Nowadays and always, magnesium has been the key to proper biological function and optimal health. Apart from it being the 4th most abundant mineral in our bodies, there have also been found over 3,750 magnesium-binding sites on human proteins in our body as well.
Actually, over 300 enzymes rely on it for their optimal function, which tells a lot about its importance. Especially its importance for our biochemical processes, most of which are vital for the proper metabolic function. This includes:
- Creation of ATP (adenosine triphospate)
- Relaxation of blood vessels
- Proper formation of bones and teeth
- Regulation of blood sugar and insulin sensitivity
- Muscle and nerve function
Deficiency of Magnesium Can Cause Serious Problems
If there is a lack of cellular magnesium in our body this will lead to deterioration of the cellular metabolic function, which might cause serious health issues. Among some of these are depression, anxiety, migraine headaches, cardiovascular disease, sudden cardiac death, fibromyalgia, and death from all causes.
It is also very important for the body’s detoxification processes, including the synthesis of glutathione. Finally, it is very much needed for optimization of mitochondria, which is of great importance for the prevention of cancer and just general athletic and energy performance.
The Importance of Magnesium for Mitochondrial Health
Mitochondria are actually organelles which can be found int he cells. Mitochondria produces energy known as ATP, which all organs need in order to function properly. There has been lots of research into this and it has shown that a lot of health problems stem from mitochondrial dysfunctions. Therefore, you need to get all the precursors and nutrients that the mitochondria needs. This is of great importance for your health, the exercise performance and disease prevention.
A mitochondrial researcher named Rhonda Patrick, Ph.D said that magnesium is very important for the mitochondrial health, mostly because the oxidative capacity depends on the mitochondria’s ability to produce energy within the cells.
How Much Magnesium Do You Need?
Nearly a century ago, people received 500 mg of magnesium in their daily diet and this was due to the nutrient-dense soil where the food was grown. However, these days, people only get 150-300 mg daily from dietary sources.
The RDA is around 310-420 mg daily, depending on age and sex. However, lots of researchers say that you should take 600-900 mg of it daily for optimal health.
According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, intestinal reaction might be used as marker for the right dose. This means that you should start by taking 200 mg of magnesium citrate a day and start increasing the dose until you start experiencing some loose stools. When it comes to its supplements, the best one would be magnesium threonate. It is very effective when it comes to penetrating the cell membranes, including the mitochondria and the blood-brain barrier.
Risk Factors, Signs and Symptoms of Magnesium Deficiency
The major risk of magnesium deficiency is eating a heavily processed diet. This is because it resides in chlorophyll molecule. What you should do is eat leafy greens and other magnesium-dense foods instead and more often, because if you do not, you will not be getting enough of it for your diet.
You can also lose this mineral if you do not get enough sleep, use prescription drugs like fluoride, statins and antibiotics, also if you consume alcohol and you are stressed. All of these factors contribute to its deficiency in lots of Americans. Even 50-80% of them are deficient in magnesium.
Among the earliest signs of its deficiency are muscle spasms, migraines, headaches, fatigue, weakness, nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite. If you have chronic magnesium deficiency it can even lead to more serious health issues like seizures, numbness, tingling, abnormal heart rhythms, coronary spasms, and personality changes.
The Foods High in Magnesium
As we previously mentioned, the best way to boost the magnesium levels in the body and to maintain them healthy is to consume dark-green leafy veggies. It is even better if you juice them. These are some of the leafy greens which have the highest levels of the mineral:
- Romaine Lettuce
- Brussel Sprouts
- Bok Choy
- Turnip Greens
- Collard Greens
- Beet Greens
- Swiss Chard
There are also other foods that are enriched in magnesium, like:
- Seeds and nuts
- Herbs and spices (cumin, parsley, mustard seeds, fennel)
- Fatty fish
- Raw cacao nibs and/or unsweetened cocoa powder
- Fruits and berries
When Supplementing, Balance Your Magnesium with Calcium, Vitamin K2 and D
If you are one of those people who rely on supplements you need to know how nutrients affect and interact with one other.
For example, is is very important to balance between magnesium, calcium, vitamin K2 and vitamin D. All of these nutrients work together and if there is an imbalance it might increase the risk of stroke, heart attacks and vitamin D toxicity. Thus, follow our advice.
- The best ratio of magnesium and calcium is 1:1. Remember that the need for supplemental magnesium might be two times greater than calcium given that fact that you will get more calcium from your diet.
- According to Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue, for every 1,000 IU’s of vitamin D you take, you might need 100 micrograms of K2.
- When it comes to vitamin D, you should test the levels of it twice a year to determine your personal dosage.
As you can see, magnesium is an important component for the body. Therefore, start paying attention. Take our advice and consume foods that are rich in it and also watch out of its balance in the body. Just take care of your health, and including magnesium in your diet is one of the ways to do so.