Magnesium; Are We Consuming Enough?
There is widespread magnesium deficiency, and given the importance of magnesium in the body, it is but essential to replete the sources of magnesium to treat various medical conditions. Magnesium deficiency might impair biochemical processes that are dependent on this essential mineral. Research finds that proper magnesium levels are required to prevent and treat multiple conditions, from headache to asthma, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, preeclampsia, and premenstrual syndrome.
Anxiety and similar conditions are some of the most common disorders of magnesium deficiency. Magnesium helps with the functioning of 600 enzyme systems in the body and is required for fundamental processes.
- This includes protein synthesis, blood glucose control, energy production, and muscle and nerve function, and blood pressure regulation.
- It is required by the body for the structural development of bones and cellular repair.
- Not only this, magnesium helps with DNA, RNA synthesis and vitamin D activation.
- It also helps synthesize the antioxidant glutathione.
- Magnesium helps transport calcium and potassium ions across different cell membranes. This is essential for muscle contraction and heart rhythm.
Magnesium Glycinate is available as an oral magnesium supplement.
Causes of Magnesium Deficiency
Some medications are also responsible for the depletion of magnesium levels in the body. This includes antibiotics, antacids, and hypertensive drugs.
The increased consumption of processed foods and nonorganic foods is also responsible for magnesium deficiency in many people. The reason is that highly processed foods are depleted of magnesium and thus dependence on such foods can make you deficient in magnesium.
Cooking and boiling may also contribute to a significant reduction in magnesium content of a food. A person with vitamin D deficiency may also experience reduced gastrointestinal absorption of magnesium.
Alternatively, smoking and alcohol consumption are also to be blamed for magnesium deficiency in some individuals.
Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms
As you age, the body’s potential to absorb magnesium is weakened.
Some common signs of magnesium deficiency include
- Loss of appetite
- Muscular pain, spasms, and contractions
- Numbness and tingling
- Abnormal heart rhythms
- Personality changes
- Arrhythmias and ECG changes
- Seizures, depression, and psychosis
Magnesium inadequacy might result from a drop in the intake of this essential mineral below the recommended daily allowance. Specific groups are at a high risk of magnesium inadequacy due to low consumption of insufficient amounts. It may be due to certain medical conditions that affect magnesium absorption in the gut while increasing the rate of magnesium elimination from the body.
Magnesium depletion may be blamed on fat malabsorption and chronic diarrhea, which are symptoms of Crohn’s disease. People with celiac disease may also experience magnesium deficiency due to depletion of the mineral over time. In some cases, where small intestine has undergone a bypass surgery or resection, the patient might suffer from magnesium malabsorption and loss.
Type 2 Diabetes
Urinary magnesium excretion may be higher in those with type 2 diabetes than normal individuals, resulting in a magnesium deficit. Many with type 1 diabetes may develop insulin resistance, increasing the risk of a magnesium deficiency.
Low dietary intake of magnesium may be associated with metabolic syndrome and type 2. There is a constant reduction in intracellular free magnesium levels subjects with diabetes mellitus, compared with nondiabetic patients. There is renal calcium and magnesium loss in diabetics, though the reason is still under study. 
A study found a significant reduction in total cholesterol and bad cholesterol and an increase in good cholesterol in diabetic patients who were give magnesium supplementation for 12 weeks.
People with alcohol dependence
Alcohol addicts are more likely to suffer from magnesium deficiency. Such individuals also experience poor food habits, gastrointestinal problems, vitamin D deficiency, and renal dysfunction with excess excretion of magnesium.
With age, the consumption and absorption of magnesium reduces. On the other hand, there is an increase in renal magnesium excretion. Since most aged adults suffer from chronic diseases or are on specific medications that alter magnesium status, they are prone to magnesium depletion.
Research finds that higher serum levels of magnesium reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. Higher dietary magnesium intake was positively associated with a reduced risk of ischemic heart disease.
It is also seen that higher magnesium consumption could help reduce the risk of stroke. Research claims that the consumption of 100 mg/day of magnesium in the diet was linked with an 8% reduced risk of stroke.
Vitamin D absorption
Since the body needs magnesium for the conversion of vitamin D into its active form, it helps with calcium absorption and metabolism. Magnesium also supports the parathyroid hormone function.
Research suggests that patients with rickets show low serum Mg levels and supplementation can help.
Magnesium is believed to help with muscle contraction and play a role in reducing the frequency of migraine. According to one study, magnesium supplementation was found to be effective in preventing menstrual-related migraines.
Clinical symptoms of hypomagnesemia or magnesium deficiency include premenstrual syndrome, depression, anxiety, hallucinations, weakness, lethargy, seizures, and tremors.
Oral magnesium supplements may also be used to treat acute migraine.
Sources of Magnesium
Magnesium is present in many plant foods. Some of the good sources of magnesium are green leafy vegetables. This includes spinach, whole grains, nuts, and seeds. Foods rich in dietary fiber are excellent sources of magnesium. Besides, some breakfast cereals are fortified with magnesium.
Oral magnesium supplementation is believed to suppress bone turnover in women of postmenopausal age. A study found that those on Mg supplementation reported less fractures and improvement in bone density. However, too much of magnesium and deficiency are detrimental to bone health.
The most easily absorbed form of magnesium is magnesium glycinate. One gram of magnesium glycinate has about 100 mg of elemental magnesium. It is even suitable for those with digestion issues or problems with bowel movement. However, magnesium glycinate requires certain minerals and vitamins for better absorption, including B vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, sodium, potassium, and calcium.
It is advisable to take the magnesium supplement with food to ensure its proper bioavailability in the body for those fighting magnesium deficiency.
All in all, magnesium and health are correlated. The right dosage of magnesium can help improve health. Magnesium deficiency alters biochemical pathway, which could pose a risk of illness over time. Repletion and maintenance of Mg levels in the body can help fight several clinical conditions.
 National Center for Biotechnology Information. PubChem Database. Magnesium glycinate, CID=84645, https://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/compound/Magnesium-glycinate (accessed on May 5, 2020)
 Barbagallo, M., & Dominguez, L. J. (2015). Magnesium and type 2 diabetes. World journal of diabetes, 6(10), 1152–1157. https://doi.org/10.4239/wjd.v6.i10.1152
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