Magnesium – benefits, sources, information and advices

Magnesium (mineral)
Magnesium (mineral)

Although it is little promoted on the market, Magnesium can be one of the most important minerals for health promotion. Studies show that besides stimulating about 300 processes in the body related to enzymes, Magnesium can help prevent or combat many chronic diseases.

What Magnesium is:

On average, the human body contains just under 30 g of Magnesium, but this small amount is vital for many somatic functions. Many people do not have adequate supplies of Magnesium, often because they rely too much on processed foods that contain very little of this mineral.

In addition, the Magnesium level is easily depleted by stress, certain illnesses or medications, and intense physical activity. For this reason, nutritional supplements may be necessary to maintain optimal health.

Supplements are found in many forms, including Magnesium acetate, Magnesium carbonate, Magnesium citrate, Magnesium gluconate, Magnesium oxide and Magnesium sulphate.

How Magnesium works:

Magnesium, one of the multilateral minerals, is involved in energy production, nerve function, muscle relaxation and bone and teeth formation. Together with calcium and potassium, Magnesium regulates heart rate and coagulates blood – it also helps in the production and use of insulin.

Prevention:

Recent research indicates that Magnesium is beneficial in the prevention and treatment of heart disease. Studies show that the risk of dying from myocardial infarction is lower in regions with “heavy water”  which contains a high level of Magnesium. Some researchers speculate that if everyone were to drink heavy water, the number of deaths due to heart attack could be reduced by 19%.

Magnesium seems to decrease blood pressure and has been found to help restore after a heart attack, preventing blood clots, dilating arteries and normalizing dangerous arrhythmias.

Preliminary studies show that adequate Magnesium intake can help prevent type II diabetes.

Additional benefits:

Magnesium relaxes the muscles so it is useful for light wounds, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. It seems to calm premenstrual syndrome and menstrual cramps and can increase bone mass in post-menopausal periods in women, preventing the onset of osteoporosis.

In addition, Magnesium extends the respiratory tract, which helps in the treatment of asthma and bronchitis. Research is not conclusive about the role of Magnesium in preventing or treating migraines.

How much do you need:

The recommended daily amount of Magnesium is 300 mg for men and 270 mg for women. Higher doses are needed in adolescents (300 mg) and in preventing or treating diseases.

If you take too little:

Even moderate deficits may increase the risk of heart disease and diabetes. Severe deficits may result in arrhythmias, fatigue, muscle spasms, irritability, nervousness and confusion.

If you take too much:

Magnesium can cause diarrhea and nausea. More serious side effects – such as muscle weakness, lethargy, confusion and respiratory weight – may occur if the body is unable to properly process high doses. Larger quantities lower blood pressure, causing dizziness. But Magnesium overdose is rare as absorption decreases as the dose increases and the kidneys are usually effective in eliminating excess.

Dosage:

For the prevention of heart disease 300 mg a day.

For arrhythmias, asthma and restoration after a heart failure: 300 mg per day.

For chronic fatigue: 150 mg of Magnesium, preferably Magnesium citrate, 2 times a day.

For diabetes and hypertension: 300 mg a day.

Instructions for use:

Magnesium is best absorbed when taken at each meal. If supplements cause diarrhea, reduce the dose or try Magnesium gluconate, which has a milder effect on the digestive tract.

Other sources:

Good sources of Magnesium are whole grains, walnuts, hazelnuts, legumes, green leafy vegetables, molluscs and crustaceans (a generous portion of wild rice provides one-third of an adult’s daily Magnesium requirement).

Uses:

  • Helps protect against heart disease and arrhythmia.
  • Attenuates the symptoms of chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia.
  • Low blood pressure.
  • It can reduce the severity of asthma attacks.
  • Relieves symptoms of premenstrual syndrome.
  • Helps prevent diabetes complications.

Forms of presentation:

  • Capsule
  • Powder
  • Tablets

Did you know:

* A lack of Magnesium can hurt ordinary exercise.

* Magnesium administration lowers tension in cases of hypertension, thus reducing the risk of myocardial infarction and stroke.

Information and advices:

  • If you are taking Magnesium supplements, make sure you also take calcium supplements. The imbalance in the amounts of the two minerals can reduce their beneficial effects.
  • Magnesium citrate is the form of the most easily absorbed mineral. Magnesium oxide is cheaper, but it is also the most badly absorbed.

 

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References:

  • Ashwell, M., Bussell, G., Clasen, L., Egginton, J., Gibson, S., Govindji, A., McCleneghan, J., Wilcock, F., (2008), Vitamine, minerale si suplimente, Bucuresti, Editura Reader’s Digest;
  • Bourne, G.H., (1990), Aspects of some vitamins and minerals and enzymes in health and disease, Karger;
  • Dean, C., (2006), The Magnesium Miracle, Ballantine Books Trade Paperback Edition;
  • Goodman, D., (2013), Magnificent Magnesium: Your Essential Key to a Healthy Health and More, Square One Pub, 1’st Edition;
  • Lieberman, S., Bruning., N., P., (2007), The Real Vitamin and Mineral Book, 4’th edition, New York, Published by the Penguin Group;
  • Reavley, N., (1999), The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs, Maryland, Bookman Press;
  • Sharon, M., (2009), Nutrients A-Z, London, Carlton Books Limited;
  • Ternus, M., Broihier, K., (2001), Everything Vitamins Minerals & Nutritional Supplements.

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