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Magnesium is one of the most important and at the same time one of the most neglected minerals in the human body. In addition to bones, it is found in almost all organs that subsequently use it for biological processes. Its presence affects more than 350 vital cell functions. However, it occurs mainly in the heart, muscles and kidneys.
In addition to being a mineral, it is also an electrolyte and hence what allows us to live and is responsible for the “electrical” activity in the body. Without electrolytes, our hearts would not be beating, the muscles would not warm up, and the brain could not receive signals. Actually, it acts as a cofactor in the transmission of nerve impulses, temperature regulation, liver detoxification. Magnesium is also essential for generating energy by activating ATP, for digesting proteins, fats and carbohydrates, as a building block for RNA and DNA synthesis.
More and more people are focusing on healthy food and nutrition, yet they forget to make sure they have enough magnesium. In many cases, the cause of deteriorated health is “only” the deficiency of magnesium in the body. The problem, however, is that blood test results may be erroneous because only 1% of magnesium is present in the blood. If you happen to lose your magnesium content in your blood, you run the risk of having a heart attack. That is why only few find out that this mineral is responsible for the persistent difficulties.
What causes magnesium deficiency?
In addition to the symptoms of low magnesium in terms of clinical symptoms, which we will mention a little later, these diseases and conditions are possible indicators of chronically latent magnesium deficiency:
• Depression and mood swings
• Sleep disorders, insomnia
• Migraine, headache
• Digestive problems, nausea
• Fatigue and chronic fatigue syndrome
• Pain and cramps in the muscles
• Nervousness, anger, aggression
• Concentration problems
• PMS and menstrual cramps
• Parkinson’s disease
• Chest pain (angina pectoris)
• Cardiac arrhythmia
• Ischemic heart disease and atherosclerosis
• Type II diabetes
Lack of magnesium in the body includes:
– Classic “clinical” symptoms- these physical symptoms of deficiency are associated with its physiological role and a significant effect on the balanced ratio of minerals such as calcium and potassium.
– “Subclinical” or “latent” symptomsthese symptoms are present but hidden. It is very difficult to distinguish them from the symptoms of other diseases. This kind is prevalent in almost all developed countries. Within the research communities, these symptoms were among the alarming ones with an increased focus on them.
Classical physical symptoms of magnesium deficiency
· Behavioral disorders
· Irritability and anxiety
· Impaired memory and cognitive functions
· Anorexia or loss of appetite
· Nausea and vomiting
· Muscle tetany
· Muscle cramps
· Hyperactive reflexes
· Impaired muscle coordination (ataxia)
· Inadvertent eye movements and dizziness
· Swallowing difficulties
· Increased intracellular calcium
· Calcium deficiency
· Potassium deficiency
· Irregular or rapid heartbeat
· Cramping of coronary arteries
· Growth retardation
Persistent deficiency can also cause more serious health problems, such as:
• Pounding and heart disease
• Kidney stones
• Chronic fatigue
Many studies and studies point to the fact that the majority of the population suffers from magnesium deficiency. One of the studies published in the American of Epidemiology in 2002 was conducted on 2566 children aged 11-19. The results showed that less than 14% of boys and 12% of girls have a sufficient dietary intake of magnesium and it is still decreasing. And not just in children, but especially in adults.
Deficiency can also be caused by increased consumption of alcoholic beverages, caffeine-containing beverages, consumption of semi-finished products, stressful situations, consumption of certain medicines such as various antibiotics or contraceptives.
What is the difference between mild and severe magnesium deficiency?
Since the lack of magnesium is relatively difficult to detect from a clinical point of view, it is sometimes referred to as “symptom free” and often showing no external symptoms. That is why the researchers emphasize that the condition is usually serious before the clinical symptoms develop. One solution to prevent this could be monitoring by a blood magnesium test, however it is inaccurate.
Dr. Ronald Elin of the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (University of Louisville) commented: “Defining magnesium deficiency seems easy, but it’s complicated due to the lack of clinical tests to assess the magnesium levels. Ideally, we should define the lack of magnesium as a reduction in the total content of magnesium in the body. ests should be able to determine which tissues are deficient and what is the state of magnesium in these tissues. Unfortunately, this definition is contrary to the current technology. “
If you are now thinking whether you belong to a group of people with magnesium deficiency, then we offer you a solution – answer the questions below about your lifestyle and follow the symptoms that may be causing the problem and see what you can do to achieve balance. If you answer even one question yes, it can mean that you are at risk and you may suffer from insufficient income. You should also be careful if you are over 55 years old.
1. Do you drink carbonated drinks regurarly?
Many colored carbonated beverages contain phosphates. These substances bind with magnesium in the body, making it inaccessible to the body. So even if you consume a balanced diet, as well as these drinks, you just rinse the magnesium out of your body.
The consumption of carbonated beverages is now even 10 times higher than it was in 1940.
2. Do you regurarly eat cakes, desserts, candies and other sweets?
Refined sugar not only contains no magnesium but also causes its excretion via the kidneys. Molasses and magnesium are removed in the production of refined sugar. In addition, sweets are often called “anti-nutrients”. They replace nutritional foods in the diet and actually consume nutrients during digestion, resulting in loss. That is why it is necessary to choose foods that return vitamins and minerals to the body and add something extra.
3. Do you experience stress in life or have you undergone a serious medical intervention, for example in the field of surgery?
Stress can be the result of a lack of magnesium, and also this can cause even more stress and worsen problems. In the studies, adrenaline and cortisol, by-products of the “fight or escape” reaction, are associated with stress and anxiety. These were again associated with decreased levels of magnesium. This is because the body needs more magnesium during stressful conditions and events. The usage of magnesium to soothe the organism is also known.
4. Do you drink coffee, tea or other caffeine drinks every day?
The amount of magnesium in the body is largely controlled by the kidneys, which also filter other minerals and substances. Caffeine causes even greater excretion regardless of body condition. Therefore, if you drink a lot of coffee, tea or carbonated drinks, there is a higher risk of suffering from magnesium deficiency.
5. Do you take diuretics, heart medications, asthma medications or birth control pills?
The effects of these medicines, as well as some others, reduce the level of magnesium in the body through excretion through the kidneys.
6. Do you drink more than seven alcoholic drinks a week?
The effect of alcohol on the level of magnesium is similar to that of diuretics and thus reduces the amount of magnesium available to cells as it is excreted through the kidneys. The study reported that 30% of alcoholics suffer from magnesium deficiency. Increased alcohol intake is also associated with decreased digestive system function, vitamin D deficiency, which contributes to decreased magnesium levels.
7. Do you use calcium supplements without magnesium or calcium supplements with magnesium less than 1:1 ratio?
Studies have shown that if magnesium intake is low, calcium supplementation may reduce the absorption and maintenance of magnesium. And although calcium supplementation can have a negative effect on the magnesium level, magnesium supplementation actually improves the utilization of calcium in the body.
Some studies support a 1:1 ratio of calcium:magnesium for better bone support and reduced disease risk. This is due not only to increased evidence of widespread magnesium deficiency, but also to concerns about the risk of arterial calcification with small magnesium stores associated with increased calcium intake.
8. Do you feel anxiety, rush of hyperactivity, you cannot sleep, or on the contrary you fall asleep too early?
These are just a few of the symptoms that may be neurological symptoms of magnesium deficiency. An adequate amount of magnesium is necessary for neural conductivity, and is also associated with an electrolyte imbalance that affects the nervous system. Low magnesium is also associated with personality changes and sometimes depression.
9. Do you feel muscle cramps, facial tics, eye twitches or involuntary eye movements?
Magnesium is the required element for muscle relaxation, and without that our muscles are in constant contraction. Calcium, on the other hand, signals muscle contraction. As stated in The Magnesium Factor, two minerals are “two sides of a physiological coin”, they have contradictory actions and still function as a team.
How much magnesium should be received?
Many people do not care and talk about how this mineral can affect stress and fatigue, especially people working full-time or part-time who use multitasking or work at a very fast pace. The recommended daily dose is generally 310-320 mg for women and 400-420 mg for men.
Recommended daily dose in pediatric patients
Children, 1-3 years old: 80 mg
Children, 4-8 years old: 130 mg
Children, 9-13 years old:240 mg
Men, 14-18 years old: 410 mg
Women, 14-18 years old: 360 mg
Pregnant women, 14-18 years old: 400 mg
Breastfeeding women, 14-18 years old: 360 mg
Recommended daily dose in adults
Men, 19-30 years old: 400 mg
Women, 19-30 years old: 310 mg
Men, 31 years old and over: 420 mg
Women, 31years old and over: 320 mg
Pregnant women, 19-30 years old: 350 mg
Pregnant women, 31years old and over: 360 mg
Breastfeeding women, 19-30 years old: 310 mg
Breastfeeding women, 31 years old and over: 320 mg
What are the best sources of magnesium in food?
Of course, there are several forms of magnesium supplementation, but not each may be effective in dependence on the individual’s digestive system. Supplementing magnesium can be ensured by taking it from a diet rich in magnesium, and consequently, if you feel that it is not so easy, a variety of nutritional supplements, which are already on the market, will help you. See the list of natural sources of magnesium for ease and inspiration.
· Magnesium rich foods: tofu, legumes, wholegrain foods, green leafy vegetables such as tusk or spinach, wheat bran, Brazil nuts, soy flour, almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, black walnuts.
· Other sources of magnesium: peanuts, wholegrain flour, oatmeal, spinach, pistachios, crushed wheat, cereal bran, oat flakes, bananas, baked potatoes (with peel), chocolate, cocoa powder.
· Many herbs, spices and seaweed are also sources of magnesium: seaweed agar, coriander, dill, sage, dried mustard seeds, basil, fennel, cumin, tarragon, marjoram, poppy.
But that’s not enough!
If you think you will increase your magnesium intake and the problem is resolved, you are a bit wrong. Everything is related to everything, and this also applies here. The balance between magnesium, calcium, vitamin D3 and K2 should be maintained. We should think about receiving magnesium daily, not just from time to time. It is also good to combine it with a B-complex or a multivitamin containing B vitamins, as the amount of vitamin B6 affects how much magnesia the cells absorb.
Excessive calcium without a balanced magnesium intake can cause a heart attack and even sudden death, as such an imbalance tends to cause muscle cramps, and this also affects the heart muscle. At the same time, when balancing the two, the above-mentioned vitamins D3 and K2 must also be taken into account. All these four elements interact and support each other. Excessive amounts of vitamin D without an adequate amount of K2 can cause vitamin D toxicity and magnesium deficiency. At the same time, K2 keeps calcium in the right place.
As mentioned, long-term magnesium deficiency can cause diabetes, so its intake acts as a prevention against type 2 diabetes, regulates glucose, and helps metabolism work efficiently in terms of insulin sensitivity.
Increased intake has also shown a positive effect on bone density in both men and women, but more importantly, it can reduce the risk of cancer. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported that increased intake reduces the risk of developing colorectal cancer and that every 100mg of increased magnesium intake reduces the risk of developing by 13%. These are effects on the physical functioning of the organism. However, the positive effects on the human psyche should also be considered whereas it calms down the organism and relieves or eliminates the symptoms mentioned above, such as depression, anxiety or stress. Therefore, it is sometimes called a relaxation mineral.
Try to consume higher amounts of magnesium on a daily basis and over time you will notice changes in your body and improved quality of life.
Where do you get your magnesium from? Share your experience with us in the comments. If you liked this article, support it by sharing.
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