When it comes to health benefits, some minerals get more attention than the others. Calcium and iron both get a great deal of focus in the health media; calcium is well-known for its role in health bones and iron for preventing low iron levels and anemia. But what about magnesium? Is magnesium also a critical mineral for maintaining good human health?
Typically, magnesium doesn’t get the attention that it deserves. Magnesium is involved in over 300 different biochemical processes in the body, including those involved in muscle, nerve, cardiovascular and bone health. It is also important to maintaining proper blood pressure and sugar levels and a healthy heartbeat.
Unfortunately, magnesium is very commonly deficient in North Americans. Between 70- 80% of Americans were shown to be deficient in recent surveys. Only 10% of Americans are actually supplementing with magnesium at this time. Word is getting out however; sales of magnesium supplements are growing at an average rate of 20% annually due to increasing awareness of this deficiency and its implications.1
Magnesium does get a lot of attention when it is deficient. A magnesium deficiency in humans can cause such symptoms as confusion, insomnia, accelerated heartbeat, seizures, muscle weakness and twitching, chronic pain and fatigue, and a host of cardiovascular issues.
Magnesium is naturally found in our diets in meats, dairy, fish, fruits and sea food. If one is still not getting sufficient magnesium, there are magnesium supplements of magnesium citrate or glycinate that can help to prevent a deficiency. Potencies typically range between 100 -250 mg per dose for a daily maximum of 500 mg. It is best to start with a small dose (between 100 mg to 150 mg per dose and under 350 mg per day) to avoid diarrhea.
There are blood and cellular tests available that can determine your magnesium status, so that you can learn if you need to supplement your diet. If you think you might be deficient in magnesium levels, don’t ignore it – talk to your health care practitioner.
1. Daniells, Stephen. Magnesium and bone health: Science and economics stack up for this red hot mineral. www.nutraingredients.com 19-Jun-2014