Do you get enough magnesium, your body's "Master commander"?
Magnesium is an essential mineral for bones and muscles. Magnesium (Mg2+) serves several functions in the human body. As a cofactor for over 300 enzymes, it regulates various fundamental processes, including muscle contraction, neuromuscular conduction, glycemic control, myocardial contraction, and blood pressure. Furthermore, magnesium plays a vital role in energy production, active transmembrane transport of other ions, and nuclear material synthesis.
Too little magnesium wreaks havoc in your cells, and the damage worsens as you get older. Besides your bones, your heart and brain hold the highest magnesium concentrations, which is why a deficiency can even be deadly.
Supplementing with magnesium has also been shown to have several beneficial effects. (3)
It is widely distributed in both plant and animal foods as well as in beverages. The most beneficial sources are green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains. Magnesium is generally found in foods containing dietary fibre. Refining grains in ways that remove the nutrient-rich germ and bran reduces magnesium content substantially.
Magnesium is absorbed by the body at a rate of 30% to 40% when consumed in food. This is why supplements are often required. (4)
What are the health benefits of magnesium? (1, 2,3)
Protects Against Osteoporosis and Strengthens Bones
Around 60% of total body magnesium is stored in bones, of which 30% is skeletal magnesium. A large amount of magnesium is available on the surface of the bones for exchange with serum magnesium. Magnesium is an integral part of bones; its release depends on bone resorption.
In several population studies, magnesium intake has been linked to higher bone mineral density in both men and women. Due to its role in bone formation and its function in potentiating vitamin D, magnesium plays a significant role in bone growth. Our muscles may also benefit from adequate magnesium, which aids in preventing falls and fractures in the elderly.
Relieves Muscle Cramps
Magnesium is also recommended if you tend to get muscle cramps when you work out or play sports. Using magnesium in a rehydration blend will help replenish magnesium and other electrolytes lost through sweat. The mineral is therefore beneficial to athletes and marathon runners.
Supports Energy Production:
Magnesium is a cofactor for approximately 300 enzyme systems involved in diverse biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, muscle function, blood sugar
regulation, and blood pressure regulation. The body requires magnesium for energy production, oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis.
Improves Sleep Quality:
Magnesium might also help you sleep better if you struggle with insomnia. Magnesium regulates the hormone melatonin, enabling you to fall asleep and stay asleep. Additionally, it helps your muscles relax by counteracting the effects of calcium, which can tighten and contract them. The results of stress can also reduce magnesium, so make sure that you meet the RDA of magnesium when you are stressed.
Helps Ease Constipation
Last but not least, Magnesium Citrate, in particular, can help with constipation. The reason is that it helps relax the nerves lining the digestive tract, causing the intestines to release the water into the stool; this softens the stool and allows things to move along more smoothly. It can be a simple solution to occasional constipation problems.
Magnesium: How To Take It
Magnesium supplements can be taken by mouth, such as capsules, powder, or liquids. One type of magnesium supplement that is easy for your body to absorb is magnesium citrate. HealthyHey Nutrition's Magnesium Citrate has 15% elemental magnesium, which means you get 140mg of magnesium per capsule. It is a vegetarian product and may support bone health, energy production and muscle function.
- Tucker K. L. (2009). Osteoporosis prevention and nutrition. Current osteoporosis reports, 7(4), 111–117. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11914-009-0020-5.
- Gröber, U., Schmidt, J., & Kisters, K. (2015). Magnesium in Prevention and Therapy. Nutrients, 7(9), 8199–8226. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu7095388.
- Al Alawi, A. M., Majoni, S. W., & Falhammar, H. (2018). Magnesium and Human Health: Perspectives and Research Directions. International journal of endocrinology, 2018, 9041694. https://doi.org/10.1155/2018/9041694.