Magnesium – The Brain Mineral
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals our bodies need it is essential for our brain, muscle and heart vessels. It is a cofactor for more than 300 enzyme systems that help regulate protein synthesis, blood glucose and blood pressure it also regulates nerve and muscle function (“Magnesium – Health Professional Fact Sheet,”2016).
Magnesium can reduce muscle tension improve sleep, help depression and elevate pain associated with migraines.
We retain magnesium in our bones and soft tissue. Magnesium is obtained in our diets through in foods such as spices, nuts, beans, cocoa, whole grains and leafy vegetables. Recommended intakes in adults from the age of 19-51+ in males 400-420 mg and in females 19-51+, 310-320 mg. (“Office of dietary supplements- magnesium,”2016). Many of us are still lacking in this mineral, early signs of magnesium deficiency are cramping, nausea, loss of appetite, fatigue. People most at risk are alcoholics, people suffering type to diabetes and older people.
A study has shown that women with low magnesium suffer from hypertension which could contribute to cardiovascular disease risk factors (Cunha, A., Medeiros, F., Umbelino, B., Oigman, W., Touyz, R., &Neves, M.2013).
As magnesium is mostly stored in our bones it plays an important role in the homeostasis of calcium. Calcium which is essential for our bones and preventing such diseases as osteoporosis a crippling disease affecting our aging population. it has been reported that magnesium could be a preventative to osteoporosis (Matsuzaki, H.20016).
Our brains also need magnesium, studies have been done for more than 100 years on the association of depression and deficiency of magnesium. Magnesium affects the serotonin the chemical that makes us feel good, when we are low in serotonin we can suffer depression and anxiety. Numerous pre-clinical and clinical studies confirmed the initial observations as well as demonstrated the beneficial safety profile of magnesium supplementation for management of depression (Serefko, A., Szopa, A., Wlaz, P., Nowak, G., Radziwon-Zaleska, M., Skalski, M., & Poleszak, E. 2013).
It is reported that up to 80% of Americans are not getting enough magnesium (www.articles.mercola). This is due to our diets that are high in fat and calcium which decrease magnesium, especially under conditions of stress.
New research shows that inflammatory bowel disease is due to low micronutrients such as iron, zinc and magnesium thus increasing these supplements would influence the course and the severity of the disease (Kruis, W., & Nguyen, P. 2016).
So, the evidence all stacks up this mineral which has a vital roleplay in our bodies has in the past been under estimated. With more and more research being done I find the articles that I read to be amazing, too often we are prescribed pharmaceutical drugs or we run off to our chemist to buy a drug without further investigating what our bodies are really trying to tell us. Again, I am convinced that what most of us need in our lives is to look at our diets. Include higher sources of magnesium foods the richest being almonds, salmon yogurt, green vegetables and cereals, everyday could possibly eliminate so many diseases, and alleviate headaches and pain. Our stress levels could lower, the number one killer as it brings on so many other problems including depression, anxiety and even cancers. Bringing down the high numbers of cases in diabetes even by a few % would make for a healthier nation.
Magnesium can also be absorbed through the body in other forms such as magnesium salt baths or foot soaks. Add a few flakes of magnesium salt to your drinking water it also helps in a quicker hydration.