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Humans need magnesium, as it facilitates over 300 biochemical reactions in their bodies.
This mineral maintains muscle and nerve function while supporting a healthy immune system. In addition, it helps the heartbeat remain steady and contributes to strong bones.
These are only a few of the many roles magnesium takes in the human body. What do people need to know about this mineral and the role it plays in their overall health?
Where Do You Get Magnesium?
Magnesium comes in many foods humans eat. Bananas and avocados are two fruits that contain magnesium, and this mineral also appears in almonds and other nuts.
Eat legumes and seeds to increase your magnesium intake along with soy products and whole grains. Furthermore, drink milk regularly to take in more of this mineral.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
People rarely suffer from a magnesium deficiency. However, those that do often find they have no appetite and may feel nauseous or vomit. Weakness and fatigue also serve as early symptoms of a magnesium deficiency.
As the problem gets worse, this person might feel numbness or tingling and suffer from muscle cramps and contractions. You may see personality changes and seizures in people with a moderate magnesium deficiency.
For those with a severe deficiency, calcium and potassium levels in the body often drop. Talk to your doctor about using a magnesium supplement if you find you are deficient in this mineral.
Who is Most at Risk of a Magnesium Deficiency?
Certain individuals remain at high risk of a magnesium deficiency. This includes anyone suffering from a gastrointestinal disorder, such as celiac or Chron’s disease.
Men and women with type 2 diabetes and those struggling with long-term alcoholism need to learn whether they are low in this mineral as do older individuals.
How Much is Too Much?
Most people find they don’t have to worry about a magnesium overdose. The kidneys naturally remove any excess magnesium to prevent any negative effects. However, take care to avoid overdosing.
Never use more than the recommended amount when taking a supplement to prevent excess magnesium in the body.
Always talk with your doctor before taking a magnesium supplement, as it can interfere or interact with certain medications.
For example, magnesium supplements may interfere with the absorption of bisphosphonate or medication used to treat osteoporosis. In addition, magnesium may interfere with the body’s ability to absorb antibiotics if you take the two close together.
The body may lose more or less magnesium when the person is taking diuretics, and certain medicines used to rate peptic ulcers or acid reflux can lead to low magnesium levels in the blood. Always let the doctor or pharmacist know if you are taking a magnesium supplement to ensure problems don’t arise.
The Benefits of Magnesium
People often find their exercise performance increases when they take magnesium. It moves blood sugar to the muscles while disposing of lactate.
Older adults often see the biggest difference when they take a magnesium supplement. Women who supplement their magnesium intake build more muscle mass and power, while volleyball players taking 250 mg of magnesium each day see an improvement in their arm movements and jumps.
Some studies suggest magnesium helps to combat depression. One study found that people under the age of 65 who were lacking in magnesium had a higher risk of depression.
Supplementing with magnesium helped to reduce these symptoms significantly.
However, even those who weren’t low in magnesium saw a reduction in their symptoms of depression and anxiety when taking a magnesium supplement.
In men and women suffering from type 2 diabetes, almost half have low levels of magnesium in the blood. This may interfere with the body’s natural ability to regulate blood sugar levels.
A supplement may increase insulin sensitivity as well. However, if a person isn’t deficient in magnesium, taking a supplement won’t be of much help.
The body needs magnesium to keep the heart-healthy. Taking magnesium can help to lower blood pressure and a person’s risk of heart disease and stroke. Supplements may also improve risk factors for heart disease, although more research needs to be done in this area.
Additional Benefits of Magnesium
When a person is lacking in magnesium, they are more likely to suffer from high levels of inflammation, and this inflammation plays a role in the development of chronic disease and aging. Sufficient levels of magnesium help fight inflammation in the body by reducing key markers associated with this inflammation.
Individuals who suffer from migraines may find they can reduce the number of episodes with the help of a magnesium supplement.
In addition, a person might find they can treat migraines with a magnesium supplement. Taking one gram of magnesium will relieve an acute migraine attack faster and better than a medication commonly prescribed to treat this condition.
Countless women suffer from PMS symptoms each month. They despise the cramps, fatigue, irritability, and bloating that come regularly each month. Researchers believe a magnesium supplement can help relieve these symptoms.
Magnesium levels fluctuate throughout a woman’s cycle, and a supplement may bring them back to normal levels. However, more research is needed before scientists can confirm magnesium supplements will help these women.
The bone loss remains a concern for older individuals. You will find more than half of all magnesium in the body in the bones. Low levels of this mineral may increase a person’s risk of osteoporosis and broken bones. Furthermore, high magnesium intake leads to increased bone mineral density.
Men and women lacking magnesium may struggle with insomnia and other sleep disorders. This mineral regulates many neurotransmitters that affect sleep. Taking a magnesium supplement allows the person to fall asleep sooner and stay asleep longer. In addition, sleep quality may improve.
Humans need magnesium for their health. It affects countless parts of daily life, and any deficiency may appear in a variety of ways. Eat foods rich in this mineral to avoid a deficiency and speak to your doctor if you experience any symptoms.
The key lies in eating a healthy diet and supplementing when necessary. A doctor can help you determine when this is necessary, so share any concerns during your next appointment.