Magnesium’s benefits can include reduced symptoms from conditions such as chronic pain, fatigue and insomnia. Magnesium may also provide protection from a number of chronic diseases, especially those associated with aging and stress.
Recently re-discovered as an overlooked key to good health, a number of medical researchers are recommending increases to the RDA for magnesium — sometimes suggesting as much as double the current recommendations — to ensure protection from diseases such as osteoporosis and hypertension.
Essential to life, necessary for good health, and a vital component within our cells, magnesium’s benefits help our bodies maintain balance, avoid illness, perform well under stress, and maintain a general state of good health.
What Conditions Can Benefit from Magnesium?
Magnesium is known to reduce muscle tension, lessen pain associated with migraine headaches, improve sleep, and address neurological disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Conditions linked to poor magnesium levels include:
- Muscle Spasms and Muscle Cramps
- Mental Health and Sleep:
- Autism and ADD
- Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS)
- Psoriasis, Acne and Eczema
- Blood Pressure
Magnesium works within our cells — the powerhouses, factories and regulators of the body’s systems.
Because it is a necessary part of hundreds of biochemical reactions occurring constantly inside our cells, magnesium’s presence or absence affects the brain, the muscles, and the heart and blood vessels.
What are the Effects of Magnesium?
While many are aware of the importance of calcium, the parallel and in some ways even more crucial role of another essential mineral — magnesium — is less widely known. As a result, adequate magnesium intake is rare, especially in the U.S.
There are fifteen essential minerals required by our bodies to function properly. These can be divided into “trace minerals”, those required in very small amounts, and “macro-minerals” or “major minerals”, those required in larger amounts.
The six major minerals required in excess of 250 mg per day include:
The body needs these minerals on a regular basis as it cannot manufacture them. Four percent of the body’s weight is made up of minerals, but their function as regulators is vast.
Magnesium impacts nearly all of systems of the body due to its cellular and molecular function. As a fundamental ion in the body (a charged particle soluble in water) magnesium is utilized in key chemical reactions on a microscopic level throughout the body’s cells, including its vital role as a co-factor to over 300 enzyme functions, and its role in DNA and RNA stability.
Magnesium’s effect on the body can be as intense as that of many prescription drugs, because magnesium functions as a regulator of electrolyte balance, metabolism, and other biochemical reactions.
Unlike prescription drugs, however, magnesium is recognized as an essential component of the body, not a foreign element. When supplied sufficiently, magnesium is actually conserved by the body for future use. Medications, on the other hand, tend to treat only one symptom or disease, and are flushed out of the body as toxins, thus taxing the liver and the body’s detoxification systems.
- Is an important factor in muscle relaxation and heart health
- Allows nerves to send messages in the brain and nervous system
- Aids and regulates the body’s use of calcium and other minerals
- Assists in bone and teeth formation
- Regulates the metabolism of nutrients such as protein, nucleic acids, fats and carbohydrates
- Regulates cholesterol production and helps modulate insulin sensitivity
- Assists in energy production, DNA transcription and protein synthesis
- Maintains the structural health of cell membranes throughout the body
Healthy magnesium levels have been linked to lowered blood pressure, reduced incidence of type II diabetes, emergency migraine treatment, reduced symptoms of asthma, and improved memory.
Magnesium is also a healthy part of bone and a necessary element in healthy calcium regulation. Increased magnesium has been linked to reduced bone loss in older adults
Why Do We Need Magnesium?
Magnesium is distinguished as being not only one of the most vital and essential enzyme co-factors, regulating more reactions than any other mineral, but it is also responsible for two of the most important cellular functions: energy production and cellular reproduction.
When we don’t take in adequate magnesium, our bodies will either remove magnesium from our bones or function in deficiency.
Magnesium and other minerals absorbed into the body are utilized as “ions” and circulated throughout the body via the blood. There, magnesium is used by our cells in order to perform routine functions such as creating energy, building hormones, maintaining cells, and bodily movement. Once circulated through the body, magnesium is filtered by our kidneys and excreted on a regular basis.
Magnesium must be continually supplied to the body as it is needed on an ongoing daily basis. When we don’t take in adequate magnesium daily, our bodies will either remove magnesium from our bones, where it is needed, or function in deficiency.
Though some amount of magnesium is stored within the bones and can be accessed for future use, magnesium turnover tends to contribute to unhealthy bone loss and the release of calcium from the bone into the blood stream.
Operating in magnesium deficiency disrupts the balance of not only magnesium but other minerals in the body, causing problems that reverberate throughout the body’s systems.
Low magnesium intake has been linked to risk factors for:
- High blood pressure
- Issues of heart health
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include muscle cramps or tremors, irregular heart beat, fatigue, confusion, and irritability.