Magnesium is one of the key minerals for our health. It plays a role in numerous body functions, and is vital for more than 300 enzymatic reactions in our body. The body has nearly 4000 magnesium-binding sites, which shows just how important the mineral is.
Magnesium plays a part in the:
- formation of bones and teeth
- creation of adenosine triphosphate (ATP)
- keeps the muscles and nerves healthy
- the blood vessels relaxed and regulates the levels of glucose in the blood as well
Magnesium deficiency can lead to bigger health problems
Lack of magnesium in the body can lead to the development of serious health problems due to the deterioration of the cellular metabolism. Over time, magnesium deficiency can cause cardiovascular diseases, fibromyalgia and may even be fatal.
Magnesium is also important for the body’s detox process and glutathione synthesis. Furthermore, magnesium is important for proper mitochondria optimization, which is required for cancer prevention.
The importance of magnesium for mitochondrial health
The organelles in our cells are responsible for the production of ATP, which our organs use as energy. There’s mounting evidence that most health problems including the more serious ones like cancer are actually caused by mitochondrial dysfunction, so “feeding” the mitochondria with proper nutrients which will boost the creation of ATP sounds like a good idea.
How much of the mineral do we need?
100 years ago, magnesium deficiency was a relatively unknown and rare problem as the soil was rich in the mineral, which made the foods people ate at the time rich in it as well. However, nowadays we only get half of the magnesium people got a century ago due to the industrialization and the lack of magnesium in the soil.
The optimal intake is 310-420 mg. per day, although this depends on factors such as age and sex. In general, doctors say that the intestinal reaction to magnesium can be used as a marker. Take magnesium supplements every day until you experience diarrhea and limit your intake to that amount.
Symptoms and risk factors of magnesium deficiency
A poor diet and frequent consumption of processed foods often are the biggest risk factors for magnesium deficiency. Insomnia, certain drugs, stress and alcohol abuse can all lower the levels of magnesium in your body and create serious health problems.
The main symptoms of severe magnesium deficiency are vomiting, headaches, migraines, spasms, fatigue and weakness, seizures, numbness and tingling in the limbs, coronary spasms, abnormal heart rate and personality changes.
How to get magnesium through dietary sources
Magnesium can be found:
- in most dark leafy green vegetables
- including broccoli
- bok choy
- collard and turnip greens
- romaine lettuce
- Brussels sprouts
- Swiss chard
- Beet greens
Raw cacao nibs, squash, fatty types of fish (salmon), spices and herbs (fennel seeds, mustard seeds, parsley, cumin seeds), avocados and nuts and seeds all contain a lot of magnesium and should be a part of your diet. If you choose supplements, you need to balance the levels of magnesium with calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K2 as well.
We suggest consulting with a doctor who can identify the right supplement for your case. Improper ratio between calcium, magnesium and vitamins D and K2 can cause serious health problems and raise the risk of heart attack and stroke. This is why you need to talk to your doctor who can guide you to proper supplements and the ideal amount of magnesium your body needs.