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Magnesium: Top 10 science-based health benefits

by | Feb 12, 2021 | Nutrition

The human body uses magnesium as the fourth most common mineral for homeostasis. It has different roles in different tissues. However, the western diet and certain foods do not contain enough magnesium.

Do you want to know why magnesium is essential in your diet? Here’s a list of 10 benefits of magnesium in the human body, backed up by science.

1. The body uses magnesium in countless chemical reactions

More than half of magnesium in the body is located in bone tissue. But the remaining 40% is dispersed throughout the body, including your body fluids, the blood, and the muscle tissue.

Why is magnesium everywhere? Because every cell in your body needs magnesium. This mineral is a cofactor to speed up chemical reactions in your body. According to science, the body uses magnesium in more than 600 reactions, including (1):

  • Converting food into a manageable type of chemical energy
  • Creating new proteins by using amino acids
  • Repairing your DNA and making new copies
  • Regulating the relaxation and contraction of muscles
  • Stabilizing your brain neurotransmitters and contributing to impulse transmission

2. Magnesium contributes to fitness goals and athletic performance

Your muscles need magnesium during exercise to maximize your performance. Sugar is fundamental as a source of energy, and magnesium helps these molecules inside the cell. This mineral also contributes to lactate clearance after you’re done working out.

That’s how magnesium improves exercise and speeds up exercise recovery. Even athletes can benefit greatly from magnesium, and it is also appropriate for older adults and people with a chronic disease (2,3).

3. Magnesium contributes to keeping your spirits up

This mineral has a fundamental role in brain function. It is still a challenge to figure out exactly how the brain works, but we do know something: magnesium can reduce the risk of depression.

Low magnesium intake is associated with a 22% higher risk of depressive symptoms. In some cases, regulating their levels can be what they need to recover. In these particular cases, recovering your blood magnesium levels can be as effective as taking an antidepressant drug (4,5).

4. Magnesium contributes to treating type 2 diabetes

Similar to depressed patients, type 2 diabetes patients are usually low in magnesium levels. This can further aggravate their condition because this mineral is essential for blood sugar regulation.

A constant daily dose of magnesium can improve diabetes control as measured by glycosylated hemoglobin levels. This mineral is also useful to prevent diabetes, as shown in a study with over 4,000 individuals who were followed-up for 20 years. After that time, those who consumed the highest magnesium intake had a 47% lower risk of type 2 diabetes (6,7).

5. Magnesium has a positive effect on your blood pressure levels

When administered in a patient with high blood pressure, magnesium can reduce both systolic and diastolic readings. This reduction is moderate but very significant.

But unlike regular blood pressure drugs, this mineral won’t cause hypotension in healthy patients. If you have a normal blood pressure level, it won’t change your reading.

Thus, we can say that magnesium contributes to normal blood pressure levels without risk (8).

6. Magnesium is a potent anti-inflammatory

Through many chemical pathways, magnesium has potent anti-inflammatory activity in the body. It lowers an inflammatory marker in the body known as C-reactive protein. This substance increases in acute and chronic inflammation. Thus, having an appropriate magnesium level plays a pivotal role in countering inflammation and its side effects.

Increasing magnesium intake can help overweight individuals, older adults, patients with metabolic syndrome (prediabetes), and other inflammatory diseases. By lowering inflammation, they contribute to the treatment of their underlying conditions (9,10).

7. Magnesium can prevent and treat migraine

Migraine can be debilitating and very difficult to treat. Migraine therapy is based on what works best for patients, but the condition is not entirely understood. Magnesium deficiency likely plays a role because these patients frequently have low levels of this mineral in the blood (11).

Moreover, magnesium supplements and magnesium-rich foods can prevent and treat migraines. In cases of deficiency, it can be even more effective than over-the-counter drugs (12).

8. Magnesium improves insulin function in the body

Prediabetes is also known as metabolic syndrome, and one of the most critical features is insulin resistance. The body does not respond appropriately to insulin, and more hormone is required to perform the same function. These patients may also eliminate more magnesium than normal in the urine (13).

To break the vicious cycle, we can increase our levels of magnesium using foods and supplements. According to studies, achieving normal levels makes your body more sensitive to insulin. The hormone works as it should, and your sugar levels are more easily controlled (14).

9. Magnesium can be useful through menopause

Many women suffer numerous issues through menopause. This can includes hot flushes, abdominal cramps, irritability, water retention, tiredness, and other bothersome problems. In these cases, magnesium can be helpful to prevent specific symptoms, especially mood issues and water retention (15,16).

10. Magnesium travels along with healthy nutrients in many fresh foods

When you take magnesium-rich foods, they are likely filled with many other nutrients and phytonutrients. Health authorities recommend a daily dose of around 400 and 420 mg per day for males. Females are fine with 310 to 320 mg a day (17).

You can find an excellent magnesium source in foods such as spinach, quinoa, black beans, cashews, mackerel, salmon, avocado, and almonds. Additionally, you can take supplements to ensure that you are getting the right levels of this critical mineral.

Fitat60.com have done the research for you

With the benefits listed above, you would naturally want to keep your magnesium at optimal levels. But magnesium absorption is not always the best, especially as we age or if we suffer from inflammatory bowel disease.  The simple way to boost magnesium absorption and make better use of your supplements is to increase your fibre intake. The team at Fit at 60 have done the research and hard work for you combining our award-winning Pure Acacia Fibre with all-natural Marine Magnesium.

PLEASE NOTE: Magnesium supplements should not be taken if you are suffering any kind of kidney disease.  As always and as with all of our products and programs, please talk to a healthcare professional before starting ANY diet or fitness regime or making significant change to your health routine. 

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