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Magnesium is involved in numerous functions, in fact, it intervenes in the formation of more than 300 essential enzymes of our organism. This proves how important it is for the organism to have energy. Magnesium relaxes the muscles and avoids muscle cramps. Moreover, it is a natural agent against stress, regulates the blood pressure, and prevents cardiac arrhythmia. For all these reasons, magnesium is a truly valuable mineral.
Magnesium is a fundamental mineral for human beings. Most of the magnesium is found in the bone tissue and its ions have an important role in the activity of many coenzymes and reactions that rely on ATP.
The natural magnesium content in food has been decreasing over the years, and even more after boiled or transformed in diverse elaborations of food.
Magnesium is the most powerful mineral for any age. It plays a fundamental role in the cell metabolism, specially for bone and muscle tissue - therefore, a minor deficiency could have harmful consequences for our health and well-being.
Since it is such an important mineral that performs so many tasks, the symptoms of a deficiency are related to a great number of neural, cardiovascular, renal, gastrointestinal, and muscle alterations.
In fact, there are epidemiology studies that prove that very few people get to meet the recommended magnesium requirements.
Magnesium is particularly important for women during pregnancy and breastfeeding periods, sportspeople, and diabetic people.
But, even with age, an appropriate supply of magnesium will protect the bones and cardiovascular system.
When using any type of medicines like the birth control pill
For adolescents in development stages
To prevent thrombosis, heart attacks, kidney stones, and high cholesterol levels.
Magnesium and the premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
Many women who know about the properties of magnesium and who use it regularly have confirmed that the symptoms of the premenstrual syndrome are considerably reduced when consuming magnesium.
The premenstrual syndrome is experienced from 2 to 14 days before the beginning of menstrual bleeding, and nobody really knows why. The symptoms are water retention, muscle inflammation, mood swings, tiredness and fatigue, and other complications that may appear and disappear periodically.
Women who consume magnesium have informed about the relief that magnesium provides during the premenstrual syndrome. It is also a light diuretic that relaxes the muscles and increases the serotonin levels (the neurotransmitter in charge of "happiness").
Magnesium and Cholesterol
Experts have pointed out that there is a close relationship between magnesium chloride and cholesterol.
In fact, they claim that increasing the amount of magnesium in our daily diet can help to balance cholesterol in blood (lower LDL and triglyceride levels and raise HDL good cholesterol).
In orderto produce cholesterol, the body requires the participation of an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase.
Magnesium helps to regulate the function of this enzyme so that it will be in charge of maintaining only the necessary levels of cholesterol in the blood.
A study which was meant to find out how magnesium can affect cholesterol levels, showed that the daily amount of 430mg of magnesium chloride can lower LDL cholesterol levels and increase HDL.
However, the consumption of magnesium should be accompanied by a healthy lifestyle. Therefore, when you consume this mineral you should also reduce the intake of saturated fats and sugars, remove hydrogenated fat also known as "trans" fat. At the same time, you should increase the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids and do exercise daily.
Magnesium and pregnancy
A magnesium supplement is important to have a healthy pregnancy and a good labour. An appropriate supply of magnesium during pregnancy can improve the baby’s health since the first day.
Many studies recommend consuming magnesium before giving birth, since it can prevent a premature labour and reduce the risk of cerebral palsy in children and the sudden infant death syndrome.
A low levels of magnesium trigger many of the symptoms of pregnancy, such as constipation, leg cramps, back pain, water retention, irritability or insomnia.
Magnesium can also help women with fertility problems to become pregnant, since it reduces the spams in the Fallopian tubes, which usually hinders the fertilisation of the ovule.
Children need Magnesium
A magnesium deficiency can affect both children and adults. Sometimes, many of its symptoms are associated to other things.
However, even with just taking a warm bath with magnesium salts produces an unbelievably huge physical and behavioural change in children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and autism.
Magnesium makes constipation disappear, it improves the skin, lifts up the mood, reduces irritability and fatigue, and improves social interaction. Although nutrition is also important, of course.
In short, the demand of magnesium exists since birth and remains with us for a lifetime.
Magnesium and sugar in blood
A magnesium deficiency is a risk factor for diabetic people. This information is included in many diagnostic medical manuals. But, unfortunately, many doctors are not really aware of it.
Magnesium increases the production of insulin, and insuline helps with the transport of glucose to the cells.
A proper diet and a right intake of magnesium are the first steps to treat diabetes, before taking any medication.
What foods contain Magnesium?
Magnesium is found in almost all foods in nature, even in water. However, the amount varies depending on the food. Those who have a higher magnesium requirements must use magnesium tablets from a dietary supplement.
Among the foods that are rich in magnesium we can find: whole flakes, dark chocolate, walnuts, seeds, beans, and green leafy vegetables. Even meat, fish and dairy products contain magnesium.
The problem is that, when we cook, clean or process these foods, the magnesium content is reduced. Moreover, consuming alcohol, coffee, or sugar along with a high protein diet also reduces themagnesium levels in the body.
What produces a lack of Magnesium?
A deficiency of such an important mineral for our organsim can develop in many different ways.
The symptoms include:
Muscle and calf cramps
Anxiety or nervousness
Lack of concentration
Headaches and migraines
Tachycardia, heart muscle spasms, arrhythmia
Gastrointestinal problems, nausea, vomits, diarrhea, cramps, and dizziness
Brittle nails, tooth cavities
How, when, and how much Magnesium should we consume. Magnesium intake
The German Nutrition Society recommends an intake between 300 and 400 mg of magnesium a day.
Actually, we should be able to meet the magnesium requirements through our daily diet, however, it is quite complicated to reach 300 mg a day.
For instance, if one banana has 36.40 mg of magnesium, we would have to eat around 9 bananas a day to meet the magnesium requirements. But who can eat 9 bananas a day?
Sportspeople, pregnant women, children, adolescents in development stages, and diabetic people need more magnesium - therefore, for them it is even harder to get it only from food.
In these cases, consuming magnesium nutritional supplements is a very useful alternative to counteract a magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium supplement: who can benefit from it?
Women during pregnancy or lactating mothers
Children and adolescents
People over 60
Those who have higher magnesium requirements due to drugs/alcohol consumption or stress
Those with low levels of magnesium
Those who suffer from headaches or migraines
What the experts say about Magnesium
Cells age faster without magnesium: An american study found that the cells aging process accelerates when there is a magnesium deficiency. For this reason, a chronic magnesium deficiency can increase the risk of suffering diseases related to aging like diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, and osteoporosis, just like David Killilea stated in Burne Ames report of the University of California, Berkeley.
Magnesium reduces cramps during pregnancy: The English study "Magpie" has shown that the regular treatment with magnesium during pregnancy can significantly reduce the risk of suffering from dangerous eclampsia.
What magnesium should I buy?
There are many types of magnesium supplements in the market. They are all combinations of this mineral with another substance, usually a salt.
Each salt will provide a different intake of the elemental mineral, which means that it will have its own bioavailability rate. The intake of magnesium and its bioavailability are key to determine the efficiency of the supplement.
These are the types of magnesium supplements that we can find:
If you are thinking about buying magnesium, the best choice is magnesium glycinate.
Magnesium glycinate mixes magnesium and glycine (a non-essential amino acid), which results in one of the most bioavailable and absorbable forms of magnesium. This is also the least harmful form for the stomach and does not produce a laxative effect.
The price of magnesium in the form of supplementation is quite affordable, around 15 euros approximately.
Panic attacks have the risk of being a gateway to the use of dangerous drugs. Doctors do not really know the source or cause of panic attacks and end up treating them with anxiety medications like Xanax or Ativan. If these medicines do not work, Prozac or other antidepressants serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), as well as antipsychotics, are usually prescribed.
Headaches cause tension throughout the body: shoulders curve, the muscles of the neck become stiff and the pressure extends to numerous muscles of the skull. Magnesium helps to reduce tension and relax muscles. Recent studies show the effectiveness of magnesium for headache.
Cooking reduces the magnesium content even in food products that contain a lot of this mineral. In addition, a diet high in protein and the consumption of alcohol, coffee or sugar, contributes to reduce magnesium levels in the body.
Magnesium is necessary for the correct activity of an enzyme that decreases LDL, also known as "bad cholesterol". This enzyme also reduces triglycerides and increases HDL, or "good cholesterol". Another magnesium-dependent enzyme, is responsible for converting the essential fatty acids, omega-3 and omega-6, into prostaglandins, which are necessary for the heart and general health.