What does Magnesium do for me? Why is it so important?
Magnesium is an essential nutrient for all living things. Along with calcium and phosphorus, magnesium is considered to be a major element in human nutrition. It influences numerous bodily processes, including digestion, energy production, muscle function, bone formation, creation of new cells, activation of B vitamins, relaxation of muscles, as well as assisting in the functions of the heart, adrenals, kidneys, brain and nervous system. It even helps to regulate body temperature. Lack of sufficient available magnesium in the body can interfere with any or all of these processes.
Magnesium is very vital to the body function. According to: The World's Healthiest Foods.
"Magnesium is used in the physical structure of the bones. Magnesium must be present to assimilate calcium into the bone structure. It is also very important for your nerves; magnesium regulates heart function and muscle tone. If you are deficient in magnesium, you may notice an impact on your heart in the form of heart palpitations and in the muscle in the form of muscle spasms, twitches and cramps. Magnesium is also a critical cofactor in around 300 enzyme reactions in the body; without magnesium these enzymes will just not work."
Having a magnesium deficiency may contribute to any of the symptoms listed above because of the way that it regulates muscle and nervous function. A muscle twitch here and there is not a big deal; but, over time, if there continues to be a deficit in magnesium, these muscle twitches may develop into muscle cramps and muscle pain. People with Fibromyalgia (a condition that involves a lot of muscle pain) are almost always deficient in magnesium.
What is a healthy magnesium level?
A significant percentage of the population have below healthy magnesium levels, including many who already use magnesium. Why? First, the amount of magnesium required by the body is greater than people think. Second, most magnesium capsules and tablets are not completely absorbed by the body. Third, people over-supplement with calcium. Calcium requires magnesium to assimilate into the system. If you take a calcium supplement alone, it will pull magnesium out of the system to make up for the magnesium it needs for assimilation. If you find that your muscles tense or lock up when taking calcium, it is almost certainly because you need magnesium.
Magnesium depletion can be caused by such things as mental stress, caffeine, sugar, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, high perspiration, low thryroid function, diabetes, chronic pain, diuretics, and a high-carbohydrate, high sodium or high-calcium diet. If you are trying to get help from your doctor, it may be tough! Most health professionals have been taught that magnesium deficiency is rare and that most diets provide enough magnesium. HA! There were close to a MILLION searches last MONTH (June 2006) on insomnia alone. This is a common symptom of magnesium deficiency; somehow I don't think that magnesium deficiency is rare! Scientific research does not even support this widespread view of magnesium deficiency being uncommon. Our diet, with its processed foods and use of refined sugar and flour, is usually quite low in magnesium.
Over our lifetimes, the dairy industry has spent a lot of money and effort convincing us that calcium is very important for our bones. They have done an exceptional job and many, many people get their 3 dairy servings daily or take calcium supplements. And they are right, calcium is a very important mineral with which to supplement. However, we also are commonly deficient in magnesium. Currently, the recommended daily allowance for magnesium is only 350 mg of elemental magnesium per day, but there is speculation that this amount is too low. According to an article from the 1996 FDA Science Forum Abstract posted on www.mgwater.com the estimated intake of magnesium in the US is only 300 mg; so, most people are not even getting the recommended amount of magnesium. And studies show that we may really need much then the stipulated 350 mg per day. Some studies show that we may actually require up to 900 mg of elemental magnesium per day! Wow!
Another article at: www.hoptechno.com also states that most people are low in their magnesium intake in regards to the RDA recommendation. According to this report, women from 19-50 years of age only get about 74% of the RDA, men get about 94%. However, if the RDA is low, then we should really measure against the actual amount of magnesium needed in a day. If you measure against 900 mg per day of magnesium, then women are only getting about 35% of their requirements and men are receiving about 44%. That is a significant deficit in magnesium right there.
How does Magnesium impact different conditions?
Calcium, Magnesium and Stress: Calcium and Magnesium are two different sides of a coin. Calcium excites nerves while magnesium calms them down. Calcium makes muscles contract. Magnesium is necessary for muscles to relax. Calcium is needed for blood clotting but magnesium keeps the blood flowing freely. It is easy to see that it is vital to keep these minerals in balance and that too little magnesium to balance calcium could be both uncomfortable and unhealthy. To ward off the negative effects of a prolonged stressful period, a person needs to balance calcium with adequate amounts of magnesium.
Energy and Fatigue: Magnesium is essential for the maintenance of adequate energy reserves. When insufficient magnesium is available, cellular energy production is inhibited, and the eventual outcome is fatigue and weakness. Magnesium also helps regulate potassium levels and the functioning of the adrenal glands - both of these are important for maintaining high energy levels.
Sleep and Muscle Disorders: Inability to sleep and feeling uncomfortable upon rising are caused by a lack of minerals - particularly magnesium. Muscle soreness, tension, spasms, and cramps are likewise caused by a lack of magnesium. Take sufficient magnesium and they will disappear.
PMS and Weakening Bones: PMS and hormonal imbalances are greatly exaggerated and worsened by a low magnesium level. Too much calcium will worsen PMS considerably because it throws off the mineral balance. Women taking calcium supplements to ward off osteoporosis - without adequate magnesium - can actually lower the bone mineralization process. Magnesium is crucial to increasing bone mass.
Kids and Magnesium: Kids need magnesium, too! If your child is having trouble sleeping or struggling with muscle cramps or constipation Natural Calm Magnesium may make a tremendous difference for them!