Magnesium is extremely important for our overall health, as it is involved in more than 300 enzyme-driven biochemical reactions in the body and is the second most plentiful positive-charged-ion in the cellular fluid, next to potassium.
Its functions and numerous and complex, such as:
- As a cofactor, it helps numerous biochemical processes like the creation of DNA and RNA, regulation of temperature, production o cholesterol, antioxidants, and proteins, and breaking down of glucose and fat
- It enables other nutrients to be used as building blocks to create the body structure
- Produces energy inside mitochondria, metabolizing them into usable energy
- It maintains the healthy balance of electrolytes and thus affects heart rhythm, muscle contractions, and nerve impulses
- It relaxes the muscles
- It helps the electrical transmission of thoughts to the nervous system and to other body parts
Therefore, its sufficient levels in the body are essential for a healthy balance, metabolism, numerous body processes, and overall health.
According to the Center for Magnesium Education & Research, LLC:
“If you are deficient in Magnesium, your cells begin to malfunction in predictable ways.
- Blood tends to clot even if there is no wound, cut or hemorrhaging. When this clotting occurs within blood vessels, it creates the risk of heart attack or stroke.
- The secretion of adrenaline increases abnormally.
- Cells begin to over-respond to the stimulation of adrenaline stimulation.
- Cholesterol production and metabolism become abnormal.
- All muscle cells, including those in the heart and blood vessels, tend to contract and become unable to relax.
- There is increased production of free radicals and susceptibility to oxidative stress.
- Arteries stiffen and develop a buildup of plaque as a result of too much bad cholesterol and too much calcium.
- Glucose is not properly processed as a result of insulin resistance, which can lead to type II diabetes and a whole spectrum of other disorders, all leading to heart disease.”
On the other hand, “when cells, tissues, organs, organ systems, and bodies have adequate magnesium, these dire consequences do not occur and the heart and blood vessels can be healthy at every level.
At the molecular level, a healthy magnesium concentration is a natural antioxidant protecting molecules from free-radical damage.
At the enzyme level, there is enough magnesium for all energy reactions and enzymes that need magnesium to enable them to function well.
At the cellular level, a normal electrolyte balance is maintained. Calcium, sodium, potassium and magnesium concentrations shift and adjust as needed. There is no abnormal calcification, hyperexcitability or tendency to overreact to adrenaline.
At the tissue level, blood flows freely, without an abnormal tendency to clot, and heart and blood-vessel muscle tissue can relax and contract in proper response to healthy nerve and hormonal signals. When danger comes, the fight-or-flight reaction works and then subsides as necessary.
At the organ level, proper magnesium levels allow the heart to pump out blood efficiently, prevent high blood pressure and a hardening of the arteries or arteriosclerosis.
At the organ-system level, the heart pumps continuously, without palpitations or arrhythmia, efficiently sending blood into flexible arteries that open and close in direct response to the body’s immediate needs, delivering necessary oxygen and nutrients to all of the body’s cells, especially those of the heart.”
Magnesium deficiency can be a result of various factors, such as:
- Mineral-deficient soil that produces foods low in magnesium
- Long-term medication (of any drugs) and stress
- The intake of calcium-rich foods, as their ration needs to be 1:1
- Excessive consumption of high- fat food, sugar, salt, soda, and processed foods
- Drinking water fortified with fluoride that depletes the body of magnesium
- Inefficient intestinal absorption
The early signs of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, nausea, weakness, appetite loss, headaches, nausea, and muscle twitching. The chronic deficiency causes more serious symptoms like seizures, anxiety, coronary spasms, muscle cramps, numbness and tingling, and abnormal heartbeat rate.
Since it is essential for our health, the deficiency of this mineral in the body can cause numerous serious conditions, like:
- Inflammatory diseases
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Anxiety, depression, confusion, anger
- Coronary heart disease
- Migraines and headaches
- Muscle pain and cramps
- Atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis
- Cardiac arrhythmias
- Insomnia and other sleep disorders
- Kidney stones
- Cholesterol oxidation
- PMS, PCOS
Even though it is the fourth most abundant mineral in a human body, the body cannot manufacture magnesium and its levels must be optimized from foods and supplements.
One of the best ways to correct your magnesium deficiency is to juice your greens and drink fresh green vegetable juice every day.
Moreover, make sure you increase the intake of magnesium-high foods, such as okra, mackerel, brown rice, bran cereal, pumpkin seeds, broccoli, dried fruits, oatmeal, lettuce, almonds, cashews, salmon, avocados, eggs, apples, green veggies, potatoes, lima beans, dark chocolate, halibut, boiled spinach, parsnips, and parsley.
If you decide to take supplements, have these things in mind:
- Magnesium citrate is magnesium with citric acid and is cost-effective and well-absorbed.
- Magnesium threonate easily penetrates the mitochondrial membrane and is believed to be the best magnesium supplement on the market.
- Magnesium carbonate contains 45% magnesium and has antacid properties
- Magnesium taurate is a combination of magnesium and taurine, an amino acid, and it calms the body and mind.
- Magnesium oxide is a non-chelated type of magnesium and is bound to an organic acid or a fatty acid.
- Magnesium glycinate is a chelated form of magnesium and provides the highest levels of absorption and bioavailability.
- Magnesium chloride/Magnesium lactate contain only 12 percent magnesium but has better absorption than many other types.
- Magnesium sulfate/Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) are typically used as laxatives.
Additionally, Epsom salt baths and footbaths are also effective ways to optimize magnesium levels in the body, since Epsom salt is a magnesium sulfate that is easily absorbed in the body through the skin.