Magnesium

Magnesium plays an important role in at least 300 fundamental enzymatic reactions and for that reason is of vital importance in our health.

Magnesium is required for

Magnesium helps with formation of bone and teeth and assists the absorption of calcium and potassium. Where calcium stimulates the muscles, magnesium is used to relax the muscles. It is further needed for cellular metabolism and the production of energy through its help with enzyme activity It is used for muscle tone of the heart and assists in controlling blood pressure. Together with vitamin B 12, it may prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones. It helps prevent depression, dizziness, muscle twitching, and pre-menstrual syndrome. It can help prevent the calcification of soft tissue and may help prevent cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and certain forms of cancer, and it may reduce cholesterol levels. Magnesium assists the parathyroid gland to process vitamin D, and a shortage here can cause absorption problems with calcium.

Deficiency of magnesium

A severe deficiency caused by mal-absorption, chronic alcoholism, renal dysfunction, or the use of certain medications can cause neuromuscular manifestations, and personality changes can occur. Many cardiovascular problems are indicated with magnesium in short supply and rapid heartbeats as well as fatigue, irritability, and seizure can occur. Insomnia, poor memory, painful periods, depression, hypertension and confusion may also indicative of magnesium in short supply. It is used for the management of premature labor, and for the prophylaxis and treatment of seizures in toxemia of pregnancy. A deficiency may also be a contributing factor to incontinence in older people and bedwetting in children.

Dosage

The dosage underneath is the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA), but be aware that this dosage is the minimum that you require per day, to ward off serious deficiency of this particular nutrient. In the therapeutic use of this nutrient, the dosage is usually increased considerably, but the toxicity level must be kept in mind.

  • Males 19-30 years 400 mg per day Males >30 years 420 mg Females 19-30 years 310 mg Females >30 years 320 mg.

In supplementation it is normally taken in dosages of 750 - 1,000 mg per day.

Toxicity and symptoms of high intake

If you have kidney or heart problems first check with your medical practitioner before taking a magnesium supplement as an over supply can in severe cases lead to coma and death.

Best used with

It is best taken with calcium, iron, B group vitamins as well as vitamin E.

When more magnesium may be required It has been found that people under stress have low magnesium levels, indicating that magnesium may be beneficial to those under stress.

Enemy of magnesium

Consumption of alcohol, diuretics, high levels of zinc and vitamin D may increase your magnesium requirement. This will also apply if you are taking diuretics (water pills), have diarrhea or perspiring heavily as well as taking large amounts of vitamin C.

Other interesting points

Magnesium is being investigated for the treatment of migraine headaches.

Food sources

Magnesium is fo und in dairy products, fish, meat and seafood, as well as in legumes, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, whole grain cereals, nuts, dark green vegetables, and cocoa, while hard water and mineral water may also supply it in fair quantities


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