What is the role of magnesium in the body? There are about 25 grams of magnesium in our body, between 50 and 60% of this amount is in the bones, and the rest is in the muscles, soft tissues and blood. Every cell in the body contains magnesium and needs it to function.
Among the processes involved in magnesium are protein synthesis, glycemic control and prevention of cardiac arrhythmias. Physical and mental health depend to a large extent on this mineral. Below we will describe in detail all the processes in which this mineral is involved:
Magnesium helps to maintain optimal blood sugar levels and has an essential role in preventing diabetes or keeping the disease under control. In fact, type 2 diabetes is associated with magnesium deficiency and the risk of developing this chronic disease is lower among those who have optimal levels of magnesium in the body. In the same way, magnesium has a major contribution to the process of converting sugar into energy, which makes it even more important in our daily lives.
Improved digestion - Magnesium acts on the muscles inside the digestive tract, so it has a direct effect on digestion. Due to its action on intestinal transit, magnesium helps to improve slow transit and fight lazy intestines.
Increased bone density - Magnesium is directly involved in bone formation and affects the activity of osteoblasts and osteoclasts (cells responsible for bone formation), while affecting the concentrations of parathyroid hormone and the active form of vitamin D, two major regulators of bone homeostasis. (bone integrity). Due to its role in the skeletal system, magnesium helps relieve the symptoms of osteoporosis. Moreover, magnesium contributes to the health of the skeletal system and through its role in the process of calcium absorption.
Improving respiratory function - Some studies show that there is a direct link between magnesium deficiency and the development of asthma or other respiratory diseases. Researchers believe that magnesium deficiency causes calcium to build up in the muscles of the airways, making it difficult to breathe.
Active transport of calcium, sodium and potassium ions in cell membranes - Through this action, magnesium fights the accumulation of calcium and potassium in the muscles, maintaining the proper functioning of the muscular system.
Combat fatigue and exhaustion - Magnesium helps maintain optimal energy levels. A study at the Center for Complementary Medicine Research in Southampton, England, showed that magnesium sulfate is useful in treating patients with chronic fatigue syndrome.
At the same time, magnesium has a significant contribution to:
- Therapy against depressive conditions;
- Increased physical endurance (due to its role at the muscular level);
- Fighting inflammation;
- Migraine prevention.
With magnesium deficiency, unpleasant sensations appear in our body. When magnesium in our body is insufficient, you can get cramps in the lower extremities, restless legs syndrome, insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure, migraines, chronic fatigue, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, facial tics, involuntary movements and eye twitching and other unpleasant symptoms.
Other symptoms of magnesium deficiency in the body are hyperactivity, back pain, difficulty swallowing, frequent headaches, palpitations, difficulty breathing, sleep problems, dizziness, poor memory, nausea, heart problems.
In case you abuse alcohol, carbonated drinks and sugary foods, you certainly need extra intake of magnesium in the body to get the right amount and feel good.
If your daily routine is associated with high levels of stress or you are in menopause, it is also important to take extra magnesium in the form of supplements.
If you drink a lot of caffeinated beverages during the day, it is also good to take magnesium. This also applies to cases where you take dietary pills or others, that contain high levels of caffeine.
Unpleasant cramps in the lower extremities can be obtained with a lack of magnesium in the body, because it is involved in muscle contractions and neuromuscular signals. When magnesium in the body is low, the muscles tighten and slow down their relaxation.
With magnesium deficiency, you may also develop restless legs syndrome, which is associated with limb discomfort and movements that interfere with even sleep.
When you suffer from magnesium deficiency in the body, anxiety and sleep problems often occur. Magnesium, generally speaking, helps us cope with stress and calms our nervous system. With a deficiency in the body we become irritable and nervous and can lead to depression and anxiety.
At low magnesium levels, calcium deficiency is common. Lack of these substances leads to high blood pressure.
Magnesium supplements can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, migraines and osteoporosis.
Magnesium deficiency affects high-stress workers, pupils, students, athletes, pregnant women, premenopausal and menopausal women and the elderly.
Most people over the age of 40 need extra magnesium in the form of supplements.
Daily intake of magnesium
The recommended daily dose of magnesium depends on age, sex and possible period of pregnancy or lactation. According to the US National Institutes of Health, the recommendations for the daily dose of magnesium are:
Babies up to 6 months - 30 mg
Babies up to 12 months - 75 mg
Children from 1 to 3 years - 80 mg
Children from 4 to 8 years - 130 mg
Children from 9 to 13 years - 240 mg
Children from 14 to 18 years - between 360 and 410 mg
Men from 19 to 30 years - 400 mg
Women from 19 to 30 years - 310 mg
Men from 31 to 50 g - 420 mg
Women from 31 to 50 g - 320 mg
Men over 51 g - 420 mg
Women over 51 years - 320 mg
Sources of Magnesium
Rich sources of magnesium are foods such as:
- nuts - almonds, peanuts, nuts, peanut butter;
- spinach dishes, broccoli;
- sesame seeds, sunflower, flaxseed;
- mushroom specialties;
- recipes with soy milk;
- wholemeal bread and flour;
- bean dishes;
- rice recipes;
- chicken breasts;