Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and it is arguably one of the most important minerals in the body. Did you know that low magnesium is one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in adults? It is estimated that 80% of adults may be running low in this vital mineral. You might need to consider taking a magnesium supplement, especially if you are not eating plenty of magnesium-rich food.
Causes of Magnesium Deficiency
Soil depletion, genetic modified organisms (GMO), and the chemicals in our food have created a recipe for disaster that causes the minerals to be removed, stripped away, or no longer available in the soil. This leads to the magnesium content in food decreasing.
Digestive diseases, like leaky gut, are affecting hundreds of millions of people and this can cause malabsorption of minerals including magnesium.
Chronic use of prescription medicines damages the gut and affects the absorption of magnesium from our food. Most chronic diseases are associated with magnesium deficiency and lack of mineral absorption.
Special diet like the ketogenic diet can make you lose a lot of water weight and also flush out essential electrolytes out of your system including magnesium, potassium, or sodium. Having magnesium-rich food or supplements may help.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 metabolic reactions in the body that are essential for human health, including energy production, enzyme function, blood pressure regulation, nerve signal transmission, and muscle contraction, etc. Low levels of magnesium are linked to a variety of illnesses, such as heart disease, diabetes, mood disorders, and migraines.
Symptoms that could indicate you are deficient in magnesium:
1. Leg cramps
Many adults experience leg cramps regularly, and it can be excruciating for some. Researchers have observed that magnesium deficiency is often associated because of its role in neuromuscular signals and muscle contraction.
2. Migraine Headaches
Magnesium deficiency is important in balancing neurotransmitters and it has been linked to migraines. Studies have shown that daily supplements of magnesium ranging from 360 mg-600 mg can reduce the frequency of migraines by up to 42%.
Magnesium deficiency is often a cause of sleep disorder. This is because magnesium is vital for GABA function, an inhibitory neurotransmitter known to calm the brain and promote relaxation.
4. Muscle pain
A study published in Magnesium Research examined the role of magnesium plays in fibromyalgia symptoms (a condition with widespread pain in muscles), and it uncovered that increasing magnesium consumption reduced pain and tenderness and also improved immune blood markers.
5. High blood pressure
Magnesium works with calcium to support proper blood pressure and protect the heart. So when you are magnesium-deficient, often you are also low in calcium and tend to have hypertension. A study has shown that magnesium-rich foods could reduce the risk of stroke and this is profound as hypertension causes 50% of strokes in the world.
6. Type 2 diabetes
Magnesium deficiency is found to cause type 2 diabetes but also a common symptom of diabetes. Low magnesium is commonly observed in both new and known diabetics. Diet rich in magnesium has been shown to significantly lower the risk of type 2 diabetes because of magnesium's role in sugar metabolism. Another study discovered that the simple addition of magnesium supplementation (100mg/day) lowered the risk of diabetes by 15%!
Magnesium deficiency affects our central nervous system, especially the GABA cycle in the body, and its side effects can include irritability and nervousness. If the deficiency worsens, it can cause high levels of anxiety or even depression in severe cases. Magnesium is found to help calm the body, the muscles and help improve mood. It's a vital mineral for overall mood.
Low energy, weakness, and fatigue are common symptoms of magnesium deficiency. Most chronic fatigue syndrome patients are deficient in magnesium. This is because magnesium is primarily involved as a cofactor in more than 300 enzymatic reactions that generate energy in our cells.
The average person’s body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, and about half of that is in the bone. Supplementing magnesium in addition to vitamin D3 and K2 builds up the bone density and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
Even though this mineral is present in many whole foods like green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, up to two-thirds of people worldwide don’t meet their magnesium needs with diet alone. Many will turn to supplements for this but there are multiple varieties of magnesium supplements available, it can be hard to know which one is most appropriate for your needs.
In the next article, we will cover the different types of magnesium, which types are beneficial, and which types should be avoided. Follow us on Facebook to get the latest information!
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