Magnesium

What is Magnesium?

Magnesium is one of the macro-minerals required by our body for optimum health. It helps build strong bones, make proteins, and release energy, and regulate our body temperature. According to recent USDA surveys, most of us don't ingest enough magnesium, although few of us suffer from magnesium deficiencies. It's difficult to incorporate magnesium into our diet, because there is no single source of magnesium rich food. Women, between the ages of 19 to 50 years old, take in about 74 percent of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA). Men in the same age group fare better, taking in about 94 percent of the RDA.

Because of the lack of magnesium rich food sources, most of us might consider a magnesium supplement.

How does magnesium work?

Working together with calcium and potassium, magnesium performs an important role in regulating heart rhythm. You can suffer from an irregular heartbeat if your diet is deficient in any of these three minerals, which, in turn, increases the chance of heart disease. Magnesium also helps the heart return to its regular, rhythmic beat following a heart attack, and keeps blood pressure stable and constant.

Magnesium may also play an important role in two common ailments: diabetes and osteoporosis. Magnesium helps metabolize carbohydrates, and how the body utilizes insulin. In one study out of Johns Hopkins University, patients with lowest levels of magnesium were 94 percent more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes than those with high levels of magnesium.

About half the body's magnesium is stored in our bones where it plays a critical role in metabolizing calcium—a building block for strong bones.

Without enough magnesium in our diet, or access to a magnesium rich food source, we place ourselves at risk for heart disease and diabetes. Lesser symptoms may include fatigue, mental confusion, muscle spasms, and nervousness.

How do I make the most out of magnesium (incorporate it into my diet)?

A healthy diet is the best way to start, of course, and one that includes magnesium rich foods. Whole grains and cereals, vegetables, including broccoli, spinach, chard, and lima beans, and fish like mackerel, oysters, and scallops, and most nuts are all sources of magnesium rich food. But no single dietary source can provide the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of magnesium, 280 mg for women and 350 mg for men. Even higher doses—up to 800 mg daily—are used to prevent and treat heart conditions.

Older people, and those who don't eat a well-balanced diet—and so don't have enough magnesium rich food in their diets—might benefit from a daily magnesium supplement.

Magnesium has an inhibiting effect on tetracycline, so if you have a prescription for tetracycline, you should consult with your doctor about magnesium supplementation.

Vitamins

Vitamin A
B-Complex Vitamins
Vitamin B 6
Vitamin B 12
Vitamin B 17
Vitamin C
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Biotin
Choline
Niacin
Pantothenic Acid
Thiamin

Minerals

Minerals: An Overview
Copper
Chromium
Selenium
Magnesium
Vanadium
Zinc
Potassium
Iron

Supplements

Amino Acids
Antioxidants
Lutein
Lycopene
Co-Q10
Glucosamine