The Ultimate Guide to Magnesium Supplements: Importance, Food Sources, and Supplements

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Discover the Importance of Magnesium Supplements: The Complete Guide

Welcome to the Guide for Magnesium Supplements, where you’ll discover the importance of magnesium as a nutrient, how to obtain it from food, and which supplements to take.

Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a crucial role in more than 600 bodily processes, including the regulation of muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure, as well as the production of protein, bone, and DNA [1].

The name “magnesium” originates from Magnesia, a district in Thessaly (Greece) where the mineral was first discovered.

While magnesium can be found in many food sources such as green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds, magnesium deficiency is still common, with most people in modern societies at risk [2,3]. This is due to low levels of magnesium in the soil, increased consumption of processed foods, and the use of certain medications.

Magnesium (Mg, atomic number-12) is an element on the periodic table and the lightest structural metal. It is used in construction, medicine, and is also an essential element of all cellular life. Magnesium is vital to all living cells, as the Mg2+ ion is involved in DNA, RNA, and ATP production [4].

The adult body contains approximately 25 grams of magnesium, with 50% to 60% of it located in bones and most of the remainder in soft tissues. Less than 1% of total magnesium is in blood serum, and these levels are tightly controlled [5].

Magnesium and Calcium: The Key Players in Bone Health and Formation

In the body, magnesium and calcium have an interesting relationship. Magnesium acts as an antagonist to calcium, with a role in regulating muscle contractions. It serves as a natural calcium blocker, helping muscles to relax, including the heart [7].

Additionally, magnesium aids in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes. This process is essential for nerve impulses, muscle contraction, and maintaining a normal heart rhythm [5].

Magnesium is also necessary for bone health, as it’s needed for bone formation and regulating the movement of calcium in and out of cells.MAGNESIUM - Supplements Guide

Testing Magnesium Levels

Testing magnesium levels can be challenging because most of the magnesium is inside cells or in the bones. Therefore, evaluating magnesium status may require both laboratory tests and clinical evaluation [5].

Several factors can deplete magnesium levels in the body, including exercise (sweating), caffeine and alcohol intake, smoking, excessive soft drink consumption, certain prescription medications, blood sugar imbalances, high sugar diets, and daily stress.

The Recommended Daily Amount of Magnesium

The recommended daily amount of magnesium varies depending on age and gender. The RDA (Recommended Dietary Allowances) for magnesium is 310-420 mg for adults.

Magnesium is found in high amounts in dark green leafy vegetables like spinach and kale, seeds and nuts (especially almonds), spices, and legumes, as it’s part of chlorophyll, the green pigment in plants.

Magnesium Depletion: Common Causes

Depletion of magnesium can occur due to stress, irregular eating habits, excessive sugar intake, overtraining, and certain medications like acid blockers used for reflux, which can reduce magnesium absorption in the body.

Magnesium Bioavailability: Understanding the Differences Between Citrate, Oxide, and Bisglycinate

When choosing a magnesium supplement, it’s crucial to consider the type of molecule it’s attached to, as it affects the amount of magnesium we absorb and any potential side effects.

Magnesium Citrate is a well-absorbed form that delivers a high amount of magnesium and is an excellent choice for overall magnesium supplementation. Mag oxide has lower levels of bioavailability and may cause a laxative effect[6].

Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) can be absorbed through the skin and added to a bath for relaxation.

Magnesium Bisglycinate is a good option as glycine, the smallest amino acid, helps magnesium absorb quickly through the small intestine. Glycine also offers extra benefits to support the nervous system. Magnesium Bisglycinate is one of the gentlest supplements on the stomach and may not cause as many side effects such as an upset stomach or loose stools.

Conclusion

In conclusion, magnesium is a crucial mineral that plays a role in many bodily functions. Deficiency of magnesium can lead to various health problems, such as tiredness, weakness, muscle cramps, abnormal heart rhythms, increased irritability of the nervous system, migraines, insulin resistance, and more.

To improve magnesium deficiency quickly, you can take supplements and do baths with Epsom salts or magnesium salts. In the long run, it’s better to balance your diet and consume excellent food sources of magnesium, including leafy green vegetables, soybeans, nuts, fruits, and eggs.

I hope this information has been useful to you. If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments below or send us an email.

References 

  1. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-Consumer/

  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6316205/

  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5786912/

  4. https://www.britannica.com/science/magnesium

  5. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Magnesium-HealthProfessional/#h6

  6. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8878010

  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22051430

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