What are the health benefits of Magnesium? When we think of Magnesium, often we associate it with medicine used for bouts of undesirable gastro-intestinal issues. However, this mighty mineral actually is responsible for way more than just helping with a bad case of sour stomach. From playing an essential role in over 300 enzyme systems in our bodies, to aiding in prevention of some major diseases, the benefits of magnesium may play an important role in our health.
Sources of Magnesium
Magnesium can be found in many different sources. It is the fourth most plentiful mineral in our bodies. Magnesium can be taken as a dietary supplement and is often one of the ingredients included our daily multivitamins and minerals. Additionally, magnesium is a key component to various medicines including laxatives and indigestion remedies. Lastly, magnesium naturally occurs in many of the foods we eat.
Dietary guidelines issued for Americans by the federal government recommends that we get our nutrients primarily from a healthy diet. However, dietary surveys done in the United States show that Americans consistently fall short on the recommended amount of magnesium we should be consuming. Healthy foods that contain magnesium include dark, leafy vegetables, whole grains, lean meats and poultry, nuts, seeds and beans. Research shows that our bodies absorb about 30 to 40% of the dietary magnesium that we consume. Therefore, you may want to consider increasing the frequency of some of these healthy foods in your diet if you discover your magnesium levels are low.
What the Research Shows
Studies have shown that insufficient levels of magnesium in our bodies may contribute to an array of health concerns. Examples include diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cardiovascular diseases and migraine headaches. Early symptoms that may indicate low magnesium levels include nausea and vomiting, loss of appetite and fatigue. When magnesium levels drop to more dangerously low levels, an individual may experience muscle cramps, tingling and numbness or seizures. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms – do not assume you know the cause, instead seek the advice of a medical professional.
According to sources, there are some populations that tend to be more at-risk for magnesium deficiency. These groups include people with gastrointestinal diseases and those with type 2 diabetes. Older adults and people who have a dependency on alcohol may also be considered more at-risk for low levels of magnesium than others.
Possible Benefits of Magnesium
Magnesium supplements may benefit individuals struggling with some medical conditions. A recent study indicates that adults that suffer from mild to moderate asthma who take magnesium may have an easier time moving air in and out of their lungs as compared to those who do not take the supplement. A separate body of research suggests that magnesium therapy could aid in preventing migraine headaches. Because of its many different roles, it makes sense that proper levels of magnesium could potentially aid in preventing other circumstances as well.
Where To Go From Here
Now we know how important magnesium is to our daily health. We can do our best to be mindful of maintaining proper levels of this vital mineral in our bodies. Remember, eating a healthy diet is one of the best things we can do to take care of our overall wellbeing. This includes maintaining the proper levels of vitamins and minerals we need to stay healthy. If you think you might be at risk for low levels of magnesium, or if you feel you might benefit from adding supplements to your health regimen, be sure to discuss your questions and concerns with your doctor before making any changes.