An average human body contains only about twenty eight grams of Magnesium, but studies have indicated that it plays a crucial role in controlling over 300 different processes in the body. In a study conducted, on sixty hypertensive men and women, it was observed that magnesium helped reduced both systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Magnesium’s role in reducing the risk of heart attacks and stroke is also being explored.
Role of Magnesium: Common uses of Magnesium for Health
There are a wide range of functions that are performed by magnesium. These include
the Gastro Intestinal
· The trace mineral is responsible for the production of energy to perform various metabolic functions. Magnesium acts as a catalyst for various metabolic processes and aids in production of energy
· Magnesium plays a crucial role in muscular relaxation and aids in management of cramps and spasms. It action on smooth muscle cells makes it effective supplement for the management of asthma attacks caused due to obstruction of airway passages and lowering blood pressure, by causing relaxation of the arterial walls.
· It also relieves the symptoms of fibromyalgia, due to its action on the nerve functions.
· In association with calcium and potassium, magnesium is responsible to regularize heart rhythms and hence in used in the treatment of arrhythmia.
· Magnesium also acts as a mild diuretic and Epsom salts (Magnesium Sulphate) is used effectively to treat constipation.
· Studies have shown that Magnesium helps enhance the production of Insulin and helps prevent the complications associated with diabetes.
As per various reports, Magnesium is also beneficial in the treatment of Attention Deficit Hypertensive Disorders, fibromyalgia, Premenstural syndrome, asthma and hay fever and multiple sclerosis. It is also considered beneficial in the treatment of diabetes, stones in the kidney and migraines.
Ideal Dose for Magnesium: Precautions while taking Magnesium Supplements
The Recommended Dietary Intake for Magnesium in Adults is 400 mg (Males) and about 300 mg (Females). The RDI increases during pregnancy and among adolescents. It increases gradually above the age of thirty years.
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Some of the rich sources of Magnesium include whole grains, vegetables like green vegetables, squash and broccoli, seeds and nuts including almonds. Dairy products, chocolate and coffee are also good sources of magnesium. “Hard” water is also a good source as magnesium.
Most magnesium supplements are manufactured in combination with calcium. They are available in the ratio of 2:1 or 3:1 which is considered ideal for the absorption of both these elements. However due to lack of research studies to support these evidence, the Food and Drug Administration of the United States is carefully reviewing these products. Magnesium supplements should be avoided by individuals with kidney disease.
Causes of Magnesium Deficiency
Invariably 75% of the population suffers from magnesium deficiency. Magnesium deficiency presents when the intake is less than 85 mg intake of magnesium per day. The high risk population for development of magnesium deficiency includes,
- Alcoholics tend to have a poor diet and often magnesium deficiency is most common symptom
- Diabetes is associated with magnesium deficiency as magnesium tends to be excreted in urine
- Excessive vomiting and diarrhea is associated with excessive loss of magnesium which in turn results in magnesium deficiency. Taking diuretics can also result in magnesium deficiency.
Symptoms associated with Magnesium Deficiency
Symptoms associated with magnesium deficiency include fatigue and muscle weakness, hyper excitability, low levels of serum potassium and serum calcium which result in muscle twitching, tremors and muscle spasms.
Generalized symptoms include nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. Often personality changes are also observed in individuals with magnesium deficiency.
Ensure that your diet is rich in magnesium and limit the intake of magnesium supplements.