Did you know that 10-20% of the world’s population is affected by magnesium deficiency?1https://www.cerascreen.co.uk/blogs/health-portal/magnesium-deficiency-symptoms This crucial mineral2https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/what-you-should-know-about-magnesium23https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-supplements has over 600 bodily functions4https://beelinehealthcare.com/magnesium-benefits/#:~:text=Magnesium%20acts%20as%20an%20essential,bones%2C%20soft%20tissue%20and%20blood. and is the fourth-most abundant mineral found in the human body.5https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-supplements6https://www.metabolics.com/blog/the-definitive-guide-to-magnesium-and-magnesium-supplements But, most people are not getting enough! On top of this, stress uses up magnesium stores in the body, causing further insufficiency.
Magnesium deficiency can be a significant contributor to low-grade inflammation, which is associated with serious conditions such as hypertension, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.7https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6060686/8https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5783146/
What are the symptoms of magnesium deficiency?
The following symptoms may indicate a magnesium deficiency. Consider booking a blood test with your GP if you are experiencing:
- Muscle weakness
- Decreased appetite
- Nausea, difficulty thinking clearly
- Muscle cramps or twitches
- Mental disorders
- Abnormal heart rhythms
Why is magnesium so important?
- Your muscles use magnesium to contract.9https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/what-you-should-know-about-magnesium210https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-supplements So magnesium contributes to a normal heartbeat.11https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/what-you-should-know-about-magnesium212https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-magnesium13https://www.metabolics.com/blog/the-definitive-guide-to-magnesium-and-magnesium-supplements Magnesium helps your muscles to relax by acting as a natural calcium blocker.14https://www.metabolics.com/blog/the-definitive-guide-to-magnesium-and-magnesium-supplements Insufficient magnesium may lead to muscle cramps and pain, so ensure you’re getting enough!
- Magnesium is required by your nerves to transmit messages.15https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/what-you-should-know-about-magnesium216https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-supplements
- It helps to regulate blood pressure.17https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/what-you-should-know-about-magnesium218https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-magnesium Supplementing with magnesium will increase nitric oxide production and in this way may help lower blood pressure. Taking 365-450 mg of magnesium per day, has been shown to significantly lower blood pressure in those with chronic medical conditions.19https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/supplements-lower-blood-pressure
- Magnesium keeps your bones strong.20https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-magnesium. 60% of the magnesium in your body is found in your bones. Magnesium is required for the absorption, metabolism, and transportation of calcium, and can improve bone density.21https://www.metabolics.com/blog/the-definitive-guide-to-magnesium-and-magnesium-supplements
- Magnesium can also be helpful in preventing atrophy in older people.
- Supplementing with magnesium is recommended for anyone with chronic fatigue, myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME) or fibromyalgia. Magnesium is involved in the cellular production of energy (which is different to caffeine-stimulated energy).
- Magnesium is a fantastic supplement before or after exercise. Supplementing 20-30 minutes before a workout will give you an energy push. Supplementing after exercise will help with muscle recovery!
- Another amazing benefit of magnesium is its anti-inflammatory effect. Magnesium is necessary for the synthesis of a powerful cellular antioxidant – glutathione.22https://www.metabolics.com/blog/the-definitive-guide-to-magnesium-and-magnesium-supplements Several studies have also reported that magnesium deficiency reduces Bifidobacterium levels. This can cause a reduction in intestinal wall permeability and result in inflammation.23https://www.metabolics.com/blog/the-definitive-guide-to-magnesium-and-magnesium-supplements24https://www.researchgate.net/figure/Cecal-content-of-Bifidobacterium…25https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/12/4188
- Low levels or insufficient magnesium have been associated with high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, inflammation, certain cancers, periodontal disease, depression, psychosis, and may be a risk factor for osteoporosis.26https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/what-you-should-know-about-magnesium227https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-supplements28https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-magnesium29https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/magnesium-supplements/faq-2046627030https://www.metabolics.com/blog/the-definitive-guide-to-magnesium-and-magnesium-supplements
Who’s most likely to have a magnesium deficiency?
Serious magnesium deficiencies are rare, but some groups of people are more prone to it than others. This includes anyone with Crohn’s disease, kidney disease, parathyroid issues, taking certain diabetes or cancer drugs, using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), excess alcohol consumption, as well as older adults.31https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-magnesium If you are working with any of these conditions, you should speak to your healthcare provider about checking your magnesium levels.
So, what can you eat to boost magnesium?
Several gut-healthy food sources of magnesium are easily accessible including whole grains, green leafy vegetables such as spinach, fish, nuts, seeds, legumes, milk, Chuckling Goat Kefir, and yoghurt.32https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/what-you-should-know-about-magnesium233https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/magnesium-supplements34https://www.webmd.com/diet/supplement-guide-magnesium35https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/expert-answers/magnesium-supplements/faq-20466270
Further supplementing with magnesium can help with a long list of common ailments such as trouble sleeping, muscle tension, spasms, anxiety, stress, twitching, cramps, and low energy. Due to magnesium’s calming effect on the brain and sleep, it has been given several nicknames such as “nature’s valium”, “the original chill pill”, and “nature’s tranquiliser”.
For information on how to lower inflammation around the body, check out Love your gut – with the anti-inflammatory diet!
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