Magnesium is a mineral abundant in the body and is naturally occurring in food, added to foods, used as a nutritional supplement, and found in some medicines like antacids. The human body has about 25 grams of it that are used in over 300 enzyme systems that regulate chemical reactions in the body.
Magnesium is responsible for protein synthesis, muscle and nerve function, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation. Furthermore, it’s required for energy production. Many bodybuilders use it as a supplemental aid to build muscle mass. It also can help you poop. More about that in the next paragraphs.
60% of your body’s magnesium is found in your bones.
What are the benefits of magnesium?
Magnesium Helps fight Type 2 Diabetes
Studies suggest that about 48% of people with type 2 diabetes have low levels of magnesium in their blood. Consequently, low levels can impair insulin’s ability to keep blood sugar levels under control. Magnesium oxide and magnesium chloride were both studied and showed improvements in fasting glucose and glycemic control in patients with type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. If you suffer from IR or type 2 diabetes these are the recommended types to consume.
Reduces Insulin Resistance
Insulin Resistance is the impaired ability of muscle and liver cells to properly absorb sugar from your bloodstream. It is also one of the leading causes of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. This mineral plays an important role in the absorption of glycogen (sugar) in the body. Consequently, when you have high levels of insulin in your system, you lose magnesium in your urine. So supplementation is often helpful either with food or a dietary supplement.
Lowers Systemic Inflammation
Magnesium has been proven to lower systemic inflammation. Next, it can reduce Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRP) and other markers of inflammation in older adults, overweight people, and those with prediabetes. If you experience chronic pain or arthritis, you might want to find a quality supplement to add to your diet. Magnesium glycinate is the recommended type to consume. Glycine is a well-known calming amino acid. This combination has good bioavailability and does not have a laxative effect since glycine is actively transported through the intestinal wall. Due to the calming and relaxing effect of both glycine and magnesium this combination has been used successfully for chronic pain and muscle hypertonicity. Furthermore, you may also see benefits in the bathroom with softer stools.
Lowers Blood Pressure
Studies have shown that in patients with high blood pressure, magnesium can reduce hypertension. However, it has no effect on patients with low blood pressure. In one study, patients who consumed 450 mg of magnesium per day experienced a significant decrease in systolic and diastolic blood pressure. Hypertension is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
These painful headaches cause sensitivity to light, sound and can cause nausea. Many migraine sufferers seek relief on a monthly basis. Low levels of magnesium may contribute to migraines, and some studies have found that supplementation can even reduce migraine frequency. In one study, supplementing with 1 gram provided relief from an acute migraine attack more quickly and effectively than a common medication.
Magnesium helps your body to function better
Aids in 300 biochemical reactions in the body including
- Energy creation: Helps convert food into energy.
- Protein formation: Helps create new proteins from amino acids.
- Muscle movements: This is part of the contraction and relaxation of muscles.
- Nervous system regulation: Helps regulate neurotransmitters, which send messages throughout your brain and nervous system.
What foods have magnesium?
This mineral is found in many foods you are already consuming. If you are currently eating a healthy, balanced diet, you may be getting enough magnesium. There are trace amounts of magnesium in the following foods.
- Wheat bran
- Spinach, cooked
- Swiss chard, cooked
- Dark chocolate
- Sunflower seeds, dried
- Almonds/almond butter
- Pumpkin seeds, dried
- Buckwheat groats/kasha
- Black bean
- Figs, dried
- Yogurt or kefir
- Mung beans
Risks associate with magnesium supplementation
You can have too much magnesium in your body. That is called Hypermagnesemia. It is rare because the kidneys work to get rid of excess magnesium. Overdose with resultant hypermagnesemia is most often seen in patients with poor kidney function after they take medications containing magnesium, such as laxatives or antacids. If you suffer from any of the conditions above, you may need to consult your Functional Doctor about supplementation.
Understanding the benefits of nutritional supplementation is just the beginning. It is important that you continue your research and consult a doctor before you add vitamins or minerals in dietary supplement form. Increasing your whole food diet and adding variety is always the safest and easiest place to start when adding to your current nutritional needs.
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