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Magnesium Benefits

Published 8/8/14

Magnesium is found in all areas of your body and it provides many health benefits. This vital mineral is involved in every system of your body when you take in sufficient quantities. A magnesium deficiency can cause several health complications that, if they are not corrected, may lead to potentially severe health issues.

Magnesium Deficiency Symptoms

The most significant symptoms to watch for include fatigue, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting. As your deficiency worsens, look for numbness, involuntary muscle contractions, cramps, abnormal heart rhythms, coronary spasms and seizures. A severe deficiency can lead to hypokalemia (low potassium levels) and hypocalcemia (low calcium levels). Mineral deficiency can disrupt mineral homeostasis.

Magnesium works to facilitate enzymatic reactions important in healthy metabolism. Too little magnesium in your body means it won’t be able to produce the energy it needs to handle cellular functions. This can cause your cells and body parts to wear out prematurely.

People at Risk of Magnesium Deficiency

If you suffer from gastrointestinal conditions, you are at risk of lowered magnesium levels. Crohn’s disease and Celiac disease have been implicated in magnesium deficiency. Both of these conditions can cause fat malabsorption and chronic diarrhea, which can make your condition worse. Surgical resection of the ileum can also cause your body to stop absorbing sufficient magnesium even as it limits its loss.

Alcoholics are at a higher risk of magnesium deficiency. Because of their poor eating habits, they may not take in enough magnesium. Alcoholism can lead to intestinal conditions such as steatorrhea, or the passing of fatty feces, vomiting and diarrhea. Additionally, if you suffer from renal dysfunction, you may pass excessive amounts of urine, which can contain the magnesium your body needs.

Aging adults are also at risk of magnesium deficiency. As you get older, your intestines don’t absorb minerals as well as they used to. In addition, excretion of minerals increases – you lose magnesium. If you are an older adult and you take certain medications, these can contribute change your body’s magnesium levels.

Relationship Between Magnesium and Your Health

Researchers have found that a major benefit of magnesium is that it can lower your risk of high blood pressure. Hypertension can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Magnesium is vital to healthy bone formation. When you have sufficient magnesium in your diet, your skeleton can be strong. If you don’t take in enough magnesium, you can develop osteoporosis. On the other hand, magnesium can affect your levels of vitamin D and the parathyroid hormone. These are the two biggest regulators of bone homeostasis.

Magnesium affects the antioxidant glutathione. It aids in detoxifying the different systems in your body. This mineral stops heavy metals, harmful chemicals and other poisons from accumulating in your body. Those suffering from insulin resistance and diabetes may be deficient in magnesium. This deficiency has been linked to both conditions, which can lead to full-blown diabetes. Insulin is a hormone made by your body that works to regulate blood glucose levels in your bloodstream.

Foods High In Magnesium 

Foods with Magnesium include dried pumpkin seeds, spinach, dark, leafy greens, mackerel, cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, peanuts, mixed nuts, walnuts, pecans, soy beans, lentils, white beans, black-eyed peas, French beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, pinto beans, brown rice, low-fat dairy, avocados and almond butter. Add these to a healthy, well-balanced diet.

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