Magnesium is a key mineral in human metabolism, and found in small to medium amounts in many of the World’s Healthiest Foods. Vegetables (especially green leafy ones), nuts and seeds, and legumes are your best WHFoods sources for magnesium. We like to think of magnesium as the best supporting actor of the mineral kingdom. About 50 to 60% of a person’s magnesium is stored in the bone, and as such, it plays a key role in bone metabolism. Researchers have found that even a mild ongoing magnesium deficiency can lead to a significant amount of bone loss.
Part of the way that this occurs is that when magnesium intake goes too low, levels of parathyroid hormone go down. This leads to a reduced absorption of calcium in the intestines, as well as increased loss of calcium and magnesium in the urine. If your body has low or deficient levels of magnesium, you may experience one or more of the following signs and symptoms:
Unexplained weakness or fatigue Abnormal heart rhythms Muscle spasms, including restless legs syndrome Eye twitches Insomnia Coronary spasms Personality/mood changes Loss of appetite Headache Nausea Poor memory Dizziness
5 Reasons to Get More Magnesium
Regulates blood sugar Low magnesium levels are common amongst persons with type-2 diabetes. A study from the journal Diabetes Care found that magnesium supplementation helps regulate blood sugar in type-2 diabetics.
Inflammation Inflammation is at the root cause of so many health problems, such as arthritis, heart disease, and obesity. Magnesium has been shown to act as an anti-inflammatory. More than one study has shown that as magnesium levels decrease, CRP (a marker for inflammation) increases. Elevated CRP is associated with an increased risk of heart disease and other inflammation-related conditions.
May lower colon cancer risk Low magnesium levels have been linked to a higher risk of colorectal cancer, and by the same token, high levels of magnesium have been linked to a lower risk. A large-scale study from the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition of over 300,000 participants found that high magnesium intake was linked to an 11 percent decrease in colon cancer risk.
Insomnia Insomnia can result from many factors, with magnesium deficiency being at the top. Magnesium calms the nervous system, relaxes muscles, and counters stress. Replenishing magnesium can lead to a longer, uninterrupted sleep pattern.
Supports dental health Insufficient magnesium is an invitation for tooth damage. Maintaining adequate magnesium intake supports a healthy balance of calcium and phosphorous in the saliva, which in turn keeps your teeth intact.
Calms the nervous system Serotonin, the brain chemical and neurotransmitter that plays such a critical role in our mood, depends on magnesium. In fact, insufficient magnesium seems to result in a decline in serotonin levels.