Did you know you can help your heart and blood pressure with a cream?
This cream has been formulated so you can rub in to your body to allow the herbs and magnesium to help out where it needs to go.
Considering all of the important roles that magnesium plays in the body — and the fact that a magnesium deficiency is one of the leading nutrient deficiencies in adults, with an estimated 80 percent being deficient in this vital mineral — it’s a good idea to consider taking magnesium supplements regularly. Of course, this is in addition to eating plenty magnesium-rich foods.
What does magnesium do for the body, and why can it be detrimental to be deficient?
Magnesium — which comes from the obsolete root word magnes, which was used to mean magnet or magnetic power — may not be the most present mineral in our bodies in terms of its quantity, but it’s certainly one of the most crucial to overall health.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical functions in the body, such as regulating heartbeat rhythms and helping neurotransmitter functions, which is why hypomagnesemia (another name for magnesium deficiency) is something you really want to avoid.
What Is Magnesium?
Magnesium is an essential mineral and also an electrolyte. What is magnesium used for in the human body? Some of the main functions of magnesium include:
- Regulating blood pressure
- Keeping bones strong
- Balancing nitric oxide in the body
- Supporting growth and development in babies and children
- Supporting proper function of nerves, muscles, and tissue
- Neutralizing stomach acid
- Moving stools through the intestine and preventing constipation
- Magnesium also makes the process of photosynthesis possible by helping to form chlorophyll, the chemical that allows plants to capture sunlight and turn it into energy
The kidneys primarily control levels of magnesium within the body and excrete magnesium into the urine each day, which is one reason why urinary excretion is reduced when magnesium and other electrolyte statuses are low. Magnesium is actually the least abundant serum electrolyte in the body, but it’s still extremely important for your metabolism, enzyme function, energy production and much more.
Although we only need small amounts of magnesium relative to other nutrients, we must regularly replenish our stores, either from foods or magnesium supplements, in order to prevent deficiency symptoms. That’s because the body loses stores of magnesium every day from normal functions, such as muscle movement, heartbeat and hormone production.
Magnesium is naturally present in some foods, synthetically added to other food products, and available in dietary supplement form. Additionally, it’s found in some over-the-counter medicines, such as antacids and laxatives.
What foods are high in magnesium that we should be including our diets? Some of the best choices include dark leafy greens like spinach, beans, avocado and almonds. While it’s best to get as much of this mineral as you can from natural magnesium-rich food sources, magnesium supplements can also help some people who are prone to deficiency, such as older adults, athletes and anyone under a lot of stress.
Types of Magnesium Supplements
What does a magnesium supplement do for you? Because magnesium supplements pose little risk for side effects or toxicity, many health care professionals now recommend that adults take supplements regularly to prevent deficiency.
Magnesium supplements are available in a variety of forms. The absorption rate and bioavailability of magnesium supplements differs depending on the kind; usually types that dissolve in liquid are better absorbed in the gut than less soluble forms.
It’s believed that magnesium in citrate, chelate and chloride forms are absorbed better than magnesium supplements in oxide and magnesium sulfate forms.
If you’re going to supplement, when should you take magnesium? The best time of day to take magnesium for most people is right before bed. It’s also a good idea to split doses, taking some in the morning and some at night, which can help with absorption.
For many people, a magnesium deficiency — also known as hypomagnesemia, with “hypo” meaning under, “magnes” referring to magnesium and “-emia” meaning in the blood — causes at least some noticeable negative symptoms. These can include muscle aches or spasms, poor digestion, anxiety, and trouble sleeping.
Yet, magnesium deficiency is often overlooked and rarely tested. Therefore, magnesium may be one of the most underutilized but most necessary supplements there is.
What are the symptoms of low magnesium in the body? Some of the most prominent magnesium deficiency symptoms according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) include:
- hypertension (high blood pressure) and cardiovascular disease
- kidney and liver damage
- peroxynitrite damage that can lead to migraine headaches, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma or Alzheimer’s disease
- nutrient deficiencies, including vitamin K, vitamin B1, calcium and potassium
- restless leg syndrome
- worsened PMS symptoms
- behavioral disorders and mood swings
- insomnia and trouble sleeping
- recurrent bacterial or fungal infections due to low levels of nitric oxide or a depressed immune system
- tooth cavities
- muscle weakness and cramps
- eclampsia and preeclampsia
Why is magnesium deficiency so common? A few factors are at play:
- Soil depletion that lowers the amount of magnesium present in crops
- Digestive disorders that lead to malabsorption of magnesium and other minerals in the gut
- High rates of prescription medication and antibiotic use, which can damage the digestive tract to the point that magnesium cannot be absorbed and properly utilized from foods.
You’re most at risk for magnesium deficiency if you have: a liver disorder, heart failure, inflammatory bowel disease, frequent vomiting or diarrhea, kidney dysfunction, and other conditions that affect absorption. Older adults and women seem to be affected more often than younger adults and men.
Magnesium is connected to other nutrients within the body, including calcium, vitamin K and vitamin D. Experts believe that one of the reasons magnesium supplements are so beneficial is because they help counterbalance high levels of calcium that can accumulate in the body when people take calcium supplements regularly. Similarly, taking vitamin Din high levels, or being deficient in vitamin K2, can lower magnesium stores in the body and contribute to a deficiency.
Recommended Daily Allowance of Magnesium:
How much magnesium should you take per day? Keep in mind that magnesium needs vary on different individual factors, like your age and gender. According to the NIH, below are the current RDAs for magnesium:
- Infants–6 months: 30 milligrams
- 7–12 months: 75 milligrams
- 1–3 years: 80 milligrams
- 4–8 years: 130 milligrams
- 9–13 years: 240 milligrams
- 14–18 years: 410 milligrams for men; 360 milligrams for women
- 19–30 years: 400 milligrams for men; 310 milligrams for women
- Adults 31 years and older: 420 milligrams for men; 320 milligrams for women
- Pregnant women: 350–360 milligrams
- Women who are breastfeeding: 310–320 milligrams
How much magnesium per day is best in supplement form? This depends on the type of magnesium you take, the condition you’re attempting to treat, and if you’re deficient.
In some cases, high doses up to 800–1800 mg of magnesium daily for several months are given to help treat conditions like indigestion and irregular heartbeats, but this is done under supervision from a doctor.
Is it safe to take 500 milligram of magnesium a day? Most authorities state that doses less than 350 mg daily are safest for most adults; in other words, the “daily upper intake level” for magnesium is 350 mg for anyone over 8 years old.
Unless your doctor tells you otherwise, it’s best to take about 300–400 mg daily at most. For children, magnesium is safe when taken in doses of between 65 to 100 mg/day depending on age, or up to 350 mg/day for children older than 8 years.
Top 9 Health Benefits of Magnesium
1. Helps Increase Energy
What does magnesium do to help fight fatigue? Magnesium is used to create “energy” in your body by activating adenosine triphosphate, also known as ATP. This means that without enough magnesium, you don’t have the energy you need and can suffer from fatigue more easily.
Inadequate magnesium intake also means you tire more quickly and need a higher level of oxygen during exercise. One study conducted by the ARS Community Nutrition Research Group found that when magnesium-deficient women exercised, they needed more oxygen to complete low-level activities and had a higher heart rate compared to when their magnesium levels were higher.
2. Calms Nerves and Anxiety
Magnesium is vital for GABA function, an inhibitory neurotransmitter that produces “happy hormones” like serotonin. Certain hormones regulated by magnesium are crucial for calming the brain and promoting relaxation, which is one reason why a magnesium deficiency can lead to sleeplessness or insomnia.
In a 2012 report published in the Journal of Neuropharmacology, when mice became magnesium-deficient, they displayed enhanced anxiety-related behaviors compared to mice given magnesium supplements. Magnesium deficiency caused an increase in the production of cortisol hormones in the brains of the mice, specifically by activating the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus, a part of the brain that controls responses to stress and anxiety.
3. Treats Insomnia and Helps You Fall Asleep
What’s the connection between magnesium and sleep? Magnesium supplements can help quiet a racing mind and make it easier to get a good night’s sleep. Our circadian rhythms shift, especially as we age because of our decreased nutrient consumption and a lower nutrient absorption, which puts many of us at risk for insomnia.
When 46 patients were either given magnesium supplements or a placebo over an eight-week period in a double-blind, randomized trial, the group taking magnesium supplements experienced a significant increase in sleep time, an easier time falling asleep, higher concentrations of melatonin (the hormone responsible for inducing sleepiness) and lower levels of cortisol, which are associated with stress.
Researchers who published the 2012 study in the Journal of Research in Medical Science concluded that magnesium supplementation is low-risk and effective for lowering insomnia symptoms; improves sleep efficiency, sleep time and sleep onset; plus it aids in early morning awakening and lowers concentrations of cortisol.
NOTE: Information from Dr Axe.com