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Everything You Need to Know About Magnesium
What is magnesium?
Are you struggling with poor sleep, muscle aches, or low mood? If so, your diet may lack magnesium-rich foods or be deficient. Interestingly, nutrition examination survey research suggests that more than half of adults in America and Europe consume enough of this vital mineral.
Magnesium is a mineral found abundantly on Earth. In humans, it's required by every cell in the body to ensure over 300 biochemical reactions and physiological processes function optimally. For example, this mineral plays a crucial role in energy production, cell growth, muscle and nerve function, heart health, and more. Learn about magnesium intake, read a systematic review of magnesium and its benefits, and find out why it's harmful if you're deficient or have a negative magnesium status.
Dietary Sources of Magnesium
As an essential nutrient, magnesium needs to be consumed daily. Some of the best dietary sources include meat, fish, green leafy vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. However, as a macromineral, magnesium is required in pretty large amounts, and it's tricky to consume enough through diet alone. The good news is that magnesium supplements are convenient to support optimal health. Before you take a new supplement or ask for a higher magnesium intake, always discuss it with your health care provider, especially if you have an existing medical condition or chronic disease or you're taking medications or other supplemental products. If you experience any adverse effects, stop using and contact your doctor to review your magnesium status.
How does magnesium work?
One of magnesium's most important functions is cellular energy production. Magnesium is found in the mitochondria—the cell's energy powerhouse—where it's needed for the metabolism of food into adenosine triphosphate (ATP) molecules (1). As the body's main energy currency, ATP is required for optimal cellular function, healthy energy levels, and better physical recovery. Conversely, if you're deficient or have lower magnesium levels, it can slow physical recovery. Magnesium is also a vital mineral for muscle function and nerve transmission. It acts as a calcium blocker in muscle cells, regulating the process of muscle contraction and relaxation.
Additionally, the mineral density from magnesium therapy balances levels of neurotransmitters that allow nerve impulses to move smoothly between the synapses in your nervous system. This balance might be unstable if you have magnesium depletion and make it harder for nerve impulses to move around. With magnesium therapy and your dietary reference intake, you can improve your magnesium levels.
What is magnesium deficiency?
Chronically low magnesium levels are a global problem known as magnesium deficiency. Mineral-depleted soil and increased access to processed food mean that many adults struggle to meet the recommended daily intake of magnesium – roughly 310-320 mg for women and 420 mg for men (2). Plus, aging, intense exercise, stress, excess alcohol consumption, and certain medications increase magnesium excretion, leading to magnesium deficiency. If you don't meet your body's magnesium demands, you are at risk for headaches, fatigue, muscle cramps, anxiety, insomnia, an irregular heartbeat, and high blood pressure.
Health Benefits of Magnesium
Here are some of the evidence-based benefits of supplementing with magnesium or working to increase your body's magnesium absorption.
Supports Bone Health
Magnesium is vital for a robust skeletal system—about 60% of the body's magnesium. It is stored in bone tissue and plays an important role in bone health in younger and older adults. Adequate magnesium absorption is also essential for activating vitamin D, a nutrient that regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphorus for strong bones and teeth (3).
Enhances Exercise Performance
Its role in energy production and muscle function makes this mineral great for enhancing exercise performance! Research has shown magnesium supplementation has a positive impact on physical performance in both elite athletes and older adults who want to stay active (4, 5).
Regulates Mood and Reduces Depression
Magnesium is a crucial mineral for healthy brain biochemistry. Low magnesium intake is linked to a higher incidence of depression, particularly in people under 65 years of age (6). A 2017 study on adults with mild-to-moderate depression found that taking 248 mg of elemental magnesium improved mood within two weeks and alleviated anxiety symptoms in some participants (7).
Promotes Restful Sleep
Did you know that oral magnesium supplements and similar products can promote better sleep health? Taking magnesium before bed encourages relaxation, making it easier to fall into a restful sleep. A study on elderly people with insomnia found that taking 500 mg of magnesium daily for 2 months positively influenced melatonin levels, the hormone that regulates the sleep-wake cycle (8). Promisingly, the results showed an improvement in the ability to fall asleep, sleep time, and sleep efficiency. This has knock-on effects, improving daytime energy and overall health!
Supports Cardiovascular Health
Magnesium is a powerful heart-supportive nutrient. It is vital for the cardiovascular system due to its role in energy production, nerve transmission, and muscle function. The effects of magnesium supplements include cardiovascular support and heart health improvement, even in already healthy people. However, if you're not getting enough magnesium or hitting your recommended dietary allowance, it could negatively impact systolic blood pressure and cardiovascular performance. A 2018 review in Nutrients concluded that greater magnesium consumption and higher circulating levels of the mineral are linked to a reduction in major cardiovascular risk factors (9).
Low magnesium levels could be behind debilitating tension headaches and migraine headaches. Upping your magnesium intake with a dietary supplement is one of the best natural interventions to prevent or reduce these painful episodes! This is because the role of magnesium may help by reducing muscle tension and relaxing blood vessels, therefore improving circulation to the brain. This use of magnesium supplements and magnesium compounds shows promise.
Make magnesium part of your daily diet.
Okay, you knew it was coming. It's time for a shameless plug. Do you think the benefits of adding magnesium to your daily diet could help? Dicommonnesium can help you hit the right magnesium concentration in your body that you may lack from your daily diet. Whether you want to use dietary magnesium to support your cardiovascular health or you're interested in the prospective study data on migraine reduction, VitaRx makes it easier to get a day-to-day increase in your magnesium concentration. First, create a personalized daily vitamin pack that includes magnesium and any other vitamins, minerals, or supplements you think could help. Then, start by adding magnesium to your Kit here!
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