Magnesium is a mineral that is required in over 325 enzyme systems in the body. It helps the body to process fats and proteins and it is essential in the development of strong healthy bones and teeth.
In combination with Calcium, Sodium and Potassium, it also facilitates muscle contraction and the transmission of nerve signals. Magnesium is also important in keeping our blood sugar balanced, which is critical to weight management. It even plays a critical role in our every movement. Magnesium provides the spark that goes between nerve cells to stimulate movement.
Magnesium is an antagonist of Calcium. If we don’t have enough Magnesium, Calcium takes the upper hand. Whereas Magnesium relaxes muscles, Calcium tightens them.
Deficiency in magnesium then will make your muscles tight. As the biggest and most important muscle in your body, the heart will go into spasm if it has too much calcium. This can result in Angina and Heart Attack.
Deficient in Magnesium?
From the above, we can see just how crucial Magnesium is to our health. Yet, chronic deficiency is rampant.
Why is this? Well, it’s is an essential mineral. The body can’t make it, meaning that we have to obtain it from our diet. Our soils have been depleted of their Magnesium content, however Calcium the hardier compound, remains in the soil along with fertilisers, potash and nitrogen that have been infused. As a result, the typical modern diet is 3 times Calcium to 1 part Magnesium. It should be in an even ratio of 1 to 1.
Other things that contribute to a loss of Magnesium are Chronic Stress, diuretics such as caffeine, alcohol, blood pressure medications, and a high intake of refined carbohydrates.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency:
- High blood pressure due to constricted blood vessels
- Bone loss
- Muscle Spasms
- Blood thickening
- Cholesterol elevation
Fibre rich foods are good sources of Magnesium. Such foods as Legumes, Whole Grains, Green Leafy Vegetables, Broccoli and Pumpkin, Seeds and Nuts are all great ways to get your dose. So are Dairy Products and Meats. Mineral rich water is another good source of magnesium.
The recommended daily allowance for adult males is 400 mg per day. For females it is 310 mg per day. This takes into account Magnesium through food as well as any additional supplementation. Supplements are available in the form of capsules, powder, liquid and syrup. Check with your medical practitioner for the correct dosage for you.
Side effects of excessive magnesium supplementation are:
Magnesium supplements may also interact with diuretics, heart medication and antibiotics.