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Your comprehensive guide to various types of magnesium and their benefits
"The importance of taking magnesium from natural sources or in supplementation is often mentioned to keep muscles healthy from cramps
magnesium seems to have much finer functions than this. A severe decrease in magnesium in the blood can mean an irregular heartbeat, poor sleep quality and high blood sugar"
Magnesium is the second most abundant mineral in cells after potassium, playing a pivotal role in over 300 vital biochemical reactions within the human body. This mineral is essential for protein synthesis, regulating nerve and muscle functions, and controlling blood pressure. Additionally, magnesium contributes to enhancing cognitive functions, including memory and learning processes.
The Role of Magnesium in Maintaining Overall Health
Magnesium plays a crucial role in treating chronic diseases such as diabetes, asthma, and hypertension. However, conditions like Crohn's disease, digestive disorders, and surgical removal of parts of the intestines can lead to poor absorption and magnesium deficiency in the blood.
Elderly individuals, diabetics, and those taking certain medications that hinder magnesium absorption are also at increased risk of magnesium deficiency; thus leading to chronic diseases.
Natural Sources of Magnesium
You can obtain adequate amounts of magnesium by incorporating the following foods into your daily diet:
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, turnip greens, and lettuce
- Nuts and seeds like almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds
- Whole grains, including whole wheat, quinoa, and brown rice
- Legumes such as black beans, chickpeas, and lentils
While fruits, meats, and fish provide lower amounts of magnesium, individuals unable to meet their daily magnesium requirements through diet are likely to use magnesium supplements to meet their daily needs.
Different Forms of Magnesium Supplements
Various types of magnesium supplements serve different functions in the body. Some essential types for overall health and athletes include:A. Magnesium L-Threonate
Derived from threonic acid salt, Magnesium L-Threonate boasts high absorbability compared to other types, making it beneficial for brain health and cognition.
Benefits include enhancing cognitive functions, regulating nerve transmitters like serotonin and dopamine, potentially alleviating anxiety symptoms, and promoting quality sleep.B.Magnesium Malate
Combining magnesium with malic acid, responsible for the sour taste in many fruits, magnesium malate supports digestive functions and may help alleviate symptoms of conditions like migraines, chronic pain, and depression.C.Magnesium Glycinate
Combining magnesium with amino acids, magnesium glycinate offers gentle digestion and reduces potential interactions with medications. It supports sleep quality, muscle health, heart function, bone and teeth strength, and energy metabolism.
Magnesium for Athletes
Intense physical training significantly reduces magnesium levels within 72 hours of exercise. Athletes, especially weightlifters and gymnasts, due to dietary restrictions, are more susceptible to magnesium deficiency.
While magnesium benefits overall body health, it plays a pivotal role for athletes in energy production, muscle function, and post-exercise recovery.
Early signs of deficiency include nausea, fatigue, muscle weakness, and irritability. Severe deficiency can lead to irregular heartbeats, muscle cramps, and electrolyte imbalance. Studies link low magnesium levels to cardiovascular diseases, high blood pressure, and heart rhythm disorders.
Recommended Daily Intake of Magnesium
The UK's Food and Drug Administration suggests 400 mg/day for men and 320 mg/day for women aged 18-30. The dosage increases to 420 mg/day for men and remains at 320 mg/day for those aged 31 and above. Note that only 30-40% of dietary magnesium is absorbed in the intestines.
Finally, it's essential to consult a healthcare professional before taking certain magnesium types, especially if you are on antibiotics, diuretics, osteoporosis medications, or heart disease medications, to avoid potential adverse effects or reduced efficacy.