Magnesium: Health benefits, deficiency and supplementation
Magnesium is one of the most important biological elements. It is responsible for a number of processes taking place in the human body and performs many important functions. Unfortunately, many people suffer from magnesium deficiency without realizing how serious the consequences are. Magnesium is called the element of life because it participates in 300 biochemical processes in the body. It is a building material for teeth and bones. It takes part in the transformation of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It regulates blood pressure, helps to protect the body against atherosclerosis, and cares for the nervous system.Magnesium is one of the electrolytes, in other words, it is the ion found inside every cell of the human body. The human body contains 25-35 grams of magnesium, more than half of which is in the bones.The rest of the magnesium pool is found in muscles and soft tissues, and only 1% is found in the blood. Therefore, it is worth emphasizing that when testing for magnesium deficiency, you should not test the concentration of magnesium in the blood – a better solution will be, for example, to test the level of magnesium excretion with urine.Of course, we will feel the beneficial effects of magnesium on the body when we consume the right amount of this element every day. Standard for an adult human, it is 300-400 mg of magnesium per day. Nursing women, pregnant women and athletes need more magnesium than the standard amount.
What is magnesium in?
Before we answer the question of what does magnesium help and what it gives – it is worth checking in which products we can find it. So what does magnesium have? First of all, products such as whole grain cereals, as well as nuts, seeds, seeds and grains. When it comes to products that are the richest in magnesium per 100 grams of raw material, the following should be distinguished:
- Pumpkin seeds (540 mg of magnesium in 100 g)
- Poppy seeds (458 mg)
- Cocoa (containing 16% fat) – (420 mg)
- Sesame seeds (377 mg)
- Sunflower seeds (359 mg)
- Wheat germ (314 mg)
- Almonds (269 mg)
- Buckwheat (218 mg)
- white beans – 169 mg
- dark chocolate – 165 mg
- hazelnuts – 140 mg
- oatmeal – 129 mg
- parsley – 69 mg
- wholemeal rye bread – 64 mg
- banana – 33 mg
- mackerel – 30 mg
- broccoli – 23 mg
Drinking water and medium / highly mineralized water are also good sources of magnesium. It has been determined that, on average, up to 1/5 of the total amount of magnesium consumed by humans comes from water. The higher the mineralized water we choose, the more this element is in it – but beware, not everyone can drink water with a mineralization degree above 1000 mg / liter on a daily basis. This applies primarily to patients with cardiovascular or urinary system diseases.A diet rich in vegetables and fruits can also be an excellent source of magnesium. It is estimated that consuming 300-400 grams of these products daily provides about 500 mg of magnesium per day, which covers the daily standard human requirement for this ingredient in over 100%.
Properties of magnesium:
- Stabilizes the work of the nervous system, improves the work of gray cells,
- Takes part in the transformation of proteins, fats and carbohydrates,
- Has a calming effect,
- Influences the improvement of the ability to remember,
- Responsible for the smooth functioning of the cardiovascular system,
- Supports the prevention of cardiovascular diseases,
- In combination with calcium and vitamin D, it builds bones and teeth, prevents osteoporosis,
- It affects the improvement of digestion,
- It widens the airways, so it can make it easier for asthmatics to breathe.
- Regulates muscle tension,
- Very useful in the treatment of injuries,
- Influences the protection of the body against the harmful effects of heavy metals,
- Regulates the work of the thyroid gland,
- It soothes the symptoms associated with painful menstruation or migraines.
What are the symptoms of a magnesium deficiency?
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency may include calf muscle cramps, eyelid tremors, painful menstrual flow, problems with falling asleep, migraine, apathy, lack of concentration and difficulty remembering. Children, schoolchildren, the elderly, athletes, hard-working people and people in very hot climates (profuse sweating and loss of magnesium through the skin) are particularly susceptible to magnesium deficiencies.Continuous magnesium deficiency may contribute to the development of diseases such as osteoporosis, hypertension and cardiovascular diseases, insomnia, kidney and liver damage, impotence.
If for some reason we are not able to provide ourselves with the right amount of magnesium, it is necessary to supplement it to avoid deficiencies.The most effective form of magnesium supplementation is magnesium amino acid chelate, followed by citrate, gluconate, lactate, and oxide.
What are the side effects of magnesium?
Excess magnesium is extremely rare because it is rapidly excreted by the kidneys if there is too much of it in the body. Side effects related to its excessive intake are mainly: diarrhea, nausea, weakness, dehydration, and visual disturbances.