Magnesium is an essential mineral. If you want to know more about the health effects or the daily requirements of Magnesium, read this article.
As nutritional supplementation becomes more popular, it seems vitamins and minerals that you’ve never even heard of are now claiming themselves to be absolutely necessary. While a good percentage of these claims are pure marketing or speculation, Magnesium happens to be one mineral that the body simply cannot do without.
Occurring in biological systems as the nutrient Mg2+, magnesium is present in practically every cell type in every single organism. It is required for energy synthesis and the proper structuring of both RNA and DNA. In plants, Chlorophyll cannot be synthesized without its aid, nor can proper photosynthesis occur.
Magnesium Health Effects In Humans
Research has concluded that different cell types require and maintain different levels of Magnesium. The mineral seems to be very well geared towards mediating and regulating a number of biochemical reactions in humans. As such, its importance absolutely cannot be overstated.
Magnesium deficiency is a very serious condition with a number of dire consequences. It is primarily marked by reduced growth rates and muscle weakness. A shortage of Magnesium may lead to a variety of birth defects in children.
On the other hand, overexposure to Magnesium may also be toxic. In humans, this is usually only caused through kidney failure as excess Magnesium is generally otherwise excreted through urination.
Daily Requirement: How much Magnesium does my body require?
Humans require approximately 300-400 milligrams of Mg a day, depending on factors such as size, weight and gender. A suboptimal intake is associated with a range of conditions including diabetes, high blood pressure, anxiety disorders, migraines, cerebral infarction, osteoporosis, muscle spasms and cardiovascular disease.
If taking Mg as a supplement, it is believed that the maximum amount the human body can absorb is approximately 350 milligrams per day. It is best in extended release form in order to prevent diarrhea (the most likely symptom of excessive oral Magnesium intake).
In humans with properly functioning kidneys, acute Magnesium overdoses are highly unlikely as the body is very efficient at filtering it out through the urine. Magnesium supplementation is not recommended for babies or children, however, as they may not be fully equipped to process excess amounts of the mineral.
Magnesium Food Sources
As any vitamin or mineral, it is thought to be best when absorbed naturally through food. Green vegetables that have high levels of Chlorophyll (which contains high levels of the mineral) are excellent sources of Magnesium. This includes spinach, broccoli, and some types of lettuce. Other sources are: seeds, nuts (almonds and cashews), soybeans, bran, dark chocolate, and some whole grains.
Even in these foods, however, Magnesium is generally found in comparatively low levels. Adequate Magnesium intake cannot be achieved by eating any single food, but rather a variety of foods that contain the mineral. If adequate intake is not possible, then supplementation is highly recommended.
As always, before beginning any supplementation regiment, first consult with your primary care physician. Whilst Magnesium overdose is highly unlikely in healthy individuals, you may have an undiagnosed renal condition. Do not take Magnesium supplements if you are under the age of 18.
Magnesium supplements can be found in your local grocery store, drugstore, or online, and you can usually get the best deals online.