Magnesium is one of the most important nutrients for our health. The mineral plays a huge role in more than 300 processes in the body including bone health and thickness, heart rhythm and blood sugar control. However, as we don’t consume enough of the mineral, magnesium deficiencies have become very common nowadays with most people not even being aware of the problem.
According to Dr. Norman Shealey, magnesium deficiency is such as big problem that it can be related to almost all ailments. “Magnesium is one of the essential nutrients – without it, our bodies wouldn’t be able to function properly. In fact, lack of magnesium in the body might be related to more ailments than any other nutritional deficiency,” Dr. Shealey says.
Studies on magnesium deficiency
There have been quite many studies on the lack of magnesium and its relation to different ailments over the years. Studies have shown that nearly 70% of Americans don’t get the recommended daily allowance of the mineral, and almost 20% of Americans don’t even get half of the RDA of magnesium.
Our diets involve a lot of calcium but not much magnesium. This imbalance is often the main culprit for headaches, migraines, asthma, food sensitivities, irregular heart rhythm, fibromyalgia and stress as well. Muscle cramps and twitches are also common in cases of magnesium deficiency, so as you can see, it’s not a simple problem at all. When our body lacks calcium, it isn’t able to use proteins and catalysts properly which can result in improper detoxification.
Magnesium is vital for proper detox, and due to the constant exposure to toxins and chemicals, our bodies need it now more than ever. However, unlike in the past, we rarely get the magnesium we need as the soil is almost deprived of the mineral.
Here are some of the main health benefits of magnesium:
Improves brain performance
As it plays a part in over 300 enzymatic reactions, magnesium is very important for all organs in the human body including the brain. Proper magnesium levels ensure proper brain function and optimal cognition.
Boosts your memory
Magnesium is related to the memory and even science has confirmed it. Studies have shown that lack of magnesium is associated with poor memory function. The Hippocampus is the part of the brain which holds long-term memories, with magnesium being important for proper neural connections in this part of the brain. The mineral also strengthens the synaptic nerve endings in the prefrontal cortex, effectively improving your short-term memory as well.
Prevents Alzheimer’s disease
According to recent studies, lack of magnesium is related to accumulation of plaque in the brain which is considered the culprit for Alzheimer’s disease. One study discovered that magnesium can keep the brain working properly. Providing the participants in the study with magnesium supplements for 17 months resulted reduced amyloid plaque and significantly lower risk of Alzheimer’s as well.
Improves your learning abilities
By refreshing your nerves and improving your neural connections, magnesium can also improve your learning abilities. One animal study showed that rats given magnesium threonate (a supplement) are quicker to learn swimming than the others. These rats also had better recollection of the stage within 24 hours, while the other rats took twice as longer to “connect the dots”. The impact of the supplement also caused a long-term memory upgrade of over 120%.
Magnesium is also important for proper body detoxification. It can assist with the removal of toxins and chemicals from the body and improves the function of the digestive tract and colon which are vital elimination organs.
Lowers stress and improves your mood
The mineral can reduce anxiety and stress and also improve your mood quickly. Studies have shown that lack of magnesium in the body can cause anxiety and other mental problems, which is why you should keep the levels of the mineral steady. Magnesium reduces stress by boosting the production of serotonin in the brain. Studies have shown that 150-300 mg. of magnesium are enough to improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety in only a week.
Regulates your blood sugar levels
As we already mentioned, magnesium is also important for blood sugar control. Lack of it can result in improper insulin production and leave blood sugar to wreak havoc on your body. Keep the levels of the mineral in check and you will easily prevent diabetes.
Improves your heart health
As it’s so important for the rhythm of our heart, you should make sure to keep your magnesium levels at an optimal level. Magnesium deficiency has been related to irregular heart rhythm and a variety of cardiovascular problems, which is why experts recommend getting 250 mg. per day.
Keeps your joints and bones strong
About 60% of the magnesium in the body is found in the bones – anything less than it and your bones and joints will suffer. However, the bones need proper calcium levels as well, so make sure to keep the minerals in balance.
Magnesium is important for the relaxation of our mind, which means it can also help you sleep better. Lack of magnesium has been linked to insomnia, so make sure to keep the mineral’s levels in check.
As magnesium supplements have been associated with a host of adverse side-effects, it’s best to get the mineral through dietary sources. Magnesium can be found in green leafy vegetables as well as animal liver and meat.
There are 3 types of magnesium supplements – magnesium oxide, magnesium chloride and magnesium threonate. The last supplement is considered the best as it’s easily absorbable, but we suggest consulting with your doctor for the best supplement for your case. Magnesium sprays are also present on the market and will provide the mineral to your body through the skin. In this way, these sprays can also treat osteoarthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
Although safe for everyone, there have been a few cases of magnesium overdose. The usual results are diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, irregular heartbeat, abdominal cramps and even heart attack, but if you stick to the recommended amount (310-420 mg. per day), you are not likely to experience these symptoms.