Among the most common nutrients found in supplements is magnesium. Magnesium is the 4th most abundant mineral found in the human body and is an essential nutrient. This implies that magnesium is crucial for the proper functioning of the body. However, we do not produce magnesium naturally. As such, we need to have a regular intake of this mineral through food or supplements.
Studies have shown that magnesium is vital for a large number of bodily functions, which include various metabolic reactions and being the driving force behind the build-up of your DNA. However, reports have shown that nearly half of the population in the USA do not get enough magnesium. This is indeed a matter of concern as a lack of magnesium in the body is linked to several health problems such as heart disease and diabetes.
Magnesium has been recognized as an essential macro nutrient with numerous health benefits, making it a very popular ingredient in supplements. Let us check our some of the most well-established health benefits associated with the intake of magnesium.
Health benefits of Magnesium
Improves your mood
Studies have discovered a link between low levels of magnesium with depression. This obviously led many scientists to prove deeper into this connection. A study found that 450mg of magnesium acts the same as 50mg of the antidepressant Imipramine at tackling depression. Further experiments involved the administration of 248mg of magnesium per day on subjects suffering from depression. At the end of 6 weeks, the subjects showed a significant improvement in their symptoms.
Reduces blood pressure
Magnesium has been proven to lower blood pressure. Various studies have shown that magnesium supplements reduce the blood pressure in high BP subjects.
To be more specific, 410mg of magnesium per day on subjects has demonstrated a drop in systolic blood pressure of 3-4mm Hg (top number) and 1-2mm (bottom number).
Helps to control blood sugar
Magnesium helps to control blood sugar and insulin synthesis. It is worth noting that it has been established that diabetes makes one lose essential nutrients like magnesium through urination.
A 3-month experimental study has shown that an intake of 300mg of magnesium by type 2 diabetes subjects reduced the blood sugar levels considerably. Another study showed that taking magnesium for 4 months improved insulin sensitivity and reduced blood sugar levels.
Reduces the risk of heart disease
People with heart disease have been associated with low levels of magnesium. This can be attributed to the fact that low magnesium levels is related to blood pressure and blood sugar issues.
A recent study has shown how an intake of magnesium supplements improved the conditions in subjects having type 2 diabetes. This directly implies that magnesium supplements can benefit both people with heart disease and magnesium deficiency.
Helps to deal with migraine
People with low magnesium levels have been associated with migraine. A recent 3-month experimental study found that 600mg of magnesium in a daily basis resulted in 42% lesser migraine attacks. Furthermore, another study established that the high dosage of 600mg was absolutely safe and supremely effective.
Improves the symptoms of PMS
Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) is a very common problem in fertile women and it results in cramps, mood swings, water retention and fatigue. Magnesium has been proven to help women deal with these problems, especially moos swings and water retention. Women often tend to feel helpless when it comes to these issues. The fact that magnesium helps with these makes it a popular nutrient in many health supplements meant for women.
Boosts physical performance during workout and sports
When you are working out, you usually need 1/5th more magnesium than normal conditions. This has been demonstrated by studies. This happens because of the fact that magnesium helps to transport blood sugar into your muscle mass, thereby preventing the accumulation of lactic acid. This helps to avoid muscle fatigue and muscle aches.
Not just working out, the same can even be said about sports. An experimental study on some volleyball players showed that an intake of just 250mg of magnesium helped improve their jumps and arm manoeuvres.
Another similar study on athletes showed a remarkable improvement in their running, swimming and cycling abilities with the intake of magnesium.
Magnesium is useful in over 600 biochemical reactions in your body
This is perhaps the most remarkable point regarding magnesium. Magnesium imparts its functionality to hundreds of bodily biochemical reactions including the generation of energy from food, synthesis of protein from amino acids, regulation of the nervous system, muscle contraction and relaxation, and the maintenance of genes.
Men require 400-420mg of magnesium per day.
Women require 320-360mg of magnesium per day.
For magnesium in supplements, the standard dosage of magnesium is 350mg as set by the Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, United States of America.
The requirement for magnesium can be fulfilled by taking magnesium either in the form of food or health supplements containing the prescribed concentration of magnesium.
The intake of magnesium in supplements is not associated with any side effects as such.
However, if you are on some other medication, you are advised to consult your doctor before you try magnesium supplements.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to stay away from magnesium supplements as there is no research evidence to support the safety of consumption of magnesium supplements in pregnant and lactating women.
It is very important to note that those with kidney issues posses a high risk of experiencing side effects by taking magnesium supplements. These wide effects may include diarrhea, upset stomach and nausea.
Food which are a rich source of magnesium
There are several foods which serve as great sources of magnesium and help to fulfil your Reference Daily Intake(RDI) for this essential nutrient. These foods include:
- Pumpkin seeds
- Dark chocolate
- Green leafy vegetables
- Fatty fish
- Kidney beans
As an essential nutrient, magnesium is crucial for the proper functioning of the human body. We have seen in this article that magnesium is associated with several important health benefits that make it one of the most popular macronutrients to be used in supplements. The very fact that magnesium intake facilitates more than 600 biochemical reactions in the body is more than enough to emphasize its importance to general health.