Magical magnesium – are you getting enough?
-Mar 13, Caroline Blight, Health -
When it comes to vital vitamins and minerals, most people miss magnesium off the list. But it is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and plays a role in over 300 enzymatic reactions. A magnesium deficiency is often the number one culprit if you’re feeling tired all the time.
Many women are not getting enough magnesium; caffeine and stress burn it up and we also sweat it out. And when you look at the benefits of magnesium, it’s well worth making sure you get your full fix!
How magnesium helps you lose weight
If you are struggling to lose a few pounds it could be because your magnesium levels are out of whack. This mineral plays an important role in the metabolism of carbohydrates and glucose.
It also helps regulate insulin levels – for people who have too much insulin in their bodies it can lead to weight gain. For this reason, studies have looked into how more magnesium could reduce diabetes risk. A 2013 study found an association between high intakes of magnesium and an improvement in circulating insulin and blood glucose levels.
How magnesium can help PMT
Because magnesium plays a part in muscle contractions, it stands to reason it can help with premenstrual cramping. But it’s not just tummy and back pain which can be relieved when our bodies have sufficient magnesium. Other symptoms including bloating, insomnia, leg swelling and breast tenderness have been found to be reduced.
In a study that involved 192 women taking 400 mg of magnesium daily for PMS, 95 percent experienced less breast pain and had less weight gain, 89 percent suffered less nervous tension, and 43 percent had fewer headaches.
“Just because you are a woman does not mean you have to suffer through these symptoms. Taking magnesium supplements is the solution for PMS,” advises Carolyn Dean, magnesium expert and member of the Nutritional Magnesium Association.
The anti-stress mineral
She adds: “Magnesium is known as the anti-stress mineral. Magnesium is a natural detoxifier and muscle relaxer and helps with constipation and painful cramps, but unfortunately most women are deficient in this mineral and do not get enough from their diet.”
The natural remedy for deeper sleep
If you are struggling with insomnia and feel you have tried everything from changing your diet to your sleeping patterns, it could be magnesium is what you need to get a good night’s sleep.
In order to fall asleep and stay asleep, your body and brain need to relax and magnesium can help this as it activates the part of your nervous system responsible for getting you calm and relaxed and staying asleep. It also regulates the hormone melatonin, which guides sleep-wake cycles in your body.
In one study, older adults were given 500 mg of magnesium or a placebo. Overall, the magnesium group had better quality of sleep with higher recorded levels of melatonin and another sleep hormone called renin. A contrasting study found creating a magnesium deficiency in mice resulted in sleep patterns that were light and restless.
A master mineral that helps reduce anxiety
It’s hard to believe a mineral can have a serious impact on our mental health, but as magnesium is needed for optimum brain function it’s no surprise. Low magnesium levels have been shown to cause increased levels of anxiety and alter our ability to cope with stress.
Magnesium is used by the parts of our brain which are responsible for mood levels – to the extent a clinical study found that proper levels of magnesium are shown to be just as effective as a popular antidepressant!
How magnesium helps with heart health
Magnesium maintains the health of muscles and this includes the heart. Combined with the way in which is responsible for the transmission of electrical signals in the body, it’s little wonder a decent dose each day will help lower the risk of fatty build up on the walls of our arteries and prevent high blood pressure.
In the Framingham Heart Study, people with the highest intake of magnesium were found to have a 58 percent lower chance of coronary artery calcification and a 34 percent lower chance of abdominal artery calcification. And patients who receive magnesium soon after a heart attack are more likely to survive.
Why magnesium is crucial to build strong bones
When we think of building strong bones, we think of calcium. But there is now evidence that magnesium is crucial to bone health. It actually helps process the calcium into the bone and activates another bone booster, vitamin D. Increasingly magnesium deficiency is being linked with being a risk factor for osteoporosis since it’s a disorder characterized by weak bones and an increased risk of fractures.
As always, please remember that this article is meant to educate and entertain and is no substitute for medical advice. If you are concerned about your magnesium intake or would like some more information please seek advice from your doctor or a health professional.