Magnesium - are you getting enough?
Magnesium is a mineral that is abundant in both nature and the human body. It is required for many cellular processes in the body. Here’s a quick overview of the bodily functions in which magnesium plays a key role.
- Energy + Metabolism
- Muscle Contraction + Relaxation
- Neurotransmitter release (mood)
- Function of the thyroid gland
- Vascular tone + Heart rhythm
- Bone Health
HOW MUCH DO I NEED?
Magnesium is an essential mineral for health and is required in fairly large amounts. The absorption of magnesium from the diet is typically around 50% dependant on several factors including the amount of dietary protein you consume and whether you take other mineral supplements at the time of your meals.
It is worth remembering that foods which are high in fibre are generally also high in magnesium. e.g: wheat bran, almonds, spinach, green leafy vegetables.
SIX QUICK FACTS ABOUT MAGNESIUM (1):
1. Smoking cigarettes may reduce blood plasma concentrations of magnesium.
2. Cooking and boiling food significantly reduces the magnesium content of food.
3. Those with Vitamin D deficiencies may be unable to efficiently absorb magnesium.
4. Excessive alcohol consumption and diabetic conditions may increase magnesium loss.
5. Non-organic foods and many processed foods have lower levels of magnesium.
6. Ageing affects the body’s ability to absorb magnesium, reducing levels by as much as 30% and decreasing the magnesium content in bones.
Dietary magnesium does not pose a health risk, however excessive doses in supplements may cause digestive upset. Always consult your health care professional when considering a new supplement to ensure the right one for your individual circumstances.
Magnesium supplements are not a one-size-fits-all!
Those with kidney disease should not take magnesium supplements unless advised by their doctor as they may have difficulty excreting excess amounts of this mineral(2).
1. Genuis SJ and Schwalfenberg GK. The Importance of Magnesium in Clinical Healthcare. Hindawi Scientifica 2017;
2. Jahnen-Dechent W, Ketteler M. Magnesium basics. Clin Kidney J. 2012;5(Suppl 1):i3‐i14.