Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for the body needed for great health and adequate function of the body. Aside the fact that is the fourth mineral in abundance in the body, it turns out that there are over 3,750 magnesium-binding sites on human protein in the body.
Specifically, this nutrient is vital for optimal function of more than 300 enzymes. It takes vital part in our biochemical process, which is important for adequate metabolic function. It involves the following processes:
- Regulation of blood sugar and insulin sensitivity
- Relaxation of blood vessels
- Muscle and nerve function
- Proper formation of bones and teeth
- Creation of ATP (adenosine triphospate)
Lack of Magnesium Can Cause Severe Health Issues
Lack of this mineral can cause deterioration of cellular metabolic function, thereby leading to severe health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, sudden cardiac death, migraine headaches, fibromyalgia, anxiety, depression, and above all death from all causes.
Magnesium takes a key role in the process of body detoxification, including synthesis of glutathione. This mineral is needed for optimization of mitochondria, which is of great essence for cancer prevention.
Signs, Symptoms and Risk Factors of Magnesium Shortage
The intake of heavily processed foods is the capital reason for lack of magnesium as magnesium resides in chlorophyll molecule.
This mineral can be depleted from stress, lack of sleep, alcohol consumption, and from the use of prescription drugs like antibiotics, fluoride, and statins. All these factors significantly affect the deficiency of magnesium, and because of that it is not a surprising fact that 50 to 80% of Americans experience magnesium shortage.
Early symptoms of magnesium shortage incorporate the occurrence of headaches, migraines, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, muscle spasms, and fatigue. On the other hand, chronic magnesium deficiency can cause coronary spasms, abnormal heart rhythms, numbness, tingling, seizures and personality changes.
Why magnesium is important for the mitochondrial health?
First of all, you need to know that mitochondria are organelles found in the cells. Our organs need energy so that they can function accordingly. This energy is called ATP and commonly is produced in the mitochondria.
Newly performed studies concluded that mitochondrial dysfunction is the root cause of many health issues. Therefore, it is of vital importance for the mitochondria to obtain the needed nutrients so that our body is prevented from the occurrence of any disease, and as well as for good exercise performance.
According to Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D, who is a mitochondrial researcher states that magnesium is vital for mitochondrial health as the oxidative capacity depends on the ability of mitochondria to produce energy in the cells.
So, how much magnesium the body needs?
The daily intake of magnesium used to be 500 mg, exclusively coming from the daily diet. In the past the food was grown in nutrient-dense soil, which is not the case nowadays, and because of that the daily intake of magnesium coming from the daily diet is around 150-300 mg.
The recommended daily intake is in the range of 310-420mg of magnesium. However, this range very much depends on the age and sex. According to some researchers, the best intake of magnesium would be 600-900mg a day in order to obtain optimal health.
Dr. Carolyn Dean suggests starting taking 200 mg of magnesium citrate a day and gradually increasing the dose till you have loose stools.
You can also use supplements to satisfy the magnesium levels in the body. We recommend the use of magnesium threonate as it is the best alternative due to the fact that effectively penetrates cell membranes, including the mitochondria and blood-brain barrier.
Foods High in Magnesium
For optimal magnesium levels within the body and managing to maintain healthy levels, you need to add dark-green leafy vegetables into your daily diet. For maximum benefits, you can start juicing.
Here below are the vegetables including rich content of magnesium:
- Brussels Sprouts
- Beet Greens
- Bok Choy
- Collard Greens
- Romaine Lettuce
- Swiss Chard
- Turnip Greens
There are also other foods with solid content of magnesium, like the following ones:
- Fruits and berries
- Fatty fish
- Herbs and spices such as fennel, cumin, parsley, mustard seeds
- Raw cacao nibs and/or unsweetened cocoa powder
- Seeds and nuts
Use of Supplements and Interaction of Nutrients
Supplements can substitute the use of some of the foods abundant in magnesium, however you need to know that nutrients interact and influence each other. Therefore, ensure a balance between magnesium, vitamin K2, vitamin D, and calcium.
All nutrients work in synergy, and if there is an imbalance among them, it can lead to other health concerns like an elevated risk of heart attacks, stroke, and vitamin D toxicity.
The ratio between magnesium and calcium should be 1:1. Note that calcium is most commonly found in consumed foods, which is not the case with magnesium, and because of that the need for supplemental magnesium should be 2 times higher than calcium.
According to Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue for every 1,000 IU’s of vitamin D you take, you will need 100 micrograms (mcg) of K2.
When vitamin D is concerned, it is advised to test your vitamin D level twice a year so that you can determine your personal dosage.