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Magnesium’s dietary guidelines are all about 1 of these critical nutrients

Magnesium is frequently related to promoting appropriate muscular function. However, this mineral performs over 300 additional vital functions in our systems!

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is one of the primary minerals that our bodies require in quite substantial quantities to stay healthy. Magnesium can be found in a variety of animal and plant-based diets, as well as in drinking water.

An adult body contains approximately 25 grams (g), of which the skeletal system stores 50-60%. The remainder can be found in muscles, soft tissues, and body fluids. Many Americans may not get enough magnesium in their diet, despite the fact that deficiency symptoms are uncommon in otherwise healthy people.

Doctors associate magnesium insufficiency with a variety of health concerns, therefore people should strive to meet their daily magnesium requirements. Magnesium-rich foods include almonds, spinach, and cashew nuts. If a person’s diet does not include enough magnesium, their doctor may advise them to take magnesium supplements.

Magnesium's dietary guidelines are all about 1 of these critical nutrients

What are the functions and benefits of magnesium?

Our bodies contain a significant amount of magnesium, which supports the structure of our bones. The remainder participates in more approximately 300 metabolic processes by generating or activating several enzymes that would not otherwise work. 

One of magnesium’s most important functions is to ensure that our cells have enough energy to accomplish their functions. Furthermore, magnesium contributes to the correct functioning of our cardiovascular and neural systems by assisting nerve cells in transmitting messages (nerve impulses) between the brain and the body, particularly those engaged in muscle and heart contraction. This mineral is also required for the formation of our genetic material (DNA and RNA).

One of the seven important macrominerals is magnesium. People must ingest at least 100 milligrams (mg) of these macrominerals every day, which is a relatively high amount. Although individuals require less of them, microminerals like iron and zinc are still crucial.

Many physiological processes depend on magnesium. Getting enough of this mineral can help prevent or treat chronic illnesses like migraine, type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cardiovascular disease.

1. Bone Health

Magnesium is a vital component for good bone production, despite the fact that the majority of studies have concentrated on the function that calcium plays in maintaining bone health.

A sufficient intake of magnesium has been associated with increased bone density, enhanced bone crystal formation, and a reduced risk of osteoporosis in postmenopausal women who participated in research conducted in 2013.

Because it helps to control calcium and vitamin D levels, which are two other nutrients necessary for bone health, magnesium may promote bone health both directly and indirectly. Calcium and vitamin D are two other nutrients that are vital for bone health.

2. Diabetes

High magnesium diets have been related in studies to a decreased risk of type 2 diabetes. This might be a result of magnesium’s significant contribution to insulin and glucose regulation. 

According to a 2015 analysis published in the World Journal of Diabetes, the majority of patients with diabetes—but not all—have low magnesium levels, and magnesium may be helpful in managing diabetes.

Insulin resistance is a condition that frequently develops before type 2 diabetes, and a magnesium deficit may make it worse. On the other hand, low magnesium levels may result from insulin resistance.

Researchers have connected high magnesium diets and diabetes in numerous studies. Furthermore, a 2017 comprehensive review showed that supplementing with magnesium helps raise insulin sensitivity in persons with low magnesium levels.

Before using magnesium as a standard treatment for diabetes patients’ glycemic control, researchers must amass more proof.

Magnesium's dietary guidelines are all about 1 of these critical nutrients
Cardiovascular health

Magnesium is required by the body to keep its muscles, especially the heart, healthy. According to research, magnesium is crucial for heart health.

2018 research found that a person’s risk of cardiovascular issues can rise if they have a magnesium shortage. This is partially brought on by its cellular functions. According to scientists, congestive heart failure patients frequently have low levels of magnesium, which can exacerbate their clinical outcomes.

Following a heart attack, those who receive magnesium had a decreased mortality rate. Magnesium is occasionally used by doctors to treat congestive heart failure (CHF) and lower the risk of arrhythmia, or irregular cardiac rhythm.

A 2019 meta-analysis found that increasing magnesium intake may reduce stroke risk. According to their findings, the incidence of stroke decreased by 2% for every 100 mg per day increase in magnesium intake.

According to certain studies, magnesium may also contribute to hypertension. However, taking magnesium supplements decreases blood pressure “to a small extent,” according to the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), based on recent research.

How much magnesium do I need per day?

The amount of magnesium you require every day depends on your age, gender, and life stage. The dietary reference value (DRV)* for magnesium is 300-350 mg per day for healthy individuals (over the age of 18), including during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

By eating a variety of foods, we can receive enough magnesium in our diets. Following your country’s dietary guidelines for a healthy and balanced diet will assist you in meeting your magnesium requirements.

What foods contain magnesium?

Magnesium can be present in a variety of foods as well as drinking water, while the amount of magnesium in water is typically higher in areas with high mineral content, commonly known as hard water.

Magnesium-rich foods include:

  • nuts
  • whole grains and grain products
  • fish and seafood
  • green leafy vegetables
  • banana, berries, legumes, berries
  • coffee, and some cocoa beverages

Does magnesium have any interactions with other nutrients?

The interactions of magnesium with other minerals in our diets are still being investigated. To present, no nutrients or substances appear to hinder magnesium absorption or levels in our systems in ways that influence our health.

What happens if I have too little magnesium?

Magnesium insufficiency is uncommon because most people can obtain adequate amounts of this mineral by eating a diversified diet. Magnesium deficiency occurs when certain disorders, such as kidney or gastrointestinal disease, reduce the levels of magnesium mineral in our systems. This can damage any magnesium-related function, but a serious effect is a decrease in potassium levels, which can lead to heart and neurological disorders.

Low magnesium levels have also been associated with muscle discomfort, tremors, cramps, and weakness. However, it is frequently unclear whether these are a direct result of magnesium deficit or a lack of other minerals that are also involved in those processes. Magnesium’s dietary guidelines are all about 1 of these critical nutrients

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