Did you know that magnesium is the ninth most abundant element in the universe? That little fact may not be high on your agenda but you should at least be aware of the vital role that magnesium plays in your life.
A healthy person should have around 25 grams of magnesium present in the body, half of that contained within the bones. Not surprising then, that magnesium is essential for the proper growth and maintenance of the skeleton. In addition, 300 of your enzymes require magnesium for their catalytic action, vital to keep the body in good working order. Magnesium is needed to maintain the function of much of the body, including the nerves and muscles. It also keeps the heartbeat steady and helps keep the immune system healthy. The regulation of blood glucose and the production of energy and protein also require magnesium.
So now you are more aware of your need for magnesium. But do you have enough?
The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 300mg for men and 270mg for women. You should, in theory, get this from a balanced diet. High-fiber foods are particularly good sources of magnesium.
Green leafy vegetables, legumes, brown rice, seeds and nuts, wholegrain bread, nuts, fish meats and dairy foods. ‘Hard’ water, with its high mineral content, is also a good source.
However, studies of magnesium intake indicate that many people are not getting enough magnesium. Data shows that less than 30% of adults in the U.S. are ingesting their Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Furthermore, 20% of adults get just half of the recommended quantity necessary for good health. Magnesium deficiency is particularly common among African-Americans and the elderly. Indeed, some experts have argued that many symptoms, generally attributed to the ageing process, may actually be due to the reduced ability to metabolize magnesium. Intensive farming over the past sixty years has also overseen a decline in magnesium levels of up to 80%. And if you drink bottled water, you may also lose one good source – tap water.
Aside from the diet, there may be other reasons for magnesium deficiency:
Long-term stress, poorly controlled diabetes, alcohol, excessive diarrhea or vomiting, and taking certain medications; all may play their part.
You could therefore benefit from a supplement to maintain your body’s supply of magnesium, to guard against the many factors that can cause a deficiency, and to keep it in good health – steadying heart rhythm, regulating blood pressure, and keeping bones strong. Ensuring that you have adequate levels of magnesium will also ensure you do not suffer the symptoms typical from magnesium deficiency. These can include cramps, spasms, fatigue, insomnia, irritability, rapid heartbeat, nausea and vomiting.
Magnesium has also been used to treat migraines. One German study found that the frequency of migraines reduced by over 40%, when sufferers were given a magnesium supplement. And in France, supplements are used to treat stress, fatigue, and pre-menstrual tension (PMT).
When you consider all these facts, it may well make sense to decide that magnesium supplements may well be an important addition to your daily diet.