential for the metabolism and absorption of calcium. Lack of magnesium can prevent the cells from metabolizing calcium. Magnesium also stimulates the production of the hormone, calcitonin. Calcitonin activates an alkaline enzyme, phosphatase to form new calcium in the bone. Thus, regular magnesium intake increases bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
3. Creates Cellular Energy
Magnesium is a cofactor for the enzymes that produce energy. These enzymes convert glucose into smaller molecules called ATP, which is your main source of cellular energy. That’s why it’s important to have an adequate amount of magnesium for optimal cellular energy.
4. Protects Against Diabetes
Magnesium plays an important role for those who are suffering from diabetes. Diabetics often have low levels of magnesium, as magnesium is essential for insulin metabolism. Since magnesium is a cofactor responsible for glucose transport, its deficiency reduces the activity of the insulin receptors, thus, impairing insulin sensitivity. On the other hand, increased insulin resistance can lead to low magnesium levels.
5. Helps Create And Repair DNA
Magnesium is a key cofactor for the enzyme, DNA Polymerase, which is essential for creating and repairing strands of DNA. When creating new DNA, the enzyme DNA polymerase attaches itself to the new DNA strands and travels down the nucleotides. The magnesium ions attached to the enzyme helps open up the nucleotide, thus, drawing new nucleotides. Thus, DNA Polymerase, the main enzyme needed for DNA creation and repair cannot function without magnesium.
6. Improves Heart Health
Magnesium is an important mineral that’s needed for a steady heartbeat and acts as an anti-coagulant to prevent heart blockage due to blood clotting. Magnesium is also known for maintaining a healthy heart rhythm since it’s responsible for transporting electrolytes like calcium and potassium into the cells. These electrolytes are responsible for important for muscle contractions and nerve signals that contribute to a stabilized heartbeat. Since magnesium is an electrolyte that is essential for the contraction and relaxation of muscles, it plays a crucial role in helping the arteries relax, thus reducing blood pressure.
7. Helps Reduce Muscle Pain
If you have a magnesium deficiency, lifting weights in the gym or heavy luggage can often lead to muscle cramps. Prolonged magnesium deficiency can also lead to poor muscle coordination. Research shows that magnesium plays an important role in maintaining the health of your muscles. As magnesium controls the transportation of calcium in the cells and is essential for calcium absorption, its deficiency can lead to lowered calcium absorption in the cells. When this happens, the calcium that remains in the nerve cells causes an excitation of muscles. This leads to muscle cramps and spasms.
Magnesium plays an important role in nerve and muscle function, regulation of blood pressure, and boosting the immune system.
8. Works As An Anti-Inflammatory Agent
Chronic inflammation is one of the key symptoms of age-related illnesses like joint pains. Inflammation is a result of the enzyme CRP, or C-reactive protein, that is produced by the liver and increases inflammation. Increased CRP indicates inflammation in the body. Taking magnesium supplements can reduce the CRP protein, thus reducing inflammation.
9. Relieves Migraines
Since magnesium is an essential mineral needed for the body’s biochemical reactions, a lack of it can also cause migraines. Magnesium deficiency can adversely affect the neurotransmitters and cause blood vessel constrictions, leading to migraines. Magnesium is the key cofactor in the transportation of enzymes. Without enough magnesium, sodium, and potassium electrolytes, the nerve signals are imbalanced, leading to an overactive nervous system. This translates into migraines and headaches. This study states that taking magnesium supplements can be effective in migraine prevention.
10. Reduces Anxiety And Stress
Magnesium helps calm the nervous system in several ways. It’s a cofactor for GABA, the body’s key neurotransmitter. GABA reduces brain activity and induces relaxation. Magnesium stimulates GABA receptors in the brain, thereby, inducing relaxation.
Magnesium is also responsible for stabilizing the nerve cells and improving serotonin production. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that induces sensations of satisfaction and relaxation, thus, reducing anxiety and stress. Magnesium is also said to reduce levels of stress hormones. It restricts the excessive release of cortisol and prevents it from entering the brain. Cortisol is a hormone known to increase anxiety and stress.
11. Reduces Pre-Menstrual Syndrome
Pre-Menstrual Syndrome or PMS is one of the most common health conditions faced by women around the world. Experts suggest that taking magnesium supplements can reduce its symptoms like water retention, irritability, and mood swings. Due to its calming effects on the brain, it acts as an inhibitory neurotransmitter. Since magnesium impacts hormone balance, it has a direct impact on PMS.
Low COMT enzyme often leads to increased estrogen levels resulting in health conditions like fibroids. Magnesium supports the creation of COMT enzymes, thereby, promoting healthy estrogen levels. It also relaxes the uterus muscles by reducing prostaglandins, a hormone that causes pain during menstruation.
12. Improves Bowel Movement
Since magnesium plays an important role in the contraction and relaxation of muscles, magnesium improves bowel movements as it moves food down the food tract. Magnesium is an osmotic laxative which pulls water into your intestines, softening your stool and making it easier to pass through. Magnesium citrate is a relatively gentle laxative and doesn’t have side-effects. However, it should be avoided if you’re taking medication for HIV.
13. Removes heavy metals
Toxic heavy metals in the body like aluminum, mercury, and lead can lead to several health disorders like neurological problems. Magnesium is said to remove heavy metals from the body as it binds itself to the heavy metals and removes them from the body. A lack of magnesium increases the oxidative harm from free radicals caused by heavy metals. Magnesium deficiency can also allow toxic metals to enter the brain. This leads to conditions like Alzheimer’s.
14. Helps Convert Vitamin D for Bodily Functions
Magnesium is a key enzyme that converts vitamin D for bodily functions. If you have a magnesium deficiency, you are likely to have lower levels of vitamin D, too. Since vitamin D is important for calcium absorption in the small intestine, its deficiency can prevent the optimal absorption of vitamin D.
15. Helps Alleviate Insomnia
Magnesium can help maintain sufficient levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes sleep. Magnesium also supports the production of melatonin, a hormone that controls the sleeping and waking cycles. Since magnesium has a relaxing effect on the muscles, taking magnesium supplements helps to relax your body and induce sleep.
16. Fights Against Depression
As magnesium plays an important role in the nervous system and brain function, lower levels of magnesium can increase the risk of depression. Since magnesium improves the production of serotonin, a hormone that promotes well-being, it can help reduce the symptoms of depression. Magnesium is a cofactor for the key neurotransmitter GABA, that induces relaxation and helps alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Common Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Anxiety, frequent headaches, constipation, feeling tired and weak, insomnia, heart palpitations, muscle cramps, and salt cravings are some of the key symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Since magnesium is mostly stored in the bones and tissues, taking a blood test to measure your magnesium levels may be inaccurate. To correctly check your magnesium, look for deficiency signs and if you think you’re deficient, you can opt for a specialized magnesium test like the red blood cell test. This will provide more accurate results.
Increasing Your Magnesium Intake
Almonds, cashews, spinach, black beans, peanut butter, avocado, and soy milk are some of the food rich in magnesium. Though legumes, seeds, and cereals usually also have high levels of magnesium, they don’t help much since they contain phytates which inhibit the absorption of minerals.
Drinking mineral water from natural springs is a great way to increase your magnesium intake. Dark chocolate is also said to be a rich source of magnesium. The recommended daily allowance or RDA for men is 420 mg, and 320 mg for women. Another way to increase your magnesium levels is to take magnesium-enriched Epsom salt baths.
Even if you’re following a healthy diet, it’s difficult to meet the recommended dietary requirements of magnesium through your food intake, thus dietary magnesium supplements may help.
Taking Magnesium Supplements
Even if you’re following a healthy diet, it’s very difficult to meet the recommended dietary requirements of magnesium through your food intake. Besides, magnesium is not absorbed by the body easily since most food is digested and broken before it can be absorbed in the small intestine. This digestive process reduces the amount of magnesium getting absorbed by the body. Furthermore, drugs and certain foods may impair magnesium absorption. Keeping this in mind, it’s advisable to take dietary magnesium supplements to ensure adequate levels of magnesium in your body.
Tips To Improve Your Magnesium Levels
Below are some essential tips to keep in mind if you want to improve your body’s magnesium levels:
- Reduce your coffee and alcohol intake as they can greatly reduce magnesium absorption.
- If you’re eating beans or legumes, make sure to soak them in water before consuming them. This will help reduce the phytic acid in the legumes that interfere with magnesium absorption.
- Processed foods not only remove essential minerals from the food but may also have toxic preservatives that interfere with mineral absorption. Thus, to improve your magnesium levels, reduce your intake of processed foods.
- Organically grown green, leafy vegetables like spinach are a great source of magnesium. Increase your daily intake of them.
- As sodium competes with magnesium ions for ion channels, reducing its intake can help improve your magnesium levels.
- Taking daily oral supplements of magnesium is the easiest way to increase your magnesium levels.
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals needed by your body. Without it, your body will not be able to function. Being a key enzyme that’s responsible for several chemical reactions in the body, magnesium is important for bone health, heart health, and optimal muscle movements. Though magnesium is abundantly available, getting enough of it from your diet may not be always possible. That’s why magnesium supplements are important.
If you feel any of the usual magnesium deficiency symptoms, regularly taking magnesium supplements can help. Start by taking magnesium supplements for a few months and see how it benefits your health and well-being.
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