Magnified Magnesium Facts:
• It is the 8th most common element in the crust of Earth.
• It is the 4th most abundant mineral in the body and plays an important physiological role in many of the body’s functions.
• It is required for more than 300 bio-reactions in the body.
• About 99% of magnesium in the body is located in bones, muscles and non-muscular soft tissue cells.
• Only 1% of magnesium resides in the blood, due to which it is difficult to measure magnesium levels in the body accurately.
• The magnesium content of bone decreases with age and magnesium stored is also not completely bioavailable during magnesium deficiency.
• Recommend dietary allowance for magnesium as per Indian Council of Medical Research is 310 for women’s and 340 for men.
Magnesium the Silent Doer
The facts mentioned earlier about magnesium are enough to prove the significance of this most abundant mineral in our body. Overall magnesium plays a crucial role in our good health and performs a wide range of different body functions such as:
• Activating muscles and nerves, and supporting brain and nerve actions. It also plays an important role in muscle action of the heart, skeletal muscle, smooth and striated muscle.
• Helps in absorption of calcium process in the body.
• Creates energy in the body by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Magnesium is the molecule, (power cell) on which the body depends on to perform nearly all of its bodily functions.
• Helps digesting proteins, carbohydrates, and fats.
• Serves as a building block of RNA and DNA synthesis.
• Play a vital role in wound healing, growth, immune system functions, temperature regulations, etc.
In simpler words we can also say that magnesium helps to keep blood pressure normal, bones stronger, and heart rhythm steady. Magnesium salts dissolve easily in water and is readily available for living organisms on earth. Most of the magnesium we receive from the same living organisms for our normal body functions.
But, today the quality of diet is very different from those of our ancestors. Earlier magnesium was abundant and readily available in the form of nuts, seeds, grains, and vegetables, and did not need to be stored internally by the body. Due to which, when depletion of magnesium takes place through the lesser intake of recommended amounts naturally, it affects many vital body function.
Nowadays, even the sources of magnesium in the earth are also depleting due to pollution, exploitation of natural sources, excessive fertilizer usage, grain refining process, poor water quality, etc. This results in lower magnesium levels in food, which ultimately leads to a deficiency of this important mineral in the body. In addition, sugar and alcohol consumption is higher nowadays, and both sugar and alcohol increase magnesium excretion through the urine.
However, consumption of a well balanced designed meals and through supplementation, can help us to maintain required levels of this mineral in the body. But before considering for supplementation, please consult your doctor. Anytime, if you’re taking any of the minerals like calcium, vitamin D3, or vitamin K2, you need to take all the others into consideration as well, as these nutrients work synergistically with one another. We will talk more about the same in our upcoming article.
Signs of Magnesium Deficiency
Habitually low intakes or excessive losses of magnesium due to certain health conditions, chronic alcoholism, and/or the use of certain medications can lead to magnesium deficiency.
Unfortunately, there’s no easily available commercial lab test that will give a truly accurate reading of the magnesium status in body tissues. As only 1% of magnesium in the body is distributed in the blood, making a simple sample of magnesium from a serum magnesium blood test is highly inaccurate. However, you can look for the following signs and symptoms of magnesium deficiency:
• Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, anxiety, depression, headache, Irritableness, fear, restlessness, insomnia, poor attention, confusion, nausea, fatigue, and weakness.
• An ongoing magnesium deficiency can lead to more serious symptoms, including numbness and tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, twitches, tightness in chest and intestinal complaint.
• Severe magnesium deficiency can result in hypocalcemia or hypokalemia (low serum calcium or potassium levels, respectively) because mineral homeostasis is disrupted.
In the case of observing any of the signs and symptom mentioned above, it is recommended that you should visit your doctor for consultation.