You probably know about magnesium because you have experienced muscle cramps. Or you have seen professional tennis players or marathon runners getting them. But you don’t need to be an athlete to get the symptoms of Magnesium deficiency. You can experience them even when you rest.
Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body. One of the main tasks of magnesium is to act as a cofactor or “helper molecule” in biochemical reactions that are carried out continuously by enzymes.
But did you know that magnesium is responsible for so many more functions in our body? In fact, the mineral is involved in more than 300 reactions, including nerve function, regulation of blood pressure, and a healthy immune system. Magnesium is stored primarily in your bones (more than 60%), and parts of it are also in muscles, soft tissue, and body fluids when traveling through your body. Therefore, you lose it if you sweat a lot or have a condition where body fluids leave your body in more significant amounts than usual, like diarrhea.
Why is magnesium so essential for your body?
Magnesium is a mineral found in the earth, sea, plants, and animals. As already stated, the mineral is responsible for more than 300 body functions. Getting enough of this mineral can help prevent or treat chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and migraines.
The main functions of magnesium are:
- Magnesium is responsible for processes in the body to convert food into energy.
- Magnesium creates proteins from amino acids.
- The mineral is responsible for the formation and repair of DNA and RNA.
- It is an important factor for the contraction and relaxation of muscles.
- Magnesium helps regulate neurotransmitters that send messages through the brain and nervous system.
What are the benefits of magnesium?
Magnesium can prevent muscle cramps and is also crucial for many brain functions, which most people are unaware of. Here are the main benefits in detail:
1. Better bone health
When it comes to bone health, we usually think of calcium. But in interaction with calcium and vitamin D, magnesium increases bone density, supports the production of bone crystal, and can even reduce the risk of osteoporosis for postmenopausal women.
2. Decreased risk of diabetes
Research has shown that a diet high in magnesium reduces the risk of Type 2. This is no surprise as the mineral plays a vital role in glucose control and insulin metabolism.
Therefore, a magnesium deficiency can make insulin resistance worse. On the other hand, it’s also possible that an existing insulin resistance can lead to a magnesium deficiency. Both can be fixed by increasing the intake of magnesium.
3. Beneficial to cardiovascular health
Magnesium is essential for healthy muscles, therefore, also for the heart. A deficiency can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease as it weakens the heart muscle. This is why patients often get a high dose of magnesium immediately after a heart attack to strengthen the heart muscle. An increased intake of this mineral can also reduce cardiac arrhythmias.
Since magnesium also helps regulate blood pressure, it’s not only crucial for the heart but also to reduce the risk of stroke.
4. Migraine relief
Increasing the Magnesium intake can help prevent or relieve headaches. This is because a magnesium deficiency can affect neurotransmitters and limit the narrowing of blood vessels. These are factors that have been linked to migraines. The brain membrane is weakened when experiencing a migraine. Magnesium helps to strengthen it again. Therefore, an increased intake of the mineral can help prevent migraine.
5. PMS relief
Magnesium can also play a role when experiencing premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Since one of the main symptoms of PMS is muscle cramps, the mineral supports the muscle in relaxing. In addition, a temporarily higher intake of magnesium has a positive effect on the overall mood.
6. Relief from anxiety
A Magnesium deficiency can play a role in mood disorders, including depression and anxiety. This is because magnesium is partly responsible for the activity in certain adrenal glands, which affects the stress response. Additionally, the mineral helps produce serotonin, a hormone that helps us relax and sleep better. Better sleep usually means a better mood.
7. More energy
Because magnesium supports many functions concerning the bones, muscles, and brain, it can indirectly give you more energy. This is not only the case for athletes but also older adults and such with chronic disease. This means, not only your body performance can be increased but also your concentration and productivity.
As you can see, magnesium offers a wide-range of benefits, but can offer even more specific benefits depending on the type you take. For example, magnesium glycinate is best used for general supplementation, relaxation and sleep. Where magnesium citrate helps more with constipation. Both these types of magnesium and many others are available from MAGSUPPS a trusted manufacturer of magnesium supplements here in the United Kingdom.
What are the reasons for magnesium deficiency?
If you are a healthy person with a normal lifestyle and eat a well-balanced diet, you usually don’t have a Magnesium deficiency. However, there are some circumstances where you will need to make sure to get the amount you need.
Reasons for a magnesium deficiency can be:
- Excessive consumption of alcohol
- Exercise a lot
- Dehydration (heat, heavy sweating, too much coffee)
- Taking certain medications
- Diseases such as diabetes or gastrointestinal diseases
- Poor diet
What are the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency?
Depending on the durability of the magnesium deficiency, there can be several symptoms like
- Loss of appetite
- nausea or vomiting
- tiredness or weakness
- muscle cramps
- Chronic exhaustion
- numbness in arms and legs
- Tingling in your arms and legs
- Personality changes
- Cardiac arrhythmias
The lack of magnesium in the body is also linked to diseases such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and migraines.
Don’t worry if you don’t get enough magnesium for a few days! Usually, a magnesium deficiency occurs if you don’t get enough of the mineral over a more extended period of time. Your body can handle it as it stores quite an amount, mainly in bones, blood, and muscles. Always ensure a healthy and well-balanced diet, stay hydrated and avoid stress.
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