The current diet, rich in refined products, sometimes does not provide enough magnesium. Discover the health benefits and virtues of magnesium and if you should consume supplements.
The little-known health benefits and virtues of magnesium
Magnesium is arguably one of the most essential minerals for our health. According to the researchers, it is involved in more than 300 enzyme systems and could help prevent or combat many chronic conditions.
The human body contains on average 25 g of magnesium, concentrated mainly in the bones and skeletal muscles, the rest being distributed between the nerves and various organs (heart, liver, digestive tract, kidneys, etc.). The elimination of magnesium increases under the effect of stress, certain disorders or medication, as well as intense physical activity. The current diet, rich in refined products, does not always provide enough. So nutritional supplements are sometimes necessary. They are found in several forms: aspartate, carbonate, citrate, gluconate, oxide, or magnesium sulfate, etc.
The main benefits of magnesium
Magnesium is involved in the transformation of food into energy, the transmission of nerve impulses, the relaxation of muscles and the formation of bones and teeth. Acting with calcium and potassium, it regulates the heart rate and participates in the production of insulin.
helps treat hemophilia and depression.
helps prevent arrhythmia and cardiovascular disease.
can relieve symptoms of chronic muscle fatigue.
helps fight high blood pressure.
could reduce the intensity of allergies.
relieves the symptoms of PMS.
The main sources of magnesium
Available sources of magnesium in the form of supplements: ampoules, tablets, capsules, granules, tablets.
Food sources of magnesium: whole grains, dried fruits, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, shellfish, dark chocolate and some mineral waters (see labels) are rich in magnesium. A good portion of wild rice meets 25% of an adult’s daily magnesium requirement.
Magnesium for diabetes and fatigue
According to recent research, magnesium has hypotensive properties and promotes recovery from a heart attack by inhibiting the formation of blood clots, as well as avoiding arterial spasms and dangerous cardiac arrhythmias.
Adequate intake of magnesium would help prevent non-insulin dependent diabetes (type II). American researchers have measured the magnesium levels of more than 12,000 people without diabetes, whom they followed for 6 years to study the frequency of the onset of this disease. They found that, in subjects with the lowest magnesium level, the risk of developing diabetes was 94% higher than that of subjects with a high level. It remains to be determined whether magnesium supplements would prevent this disease.
Beneficial effects of magnesium
Magnesium relaxes muscles, which makes it useful in the treatment of sports injuries, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia. It appears to be effective against PMS, especially for relieving abdominal cramps, and is said to strengthen bone density in postmenopausal women, preventing osteoporosis. Magnesium also promotes the treatment of asthma and bronchitis because it dilates the airways. Its role in the prevention or treatment of allergies and migraines is not formally proven, but a study has revealed that it could reinforce the action of Sumatriptan, a classic antimigraine drug.
If you are undergoing medical treatment, consult your doctor before taking any supplements. Also, in case of kidney problems, consult your doctor before taking magnesium.
Magnesium supplements: the recommended doses
The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 420 mg for men and 360 mg for women. It can be increased for curative purposes.
For heart arrhythmia and asthma, after heart failure, and for chronic fatigue, take 200 mg, preferably as magnesium citrate, 2 to 3 times a day. Against diabetes and high blood pressure, 500 to 600 mg per day. It is advisable, unless otherwise indicated, not to exceed a total intake – food plus supplement – of 770 mg for men and 710 mg for women.
In case of deficit contribution
Even a slight deficiency would increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. It can also cause manifestations of hemophilia (neuro-muscular hyperexcitability) or allergy, and reduce resistance to infections. Severe deficit can be manifested by cardiac arrhythmia, fatigue, depression, muscle cramps, or even fits of tetany or seizures, irritability, and mental confusion.
In case of excess contribution
Too much can cause diarrhea and nausea. Muscle weakness, lethargy, confusion, and difficulty breathing when kidney damage occurs when the body is unable to flush excess through the urine. But this overdose only occurs with poorly controlled supplementation.
Other useful information of magnesium
Magnesium is best absorbed if taken with a meal. In case of diarrhea, reduce the doses or try magnesium gluconate, which is better tolerated by the digestive system.
It is in the form of magnesium citrate that the body absorbs magnesium best.
Magnesium lowers blood pressure, according to a study of 60 hypertensive women and men. On average, their systolic pressure (the highest figure) decreased by 2.7 points, while their diastolic pressure (the lowest figure) decreased by 1.5 points. A decrease in blood pressure by a few points is enough to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
So-called hard water is better for your health than softened water. It contains calcium, but also magnesium and other minerals. If your water is too soft, take magnesium.
If you are taking magnesium supplements, combine them with calcium supplements. An unbalanced ratio between these two minerals can indeed reduce their respective beneficial effects.
In France, 18% of men and 23% of women followed by the SU.VI.MAX survey have magnesium intakes less than two-thirds of the recommended intakes, and therefore constitute subjects at risk.