More than 300 enzymes need magnesium ions in order to be sufficiently produced by the body. The deficiency of magnesium in the human body is associated with serious health conditions like osteoporosis, diabetes, and asthma.  Here is the problem:  in the United States, only around 32 percent of the population meets their magnesium recommended daily needs.

The Wonders of Magnesium

Magnesium is a metallic element and is the third most abundant element in sea water and eleventh in the human body. It is an important element in the process of food manufacturing in plants and the element is one of the most important components of fertilizers. Derivations of the element are also used for medical purposes, such as:

  • Milk of magnesia is a common laxative
  • It also serves as an antacid for people with digestive problems
  • It is also needed to stabilize the excitation of blood vessel spasms like eclampsia.

Magnesium compounds are important in all living creatures. At the ground level of the food chain, plants need magnesium for photosynthesis; magnesium compound is an important component of chlorophyll, the green pigmentation common in the leaves of plants. And the transfer of magnesium to animals and humans primarily starts at the stage of consuming magnesium-bearing plants.

One of the most important functions of magnesium in the body is its facilitation of calcium absorption. The absorption of magnesium, on the other hand, is influenced by the body’s level of fat, phytate, phosphate and protein. Numerous processes in the body need the presence of magnesium. And despite the metallic nature of magnesium, it’s not likely for someone to experience magnesium overdose from natural sources since the body has a natural mechanism for getting rid of excess magnesium from the system. It is filtrated in the kidneys and excreted through the urinary system. And its status as the least bioavailable macronutrient makes it difficult for people to satisfy their magnesium needs. But magnesium supplements are very available in the market and as an over-the-counter drug.

Magnesium against Health Failure in Women

A study conducted by a group of researchers from the Harvard Medical School, Brigham Young University and Women’s Hospital found that the increased daily consumption of foods rich in magnesium can reduce the risk of sudden death due to heart failure in women. Study participants who had the highest intake of magnesium were observed to have a 37 percent lower risk of sudden cardiac death compared to the ones with the lowest magnesium intake. The result of the study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Magnesium’s most apparent health benefit is its protective property against sudden cardiac death. The researchers described this condition as a non-traumatic, unexpected and non-violent death caused by heart failure with at least 6 hours of observable good health.

The popularity of magnesium and its health benefits have increased with numerous new studies being conducted to better define the role of magnesium to promote and maintain better health. Surveys on human nutrition show that a large portion of the population is not meeting their recommended magnesium dietary intake; this being 420 milligrams in men and 320 milligrams in women daily. Rich sources of magnesium includes milk, nuts and grains, starches, meats, leafy vegetables and other greens.

Studies are also being made to determine the adverse effects of magnesium deficiency. The Freedonia Group reported that international demands for minerals and nutrients will cost around $12.6 billion by 2013, an excess of 6 percent from 2009. The report with the title World Nutraceutical Ingredients highlighted the increasing demand for magnesium. The supplements leading the race are resistant maltodextrin fibers, carotenoids, probiotics, isoflavones, soy proteins and psyllium.

Another study conducted by the two researchers from the Brigham Young University found that magnesium is essential in more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body and added that the element has not produced any significant toxicity issues. Renea Beckstrand and Tavia Mathers said that oral supplementation is recommended. The new study supports the previously established protective properties of magnesium against sudden cardiac death in women. The research team led by Stephenie Chiuve evaluated data gathered from the 88,375 women who participated in the Nurses Health Study. The study lasted for 26 years and more than 500 cases of sudden cardiac death were noted by the researcher team. They concluded that high magnesium intake results to a reduced risk of sudden cardiac death.

Health Benefits and Natural Sources of Magnesium

Despite the growing health benefits of magnesium supplements, eating specific types of food can satisfy the body’s daily magnesium needs. The richest sources of magnesium are green vegetables like spinach, cornmeal, barley, sweet potatoes, artichoke, lima beans, broad beans, beet greens, tomatoes, peanuts, oat bran, wheat flour, pumpkin seeds and buckwheat flour.

Consuming dietary products like milk, yoghurt, and butter can also help supply satisfy the body’s magnesium needs. Other rich natural sources of magnesium are sea foods like shrimp, mackerel and tuna.

Magnesium supplements present several health benefits. Here are some of the benefits one can get from consuming magnesium:

  • Magnesium is used to relieve chronic asthma patients by helping promote relaxation of their bronchial muscles and thus promote normal breathing.
  • The intravenous administration of magnesium can also help relieve breathlessness and wheezing.
  • In the absorption of calcium, magnesium is an important element that facilitates calcium absorption and promotes better bone density.
  • Magnesium is also needed by pregnant women to reduce the risk of osteoporosis and increase pain tolerance during labor.
  • Deficiency of magnesium serum in the body has also been linked to the development of diabetes; the mineral improves the cells’ reaction to insulin to better glucose metabolism.
  • Magnesium regulates the levels of zinc, copper, and vitamin D in the body
  • It relieves bladder control problems
  • Magnesium helps prevent eclamptic seizure
  • It relieves constipation
  • Magnesium has also been used in the treatment and management of patients diagnosed with psychiatric disorders. Magnesium-based medications are used to treat patients suffering from anxiety, undue agitations, panic attacks and other psychiatric dysfunctions.
  • Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply