Your Food and You: Magnesium

Magnesium is a mineral that is fairly abundant in the body. It is stored in bones, muscles, cells, and the fluid that surrounds the cells. This important mineral has many roles in the body including:

  • Reducing occurrence of kidney stones
  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Bone production
  • Reduce muscle cramping
  • Increasing insulin sensitivity
  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Nervous system
  • Energy production and fat utilization
  • Muscle health and development
  • Aids in immune health
  • Increasing cardiac output, preventing cardiac arrhythmias
  • Reducing stress hormones
  • May help to reduce plaque reduction on artery walls

According to Health Canada, 34% of Canadians do not get enough of this vital mineral. In addition, the magnesium in the body can be depleted by stress, exercise, and alcohol. These factors make it difficult to get sufficient amounts of this mineral.

 

Not getting enough?

Clinical deficiency is rare and often only seen when a person has difficulties with absorption in the intestine, long-term use of diuretic medication, excessive vomiting, kidney disease, chronic alcohol abuse, hyperparathyroidism, or liver cirrhosis. Magnesium deficiency can lead to low levels of calcium and potassium in the blood, as well as changes in digestive, nervous, muscular, heat and circulatory systems. Deficiency also affects red blood cell formation.

Symptoms of deficiency include:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Poor appetite
  • Impaired speech
  • Anemia
  • Irregular heart rhythms and tremors
  • Failure to thrive in infants

 

Who should consider a supplement?

Supplementation is generally considered safe for the general population, as long as the dose is below 350mg. People who may want to consider a supplement are those who exercise, or those who have large amounts of stress. If you have congestive heart failure, are on diuretics, or have diabetes, talk to your doctor or pharmacist to see if supplementation is safe.

To learn more about how much you magnesium you need and how to get it through diet, check out our Fact Sheet!

Download our full-size PDF version here.

September 3, 2015
Revive Wellness