What on Earth is Magnesium? To put it simply it is a incredibly important mineral that helps support a happy body. I bet you didn’t know that about 75% of Americans do not get the daily recommended amount of Magnesium. It can be assumed that this is because it is extremely difficult to consume enough of it through our food. This is where supplementation of magnesium comes to the rescue and helps address these deficiencies. Now I am not one to push supplements on people and would suggest always getting your nutrients from whole, natural foods, but in the case of magnesium, supplementing with it daily would not be a bad idea.
So what the hell does magnesium do for our bodies? Well I am glad that you asked because the mineral is needed for more than 600 cellular reactions in the body, and its finger prints can be found many bodily functions from bone formation and mood regulation to energy production and muscle performance . Studies have shown that magnesium may provide a slew of health benefits which include effects on bone health, energy productions, decreasing depression, migraine mitigation, sleep improvement, blood pressure regulation, heart function, sugar control and anxiety. Clearly magnesium can do a great deal of good for our bodies so lets dive a little deeper into all of its benefits.
Magnesium and Bone Health
Healthy bones need magnesium. It can be argued that it is one of the most important bone-building nutrients in the human body and studies suggest that having higher levels of magnesium results in lower rate of bone fractures. This is especially important for the older population and the females who tend to have lower bone density. In a US study which observed individuals above the age of 60 for eight years, only 27% of the participants met their daily magnesium values. After those eight years, the women in the study who had the highest magnesium levels had 53% less fracture occurrences than their lower level counterparts .
Magnesium and Energy
Now to get into some nerdy stuff. Cellular energy production processes are made up of many magnesium ion dependent enzymatic reactionU . Magnesium essentially helps convert food into energy and without adequate levels, nutrients taken in through food and supplements would not be metabolized. One study found that when looking at postmenopausal women between the ages of 41-75, it was found that women experienced a greater energy need and adverse effects on cardiovascular function during exercise when magnesium was restricted. ATP (our body’s cellular energy source) must be bound to a magnesium ion to be biologically active. ATP captures energy from the breakdown of food and releases it to fuel other cellular processes.
Magnesium and Depression
Magnesium may also reduce symptoms of depression. In a randomized clinical trial at the university of Vermont, a link was identified between depression and magnesium intake. They found that over a six-week period, symptoms of depression and anxiety improved significantly with supplemental magnesium .
Magnesium and Stress
Magnesium plays a vital role in stress response and a deficiency in it is associated with increase anxiety and stress symptoms. Studies have shown that stress and anxiety are associated with increased magnesium plasma levels and urinary excretion of magnesium which means that your pee out a lot of more magnesium under stress and anxiety than when being in a calm state. A 2017 research review examined 18 studies on the effects of magnesium on anxiety showed that it has an anti-anxiety effect in doses of 75-300mg .
Magnesium and Migraines
Having low magnesium levels has been linked to headaches and migraines. According to the American Migraine Foundation, doses of 400-500mg per day have been shown to help prevent migrainestaking magnesium supplements reduced migraine frequency by nearly 42% . Other studies have shown that taking magnesium daily can help with migraines associated to menstruation.
Magnesium and Sleep Quality
Symptoms such as insomnia, restless sleep and frequent nighttime waking is associated with magnesium deficiencies and can be alleviated with supplementation. This will activate your parasympathetic nervous system (rest, digest, and recovery part of the brain) which will aid in relaxation before bedtime . By increasing GABA, a relaxation promoting neurotransmitter, your brain will be able to quiet down promoting relaxation and sleep. Also, magnesium regulates melatonin which is produced in response of darkness and helps the circadian rhythm timing .
Magnesium and Heart Disease
In a review of cardiovascular disease and magnesium it was found that high magnesium intake is associated with lower risk of stroke, cardiovascular disease, and major cardiovascular risk factors such metabolic syndrome, diabetes, and hypertension. Higher levels of magnesium in the body is also associated with a decrease in risk of cardiovascular disease; specifically, coronary heart disease and ischemic heart disease .
Magnesium and Blood Pressure
A study found that supplementing with 368 mg of magnesium for three months there was a reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressure. According to a meta-analysis of 34 studies, it was found that magnesium had an anti-hypertensive effect in adults . But there is a caveat to all of this. It is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED that if you have low blood pressure, you should first talk with a health care provider before taking any magnesium supplements due to the dangers of having too low of blood pressure.
Magnesium and Blood Sugar Control
Studies have shown that magnesium has blood sugar regulating abilities . Having low levels of magnesium in the body has been associated with insulin resistance and magnesium deficiencies have been observed in both type one and two diabetes but more prevalent in type two. Studies suggest that magnesium supplements can help improve diabetes control by increasing levels in the blood. According to the National Institute of Health, when people with poorly managed diabetes took magnesium of 1,000mg per day, improvements in their glycemic control were found after 30 days.
So there you have it. Magnesium is one hell of a nutrient that most of us are not getting enough of. Once again, magnesium is extremely difficult to get from food, so this would be a prime example of a time where taking supplements would be highly beneficial for your overall health. One of my favorite magnesium supplements is the Calm magnesium + calcium powder and it can be found at most health food stores. Stay health and be happy my friends
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