In my first college biochemistry lab, I attempted to duplicate DNA by imitating DNA replication in living organisms. Repeatedly, my instructors, the TAs, and every internet source told me: you must add magnesium. Without magnesium, the reaction would fail.
Obscure chemical reactions performed in scientific labs are not the only reactions dependent on magnesium. Every cell in the human body requires magnesium to function. In the U.S, magnesium deficiency is on the rise. Every American should consider the need for magnesium supplements.
Health Benefits and Roles of Magnesium
What exactly does magnesium do in the body?
Magnesium is involved in over 600 enzyme reactions in the body. In particular, it is crucial for energy production, neural and muscle function, blood sugar regulation, bone health, and inflammation reduction.
I repeat: every cell in your body needs magnesium.
Because every cell must produce energy, divide, and synthesize proteins for cellular functions.
Magnesium is involved in all of these processes. Without magnesium, glycolysis, oxidative phosphorylation, and DNA synthesis and transcription cannot occur. And without these processes, cells cannot live.
Since magnesium is crucial for the fundamental processes of cells, it makes sense that the major symptom of magnesium deficiency is fatigue.
Magnesium is essential for nerve communication and neuromuscular coordination. It prevents extreme nerve excitation, which can trigger nerve death. Magnesium also plays a role in healing damaged brain tissue, particularly in regenerating the peripheral nerve.
Many mental and neurological health disorders, such as migraines, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, depression, anxiety, and stroke, are linked to abnormal neural transmissions.
Studies show magnesium supplementation can provide neuronal protection and potential treatment for these disorders. In particular, magnesium therapy is beneficial for those who suffer from migraines.
Magnesium supplementation treats mental health disorders by helping the body relax. For this same reason, it supports sleep quality. One study found that adults taking a magnesium supplement fell asleep faster at night and slept better than adults not taking the supplement.
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts should watch their magnesium levels. Studies have shown magnesium increases muscle mass and power, prevents injury, and improves overall athletic performance.
Magnesium is essential for muscles to function. Calcium contracts muscles and magnesium relaxes the contraction. Performance requires both muscle contraction and relaxation.
When magnesium levels are low, magnesium cannot displace calcium to relax contracted muscles. As a result, the muscles contract too much, causing cramps or spasms.
This concept applies to all muscles, including the heart. Overstimulation of the heart caused by magnesium deficiency induces a rapid and irregular heartbeat, which can be life-threatening.
Magnesium deficiency is associated with cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Furthermore, magnesium supplementation decreases mortality rates in patients with heart disease and improves heart function in patients with heart failure. One study found that patients given an IV magnesium sulfate supplement reduced left ventricle failure by 25% compared to those provided with an IV placebo saline.
Regulation of Blood Sugar
Often type II diabetics are also magnesium deficient. Magnesium is crucial for the insulin receptor to recognize insulin. As such, magnesium deficiency increases insulin resistance.
Magnesium supplementation can improve glycemic control. Various studies have reported type II diabetic improvement after supplementation. Though more research is warranted.
The body houses 60% of its magnesium in the bones. Magnesium increases bone-building activity and helps regulate calcium levels. Additionally, magnesium influences parathyroid hormone and Vitamin D levels, which are heavily involved in maintaining bone homeostasis.
Numerous studies show that people with magnesium-rich diets have greater bone density than those with magnesium-poor diets. Furthermore, those with lower than recommended intake levels of magnesium have a higher risk of osteoporosis and bone fractures.
Numerous studies show magnesium decreases inflammation markers such as C-reactive protein (CRP) and interleukin-6. Furthermore, animal studies have shown magnesium deficiency causes an inflammatory response, releasing inflammatory proteins with a high production of free radicals.
More free radicals increase oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is associated with many diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, Parkinson’s, and Alzheimer’s.
Studies show that magnesium supplementation suppresses both inflammation and oxidative stress.
Magnesium Deficiency on the Rise
In 1997, most North Americans consumed about 450-485 mg/day of magnesium. By 2006, magnesium consumption dropped to 185-235 mg/day. (The magnesium RDA (recommended daily amount) for adults over age 51 is 420 mg for males and 320 mg for females.)
The significant decrease in magnesium consumption is due to the prevalence of processed food, filtered water, and crops grown in magnesium-depleted soil. The average North American diet does not contain foods high in magnesium.
As a result, mild magnesium deficiency is common in the United States. Researchers predict (based on the average American diet) that as much as 50% of the population is magnesium deficient.
Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
Since the body depends on magnesium, recognizing magnesium deficient symptoms is critical to your health and well-being. Signs of low magnesium include:
Abnormal heart rate,
Certain groups are at a greater risk of magnesium deficiency than others. People with type II diabetes, gastrointestinal diseases, or alcohol dependence do not absorb magnesium well or quickly excrete it. Additionally, the ability to absorb and maintain magnesium levels decrease with age. People in these groups should consider taking a magnesium supplement.
Is it ok to take magnesium every day? Or is there such a thing as too much magnesium?
People tend to experience side effects when consuming more than 5,000 mg/day of magnesium supplements. The Food and Nutrition Board recommends an upper limit for magnesium supplementation of 350mg/day for adults over 19.
High-dose magnesium supplements may help treat migraines, but only take high doses of magnesium under the direction of a qualified medical professional.
Even if you decide a magnesium supplement might benefit you, which one should you take? There are magnesium citrate, magnesium sulfate, magnesium oxide, and many other magnesium supplement varieties. These supplements are different and best suited for discrete tasks. It can be tricky and overwhelming to decide which one is best for you, but here are a couple of tips.
Magnesium citrate is one of the most popular magnesium supplements because it is relatively cheap, and the body absorbs it better than other forms. Doctors frequently prescribe it to treat constipation. Although it is a great choice to treat general magnesium deficiency, some people may experience laxative side effects.
Magnesium glycinate is composed of magnesium and the amino acid glycine. It is a highly bioavailable form and is often used to improve sleep and treat inflammatory conditions. Additionally, studies have shown that magnesium glycinate supplementation helps individuals who struggle with depression, anxiety, and memory loss.
It does not have the laxative side effects that magnesium citrate has, and it has few other side effects. For this reason, it is probably one of the best long-term options.
Magnesium Taurate and Magnesium Orotate
Magnesium taurate contains the amino acid taurine. Magnesium orotate contains orotic acid, a building block for genetic material. Both forms are of interest to athletes and those who are interested in supporting heart health.
Taurine and magnesium lower blood pressure, which prevents the heart from developing an irregular heartbeat. Orotic acid is involved in the energy production pathways of the heart and blood vessels.
Furthermore, taurine increases athletic performance by aiding in the disposal of exercise waste products.
As such, magnesium taurate and magnesium orate are popular choices for athletes and those with heart disease.
Magnesium Sulfate is more commonly known as Epsom salt. It is used to treat sore muscles and decrease stress. However, there is little scientific evidence that magnesium absorbs well through the skin.
Sometimes people take magnesium sulfate orally, but it has an unpleasant taste and is very easy to overdose. For those struggling with magnesium deficiency, this is not a good choice.
Magnesium chloride is a salt and is sold both as an oral supplement and a topical supplement.
All in all, it is functionally a multipurpose supplement. Magnesium chloride treats magnesium deficiency and specific conditions such as heartburn, constipation, or sore muscles. Additionally, chloride can help with kidney function and boost metabolism.
Magnesium oxide is a salt and is sold as a powder or capsule.
Studies indicate magnesium oxide is not well absorbed in the digestive tract. Thus, it is not prescribed to treat or prevent magnesium deficiencies.
However, magnesium oxide treats heartburn, indigestion, constipation, and migraines.
Magnesium Supplements with Origin Nutraceutical
As a manufacturing company with GMP, Kosher, Organic, and Halal certification, Origin Nutraceutical is proud to say that we make only the highest quality supplements. And we know that customer satisfaction is the origin of success.
With our experience and expertise, we can help you design a magnesium supplement that meets the needs and wants of your consumers.
To get a quote, contact Origin today!
The content of Origin Nutraceutical’s website is for information only, not advice or guarantee of outcome. Information is gathered and shared from reputable sources; however, Origin Nutraceutical is not responsible for errors or omissions in reporting or explanation. No individuals, including those taking Origin Nutraceutical products, should use the information, resources or tools contained within to self-diagnosis or self-treat any health-related condition. Origin Nutraceutical gives no assurance or warranty regarding the accuracy, timeliness or applicability of the content.
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