THE GOVERNOR MINERAL
Magnesium, the seventh most abundant mineral throughout the planet, and was first identified as an element by Joseph Black in 1755, and isolated by Sir Humphrey Davy in 1808. The human body contains around 25 grams of magnesium, with 90 per cent being contained in the muscles and bones.
It is widely considered to be the most significant mineral in the body. Magnesium an essential co-factor for many hundreds of enzyme reactions and physiological processes, including the generation of energy in our cells, the metabolism of protein, carbohydrates and fats, detoxification, blood sugar control, the strength of our bones, and the efficient functioning of our nervous, cognitive and cardiovascular systems.
Magnesium is essential to heart health and the prevention of cardiovascular disease. Magnesium is needed to support the electrical activity of the heart, keeping the heart beating over 30 million times a year!.Magnesium is also needed for blood pressure regulation and heart rhythm control.
Why Have We Become Deficient In Magnesium?
The popularity of magnesium-devoid processed foods, alcohol intake, gut dysfunction, pharmaceutical medications and stressful lifestyles. The huge reliance on artificial fertilisers has reduce the amount of minerals in soil. How our food is grown, or more specifically, the depletion of previously mineral-rich soil by modern farming methods, such as intensive ploughing, the repetitive overuse of soil without rotating crops or allowing for recovery between harvests, as well the use of chemical sprays that disrupt the natural balance of the soil including the microorganisms that should reside there.
Our ever-increasing reliance on convenience and processed foods can reduce our intake of magnesium too, because these packaged goods are generally devoid of the nutrients present in real, fresh food, making it all too easy to fall short. Consumption of sugar, tea, coffee and soft drinks may further add to the problem by reducing our body stores of magnesium.
Research has found that alcohol intake, mental and physical stress promotes the elimination of magnesium from the body through the urine. In fact, a two-way relationship exists between magnesium and stress, with depleted magnesium levels making it harder for our systems to cope with stress, because it is needed to cope physiologically with increased heart rate, muscle function and blood sugar level.
There are many symptoms linked to magnesium deficiency, many of which are common complaints experienced by many people of all ages, including constipation, asthma, muscle cramps and pain, join stiffness and restless legs, among others.
Magnesium is involved in more than 300 cellular reactions including those that impact:
The heart health benefits of magnesium include but are not limited to:
Preventing arrhythmias (irregular heartbeats such as atrial fibrillation)
Keeping blood vessels healthy
Supporting normal blood vessel dilation and contraction
Helping to reduce damage to the heart from oxidative stress
Boosting the good HDL cholesterol
Protecting against Type 2 Diabetes
What Are Other Symptoms of a Magnesium Deficiency?
Anxiety or stress
Headaches and migraines
Taking magnesium supplements may contribute to improved sleep and help relieve anxiety, muscle cramps, and constipation
Forms of magnesium include:
Magnesium Glycinate – best for insomnia and anxiety
Magnesium Citrate – best for constipation
Magnesium Oxide – best for migraine headaches
Each individual form differs in terms of their absorbability and specific uses. For example, magnesium citrate and glycinate have been shown to be absorbed better than magnesium oxide and sulfate. Additionally, certain forms are more beneficial for treating symptoms like constipation and headaches. Always choose high quality supplements that use the form that’s most likely to benefit your specific needs
How to choose a magnesium supplement
When searching for a magnesium supplement, it’s important to consider the form of magnesium, dosage, and quality of the product. Do diligent research on which form of magnesium, is most appropriate for your needs, such as citrate, glycinate, or oxide. You may also want to consider a product with multiple types of magnesium.
The recommended dose for magnesium supplements varies from 200–400 mg per day, depending on the brand, intended use, and how much of this mineral you’re already getting in your diet. To avoid potential side effects, such as diarrhoea, nausea, and stomach cramps, try to keep your supplement-based intake under 350 mg per day, under the supervision of a health profession. Try to avoid products with any artificial ingredients, such as colours, flavours, and preservatives.
1. Magnesium Citrate
Magnesium citrate is a form of magnesium that’s bound with citric acid. This acid is found naturally in citrus fruits and gives them their sour flavour. Artificially produced citric acid is often used as a preservative and flavour enhancer in the food industry. Some research suggests that this type is among the most bioavailable forms of magnesium, meaning that it’s more easily absorbed in your digestive tract than other forms.
It’s typically taken orally to replenish low magnesium levels. Due to its natural laxative effect, it’s also sometimes used at higher doses to treat constipation. It’s occasionally marketed as a calming agent to help relieve symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.
2. Magnesium Oxide
Magnesium oxide is a salt that combines magnesium and oxygen. It naturally forms a white, powdery substance and may be sold in powder or capsule form. It’s also the main active ingredient in milk of magnesia, a popular medication for constipation relief. This type isn’t typically used to prevent or treat magnesium deficiencies, as some studies report that it’s poorly absorbed by your digestive tract. Instead, it’s more frequently used for short-term relief of uncomfortable digestive symptoms, such as heartburn, indigestion, and constipation. It may also be used to treat and prevent migraines.
3. Magnesium Chloride
Magnesium chloride is a magnesium salt that includes chlorine, which is an unstable element that binds well with other elements, including sodium and magnesium, to form salts. It’s well absorbed in your digestive tract, making it a great multi-purpose supplement. You can use it to treat low magnesium levels, heartburn, and constipation. Magnesium chloride is most frequently taken in capsule or tablet form but also sometimes used in topical products like lotions and ointments, to soothe and relax muscle stiffness.
4. Magnesium Lactate
Magnesium lactate is the salt formed when magnesium binds with lactic acid. This acid is not only produced by your muscle and blood cells but also manufactured for use as a preservative and flavouring agent.
Indeed, magnesium lactate is utilized as a food additive to regulate acidity and fortify foods and beverages. It’s less popular as an over-the-counter dietary supplement. Magnesium lactate is easily absorbed and may be milder on your digestive system than other types. This is particularly significant for people who need to take large doses of magnesium regularly or don’t easily tolerate other forms.
5. Magnesium Malate
Magnesium malate includes malic acid, which occurs naturally in foods like fruit and wine. This acid has a sour taste and is often used as a food additive to enhance flavour or add acidity.
Magnesium malate is easily absorbed in the digestive tract, making it a great option for restoring magnesium levels. Some people may find that it’s gentler on the digestive system and may have less of a laxative effect than other types.
Magnesium malate is occasionally recommended as a treatment for symptoms associated with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome. However, there’s currently no definitive scientific evidence to support these uses.
6. Magnesium Taurate
Magnesium taurate contains the amino acid taurine. Research suggests that adequate intakes of taurine and magnesium play a role in regulating blood sugar. Therefore, this particular form may promote healthy blood sugar levels. Magnesium and taurine may also support healthy blood pressure.
7. Magnesium L-threonate
Magnesium L-threonate is the salt formed from mixing magnesium and threonic acid, a water-soluble substance derived from the metabolic breakdown of vitamin C. This form is easily absorbed, and some research indicates it may be the most effective type for increasing magnesium concentrations in brain cells
Magnesium L-threonate is often used for its potential brain benefits and may help manage certain brain disorders, such as depression and age-related memory loss.
8. Magnesium Sulfate
Magnesium sulphate is formed by combining magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. It’s commonly referred to as Epsom salt. It’s white granular texture is similar to that of table salt. It can be consumed as a treatment for constipation, but its unpleasant taste leads many people to choose an alternative form for digestive support.
Magnesium sulfate is frequently dissolved in bathwater to soothe sore, achy muscles and relieve stress. It’s also sometimes included in skin care products, such as lotion or body oil.
9. Magnesium Glycinate
Magnesium glycinate is formed from elemental magnesium and the amino acid glycine. The body utilises this amino acid in protein construction. It also occurs in many protein-rich foods, such as fish, meat, dairy, and legumes.
Glycine is often used as a standalone dietary supplement to improve sleep and treat a variety of inflammatory conditions, including heart disease and diabetes. Magnesium glycinate is easily absorbed and may have calming properties. It may help reduce anxiety, depression, stress, and insomnia.
10. Magnesium Orotate
Magnesium orotate includes orotic acid, a natural substance involved in your body’s construction of genetic material, including DNA. It’s easily absorbed and doesn’t have the strong laxative effects characteristic of other forms. Early research suggests that it may promote heart health due to orotic acid’s unique role in the energy production pathways in your heart and blood vessel tissue.
As such, it’s popular among competitive athletes and fitness enthusiasts, but it may also aid people with heart disease. One study in 79 people with severe congestive heart failure found that magnesium orotate supplements were significantly more effective for symptom management and survival than a placebo.
This form is significantly more expensive than other magnesium supplements. However, based on the limited evidence available, its benefits may not justify its cost for many people.
Should you take a magnesium supplement?
If you don’t have low magnesium levels, no evidence suggests that taking a supplement will provide any measurable benefit. Certain populations may be at a greater risk of deficiency, including older adults and people with type 2 diabetes, digestive disorders, and alcohol dependence.
Anyhow, if you are deficient, obtaining this mineral from whole foods is always the best initial strategy. Magnesium is present in a variety of foods, including:
Fruit: bananas, figs
Legumes: black beans, edamame, and pulses
Vegetables: spinach, kale, avocado, and chard
Nuts & Seeds: almonds, peanuts / peanut butter, cashews, hemp seeds, and pumpkin seeds
Whole Grains: oatmeal, whole wheat, buckwheat, and brown rice
Others: yogurt, kefir, blackstrap molasses, cocoa powder and dark chocolate ( a craving for chocolate is sometimes an indication of magnesium deficiency)
Dosage and possible side effects
The average recommended daily amount of magnesium is 320 mg for women and 420 mg for men.
The amounts in different supplement formulations may vary, so check the label to ensure you’re taking the most appropriate dose. Vitamin and mineral supplements aren’t stringently regulated, so you need to look for reputable third party researchers. Magnesium supplements are generally considered safe for most people. Once you’ve reached adequate levels, your body will excrete any excess in your urine.
However, certain forms or excessive doses may cause mild symptoms like diarrhoea or upset stomach.
Although rare, magnesium toxicity can occur. If you have kidney disease or consume very large doses of this mineral, you may be at a greater risk. Signs of toxicity include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, muscle weakness, irregular breathing, lethargy, and urinary retention. It’s always a good idea to consult your healthcare provider before adding any dietary supplements to your routine.
The bottom line
Magnesium plays a vital role in human health. Low levels are linked to numerous adverse effects, including depression, heart disease, and diabetes. As such, you may want to consider supplements if you’re not getting enough of this mineral in your diet. Many forms exist, some of which may help relieve heartburn, constipation, and other ailments. If you’re not sure which one is right for you, consult your healthcare provider.
1. Magnesium Is Involved in Hundreds of Biochemical Reactions in Your Body
Magnesium is present in the earth, sea, plants, animals and humans. About 60% of the magnesium in your body is found in bone, while the rest is in muscles, soft tissues and fluids, including blood. Every cell in your body contains it and is vital for proper metabolic functioning.
One of magnesium’s main roles is acting as a cofactor or helper molecule in the biochemical reactions continuously performed by enzymes.
In fact, it’s involved in more than 600 reactions in your body, including:
Energy creation: Helps convert food into energy.
Protein formation: Helps create new proteins from amino acids.
Gene maintenance: Helps create and repair DNA and RNA.
Muscle movements: Is part of the contraction and relaxation of muscles.
Nervous system regulation: Helps regulate neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout your brain and nervous system.
2. It May Boost Exercise Performance
Magnesium also plays a role in exercise performance. During exercise, you may need 10–20% more magnesium than when you’re resting, depending on the activity. Magnesium helps transport blood sugar into your muscles and dispose of lactate, which can build up during exercise and cause fatigue.
Supplementing with magnesium can boost exercise performance for athletes, the elderly and people with chronic disease.
Greater flexibility and the relief of muscle pain and spasms Magnesium also plays a key role in muscle contractions and neuromuscular signals. If you don’t get enough magnesium, the muscles can start to spasm. It helps the muscles to contract and relax, as well as enabling you to get around. Additionally, because magnesium loosens tight muscles, it’s important for flexibility too. A low level of magnesium leads to a buildup of lactic acid, that causes pain and tightness.
3. Magnesium Fights Depression
Magnesium plays a critical role in brain function and mood, and low levels are linked to an increased risk of depression. Some experts believe the low magnesium content of modern food may cause many cases of depression and mental illness.
A magnesium deficiency increases the risk of insomnia. That’s because the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin is disturbed when there isn’t enough magnesium. This nutrient also helps to bring balance and control stress hormones. And, because stress and tension are two primary reasons people suffer from insomnia in the first place, it gets to the root of the problem.
4. It Has Benefits Against Type 2 Diabetes
Magnesium also benefits people with type 2 diabetes, who have low levels of magnesium in their blood. This can impair insulin’s ability to keep blood sugar levels under control. Additionally, research indicates that people with a low magnesium intake have a higher risk of developing diabetes.
5. Magnesium Can Lower Blood Pressure
Magnesium is crucial for heart health, because the heart contains the highest amount of magnesium of any other organ in the body. It works with calcium to help regulate proper blood pressure levels as well as to prevent high blood pressure. When the body doesn’t have a proper magnesium balance, it increases the chances of having a heart attack too, due to severe muscle spasms.
Magnesium also functions as an electrolyte, which is essential for all electrical activity in the body. Without electrolytes like magnesium, potassium, and sodium, electrical signals cannot be sent or received, and without those signals, the heart cannot pump blood, and the brain cannot function properly
Magnesium can create a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, in people who have high blood pressure.
6. It Has Anti-Inflammatory Benefits
Low magnesium intake is linked to chronic inflammation, which is one of the drivers of aging, obesity and chronic disease. Magnesium supplements can reduce inflammation in older adults, overweight people and those with predisposed to developing diabetes. In the same way, high-magnesium foods, such as fatty fish and dark chocolate, can reduce inflammation.
Magnesium aids in restoring the body’s pH balance, as magnesium alkalises the body, it helps to restore its pH balance. Ensuring your body has a proper pH balance of 7.4 is believed to help it stay alkaline and disease-free, improving all aspects of health. Just some of the benefits of an alkalised body include a stronger immune system, more beautiful skin, greater energy levels, better digestion, and even fewer signs of aging as it helps to slow the aging process. It also helps to support weight loss as excessive acidity in the body’s tissues can cause severe problems. When there is too much acid, the acid can’t be easily processed and excreted, so the body holds onto fat as an adaptive mechanism, resulting in weight gain. Reducing acidity, therefore, helps prevent the storage of fat to aid weight loss efforts.
7. Magnesium Can Help Prevent Migraines
If you’re prone to migraines, you may be able to prevent them by getting more magnesium. That’s because it’s involved in both blood circulation and neurotransmitter function. It helps to manage migraine pain through the release of hormones known to lessen that pain and reduce vasoconstriction too, which is the constriction of blood vessels that raise blood pressure.
8. It Reduces Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is one of the leading causes of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. It’s characterised by an impaired ability of muscle and liver cells to properly absorb sugar from your bloodstream. Magnesium plays a crucial role in this process, and many people with metabolic syndrome are deficient. In addition, the high levels of insulin that accompany insulin resistance lead to the loss of magnesium through urine, further reducing your body’s levels.
9. Magnesium Improves PMS Symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is one of the most common disorders among women of childbearing age. Its symptoms include water retention, abdominal cramps, tiredness and irritability. Interestingly, magnesium has been shown to improve mood, reduce water retention and other symptoms in women with PMS.
Magnesium levels have been shown to decline in the two weeks prior to menstruation, so its unsurprising that numerous studies have found magnesium to be beneficial for PMS, with a study in 2010 demonstrating that magnesium supplementation led to a marked reduction in perceived PMS symptoms. Magnesium may be effective at reducing PMS thanks to its ability to relax smooth muscle, normalise cortisol (stress) levels, as well as its role in the healthy functioning of the nervous system and the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter we associate with happiness.
Magnesium lowers the risk of osteoporosisOsteoporosis is a devastating bone disease that is estimated to affect over 200 million women around the world. As magnesium is necessary for the proper formation of bones, as well as influencing activities of osteoclasts and osteoblasts that build healthy bone density, ensuring that your body gets the amount it needs can reduce your risk of developing osteoporosis.
A higher magnesium intake has been linked to an increased bone mineral density in women, as well as men, who can also be affected by osteoporosis. A number of studies have found that preventing or even reversing osteoporosis may be possible by increasing magnesium consumption and preventing magnesium deficiency.
Bone density and risk of osteoporosis have repeatedly been linked to magnesium intake. In fact, magnesium is every bit as important for bone health as calcium, with research finding that lower magnesium intake is associated with lower bone mineral density of the hip and whole body and an increased risk of fractures.
10. Magnesium Is Safe and Widely Available
Magnesium is absolutely essential for good health. The recommended daily intake is 400–420 mg per day for men and 310–320 mg per day for women.
If you have a medical condition, check with your doctor before taking magnesium supplements. Though these are generally well-tolerated, they may not be safe for people who take certain diuretics, heart medications or antibiotics. Supplement forms that are absorbed well include magnesium citrate, glycinate, orotate and carbonate. I recommend taking a serving of magnesium after dinner and prior to bed. This helps to stimulate more restful sleep, calms the nervous system, relaxes the heart and promotes healthy bowel movements the next morning.
#Heart rhythm #Blood pressure #Artery Structure #Muscle function #Cellular Energy #Insomnia
#Fatigue #Muscle Pain #Anxiety #Stress #Headaches and migraines #Magnesium Glycinate
#Magnesium Citrate #Magnesium Chloride #Magnesium Sulfate #Magnesium Oxide #Magnesium Malate
#Premenstrual Syndrome #Essential Therapy #Aromatherapy #Sports Massage